Day 252: Bad Pictures Make Me Smile

Tonight, I was re-reading the Christmas cards my family received this season with my parents. I love reading Christmas cards, particularly the color photo typed out newsletter ones that give a succint biography of the family I am supposed to be more in touch with than I am. There are certain families whose Christmas cards I specifically look forward to every year (i.e. The Bobels of Palo Alto), and there are certain families I only know by their Christmas cards (i.e. Was she the one who wrote about working at PetCo with her ex-husband in the one last year?) Summarily, I basically just really like hearing about people's lives.*

We began talking about the similarities in Christmas cards, and why people always choose such boring family photos, and how they (the letters and the photos) follow a near identical format. Then, my father suggested that it would very interesting next year if, instead of sending our our own Christmas card, just sent along another random family's Christmas card. I thought this was one of the most brilliant things I had ever heard of. I can imagine the sheer befuddlement of recipients as the situation dawned on them..."What is going on?" They would say many times over, as this is generally what people say in these types of situations. At the very least, this would ensure they read your card the next year. If only to verify that you had regained sanity again. However, Christmas is now a whole year away, so I cannot try this right away. Instead, though, I can do it with a photo essay.

I will now make a seamless segue to what this aforementioned photo essay is about: I am one of those friends who looks at the idiotic pictures you send about some party none of the email recipients were at, and then actually downloads the picture to my computer. I do not do this because I am a particularly good friend (I am a fine friend, but that's not the point), but it is because I find this kind of stuff funny. If you really knew what I was doing, you might be upset, because I actually just download the pictures I find particularly hysterical and that make me laugh to look at. And then, I put them on a rotation on my Google toolbar. Thus, the pictures that randomly pop up in my work day are some of the most awkard that I have ever seen. And for this reason they really make me smile.

If I couldn't literally send out another's Christmas card (although why couldn't I? one can do anything!), I would put one of these pictures on. That would be just great. Here are some:

I don't know who these people are:

This is my doctor friend Jess, in medical school. Presumably yelling at people she studies with, who are in some kind of line. I don't know, clearly.

This is Yael, talking clearly, but I have absolutely no further knowledge of who the child is or what is going on. She looks animated, though.

And this is a final favorite, of me. Just because.

* As a grammar school child, one of my good friends and I would play "spy", wherein we sat in the bathroom stalls with notebooks during recess listening and writing down people's conversations. I really like knowing what's going on.

Send me your awkward pictures. Please. Merry Christmas!


Anonymous said...

I don't have any pictures, but here is the Christmas letter I sent out this year. Enjoy.

Dear Friends,

Happy holidays! It's Christmas time again and as you all know, this is my favorite time of year. The snow is quietly falling outside, I'm curled up with a cup of hot chocolate and everything is peaceful tonight as I sit down to write this. And I'm thankful for a little peace and quiet. As most of you know, 2006 was a rocky year, but we all survived! Well, except for poor Rugrat. Our hearts and prayers go out to him, the brave little guy.

I'm sure you remember that last year Jimmy, Chuck and I were looking for someone to rent the downstairs bedroom. For a while this year, it looked like we had found someone but that fell through.

Jimmy and Chuck are doing great. They say that living together can really test a friendship and this year has been quite a test for those two! I'm happy to report that Chuck and Cindy are back together. For those of you who were there, you may remember that at last year's New Years party, Chuck caught Jimmy and Cindy together in the guest bedroom. What those two initially blamed on too much Champaign and holiday cheer, blossomed into something else and Cindy ended up moving across the hall from Chuck's room to Jimmy's room. Unfortunately, as we're all on the lease and no one could afford to move out, there were a few pretty tense months while everyone adjusted to the new living situation. Cindy, for her part, tried to make peace with Chuck and got him Rugrat, an adorable Jack Russell Terrier. As I'm sure you can guess, Rugrat quickly became a house favorite.

But adjust we did, and you'll be happy to know that Chuck started dating a great girl, Sally, that he met through a singles ad. Sally was quite a change of pace for Chuck, being that she's very religious and very active in her church and you all know how Chuck is. It seemed to be a good change for Chuck though. You may remember that Chuck played basketball in high school and Sally convinced him to start a youth league through her church at the playground right around the corner from the house. It was good for him to be out on the court again and it turns out that Chuck is really great with kids.

Sally quickly became a part of the house, despite the "no drinking or smoking" rules she had when she was over. I'm sure you can imagine how the rest of us chafed under this, but she made Chuck happy so we did our best. She even helped us fill the empty bedroom. Her brother Mitch needed a place to stay when his lease ended and he moved in over the summer. It was certainly a relief to get the landlord off our backs.

By June, it looked like the year was really looking up. Mitch and Jimmy quickly became close friends. They're both history majors and they both want to teach when they're done with school. Chuck and Jimmy even started talking again, helped in part by Sally and Mitch.

Unfortunately, no one really realized how "close" Jimmy and Mitch were. It turned out that their feelings ran deeper than just friendship and after dinner one night, where they split three or four bottles of wine (Sally and Chuck were working a food drive), they ended up in Mitch's room while Cindy slept. They were able to sneak around for a week or so, but with five people living in the house, and Sally over pretty much all the time, there was no way Jimmy and Mitch could keep their secret. Once again, Jimmy's love life ran Chuck down with the force of a speeding train.

Sally didn't handle her brother's homosexuality well. She disowned him and condemned us all to a godless existence. She also left Chuck and he didn't handle her leaving well, immediately leaving for his parent's house. Cindy, upset that Jimmy was sleeping with a man, moved into Chuck's room without him knowing and Mitch, after an awkward two days moved into Jimmy's room.

That Sunday Chuck had the youth basketball league in the afternoon. We hadn't seen him all week but he called the house to let us know that he was driving back, and to just let the kids hangout for a bit because he was running a little late. It was the first time he was going to be back at the house since Sally left and I guess he stopped at a bar to have a couple of drinks, just to steady his nerves. Unfortunately, a couple turned into a few and he probably shouldn't have been driving by the time he left the bar.

The kids from the youth basketball league were on the front lawn playing with Rugrat when Chuck's truck came around the corner, going a little too fast. Rugrat, excited that Chuck was home after a week darted out into the street to meet him. Chuck didn't see him in time however and failed to stop, only realizing something was horribly wrong when he felt the "thump" under his tires.

I don't want to take away your holiday cheer so I won't describe what happened next. Suffice to say that the sight of Chuck, holding Rugrat and covered in blood, drunk, on his knees in the middle of the street screaming at the sky was upsetting to some of the kids and the church decided not to continue the youth league.

If there's a positive in all this, it's that Cindy and Chuck are back together. She ended up staying with him, at first to comfort him over the loss of Rugrat and that eventually led to their reconciliation. Jimmy and Mitch are very happy together, this looks like it could be a match made in heaven. Of course, this means that we've still got an empty bedroom, so if you know of anyone who's looking for a room to rent, we've got one available.

Have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Here's to 2007.

All the best in the New Year,


trippingonwords said...

Wait...this is the funniest thing ever. Great idea!

court said...

i took two of those four "awkward" pictures.. what does that say about my photography abilities. the first one is from argentina, las madres de la plaza de mayo... and yael talking, well, that is a funny picture.

diana said...

That bit about sitting in the bathroom listening to other people's conversations is both twisted and funny. By the way, where will you girls be at (a) Christmas; and (b) your birthdays?

lara said...

LOVE the picture of jess with the boys...she looks so in control of a brood of small men.

And Claire all small in the scarf...always a favorite

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