I’ve been taking photos of my cats since I had to buy real film for my cheap little Kodak. There was no reviewing and deleting photos. I was damn lucky to get ONE decent photo out of the bunch. I knew this, and still I ordered doubles every.single.time. Why? Because I lived in a world of possibility. What if all twelve images were National Geographic worthy? My optimism is my finest gift and my biggest booby prize. (For readers under 25, a booby prize is a joke award, not anything related to lady parts. I’m only mentioning this because I haven’t used the term since 1982, and I first thought it was all about lady parts.)
So I’d go into Walgreens gripping the perforated paper strip I’d torn off the film’s drop bag, eager for the grand reveal of all 48 (doubles) photographic masterpieces. Naturally I’d paid extra for the one-hour photo option. Current me would probably break out in an anxious rash waiting an hour for photos. My inner Veruca Salt wants them now. But then I’d smugly flip through the orders of the suckers who chose to wait three days for their photos. I’d see my bag feel my heart skip a beat. I rescued my precious photos from the amateur sets of family vacation and “baby’s first step” pics. Whatever.
After quickly paying for my bag o’ treasures, I’d step away from the cashier and excitedly rip open the envelope’s flap. No, I didn’t wait till I got home. I didn’t even wait till my feet hit the store’s parking lot. I needed to see them ASAP and if that meant using an end cap’s shelf of various ointments as an easel, so be it.
I flipped through the first photos, mildly pleased with the results. I guess it’s not too difficult capturing a decent pic of a sleeping cat. As I dug further into the pics, my disappointment rose. Most of the photos were blurry images of whiskers, noses, and butts (cat butts, just to be clear). There were a few salvageable ones. My pre-cell phone attempts at selfies were slightly (mostly) off center, but they made me laugh. Although I was disappointed in most of my shots, there were a few that were passable enough to hang on the fridge or slide inside the envelope of a letter to mom. (For readers under 25 . . . never mind.)
I hung my my head and walked out of the store, but not before purchasing another roll of film. “See you next week,” said the photo clerk. Yes. Yes he would.