The Process of Elimination


‘What to do when the blog clock is ticking’

People sometimes ask if I have trouble thinking of things to write about. Nope, I have the opposite problem — too many random ideas doing battle in my brain. Usually I look through photos to help me decide. But today that only made things worse. I kept finding photos I’d wished I’d used in previous posts. Like, here’s one that would have been perfect for last week, when I wrote about good times in and on the Lake of My Youth:

Look! I found a photo of the front of Sir Launch-A-Lot, complete with sign. That’s Gramma Henry, flanked by Only Sister Laura and Only Mom, um, Mom

Oh, and here’s one that would have been dandy to include in my riff on weddings (“I do, I do. I really do like weddings”)

Looking “back” on my first, “Polio-Shot” wedding. This was the rehearsal. But I guess you could say that about the whole marriage: that it was a “rehearsal”

And then I found this gem of Little Me in the bathtub. Photos like these were — and perhaps still are — prized by parents. (I believe this one, like the “potty shot” featured at the top of this post, was sent to my father when he was an Air Force Guy stationed in Korea, so he could share in my developmental milestones from afar.) These kinds of photos were also prized by my brothers, because they could use them as taunting/teasing props. Very effective when the subject (me) was an older sister.

The kind of photo that parents think is super-cute and that siblings think is blackmail

That potty shot was complete and total Older Sister Rage Bait. (It didn’t help matters that it said “Big Girl!” on the back.) On any given rainy day when we were allowed to rummage through the big box of snapshots — a pastime I’ve written about before, in “In an alternative universe, I would have been a redhead”, if you’re interested — one of my brothers would invariably find this photo and show it to me. (Shove it in my face, more likely.)

Then the fun would begin. When I would try to grab it, Brother One, laughing and shrieking, would pass it to Brother B, who would run away with it. I’d be wailing “Mom…Mom! Make them stop!” in total frustration. Mom in her wisdom would reply something like “Just ignore them.” Which, of course, did not happen.

Me. A potty-picture-victim, if there ever was one

This game only got more interesting when I got older. Picture me in high school, entertaining a friend — a friend who happens to be a boy — and out comes the Potty Picture. It’s a wonder that poor little black-and-white snapshot has survived all these years, what with all the grabbing and hysterical weeping it had to endure.

When it was even MORE fun to wave the Potty Picture in front of my face

But look! I not only have gotten over my Potty Picture embarrassment, I’ve actually featured said picture at the top of this post (!) How incredibly mature — or desperate — of me. Next week I promise to move on to one of the other thoughts buzzing in my blogger brain: The Time I Wanted to Be Brenda Starr, maybe. Or the one about how Everything in Australia Can Kill You. And there’s always When We Left The Child by The Side of The Road.

Unless, of course, it’s raining. And I get distracted by random snapshots from days gone by.

The End. (Featuring another Suitable-for-Blackmail snap, this time captured by The Dude)

Amagansett, New York. June 2017

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8 thoughts on “The Process of Elimination

  1. I was lucky, I guess, in the fact that Dad (never Mom) does not seem to have taken embarrassing photos, at least not any that I recall finding so far and if he had I would either have trashed them or forgotten them by now! I know I was lucky in not having any icky brothers who might like to pull out embarrassing photos if they ever existed. Spouse comes from a family of four boys, so he could not say the same, if indeed we were still talking to his one still walking this earth brother. He has, however, carried on the tradition of taking embarrassing photos of our two daughters and even of me occasionally. We also have some similarly horrid, or maybe even worse video. Fortunately, he is usually too lazy or otherwise occupied doing stuff he enjoys more to pull them out when daughters are visiting with BFs. There are always their future weddings, though, on which to do this. They would probably have the biggest impact on those occasions!

  2. Ha! When I would bring a boy home, my parents would pull out the slide show. There would be all kinds of embarrassing shots including some of me with other boyfriends. Ha!
    Found you through Suzie!

    • Ooooh. Shots of you with other boyfriends! Not THAT’s embarrassing. Hmmm, maybe I’ll try that with The Child. (kidding, sort of)! Oh, and thanks for finding me! Come back again soon xoxo

  3. The advent of iPhones and the like has now expanded the world of Blackmail and Embarrassing Shots. Eeeeek. And remember the days when photo development shops wouldn’t develop “certain” shots?! Not a safeguard any longer.

    – greetings from the Netherlands (your blog travels far!) where we are visiting our son who lives here with his Dutch wife and our grand baby. And we are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary (and the many embarrassing photo shots taken during our life together!).

    • Omigoodness! First: congratulations! On your anniversary, and on your grandbaby (jealous!) Thank you for reminding me of the possibility of even more embarrassing shots than in my blog (I think). Best wishes for many more years of photo fun together! xoxo

  4. I think the Potty Shot should be laminated so it doesn’t suffer any further damage. The last one was taken by a loving husband, I am sure. I have one of me in the basement, in my flannel pajamas, sorting laundry. Suffice to say, I don’t look at that one much. Thanks for writing, Alice. Always enjoyable.

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