Day 207. Counter-Intuitive

A Post on Sow, Sew, So yesterday reminded me I have a birthday coming up this month.  It also reminded me I have to renew my driver’s license.  This year I also have to have a new jailphoto taken.  Oh noooooooooooo!

Oh yes.  And I’ve got to do it, pronto.  The notice has been sitting on my kitchen counter for a couple of months.

Yes, I’m well aware I’ve been putting it off.

Don’t put your hands on your hips and tell me to stop procrastinating.  Don’t shake your finger under my nose.  Don’t warn me of the pitfalls of letting my license lapse.  Before you chastise me, go look at the photo on your driver’s license.  And while you’re at it, have a look at your passport photo as well.

Well, I’m waiting.  Uh huh …

Exactly my point.

Why is it, no matter how much time we spend fixing our hair and putting on make-up, we always look like we should be behind bars in these photos?  Why is it we always end up looking like Public Enemy #1?  Simon Legree?  Tilly The Toiler?  An ax murderess?

Can you explain it to me?

Now you know why I’ve been putting it off.

I have NEVER, had either a passport or driver’s license photo where I looked even remotely decent.  Just once it would be nice to have something I wasn’t embarrassed to show anyone.  Just once it would be nice to have something I could look at, without grimacing.  Or reaching for the phone to book an appointment with a plastic surgeon.

Just once it would be nice to have something cashiers and customs officials and airport security don’t stare at for ten minutes — looking at the photo, and then at me.  At the photo, and back to me.  Trying to decide whether or not to have me carted away in handcuffs.

So I’m well aware I’ll have to get it done.  But can you blame me for not being in a hurry?

What kind of cameras do they use, anyway?  I’ve taken pictures in those photo booths and they’ve turned out better.  I’ve photographed myself, using the camera on my iPhone and they’re better.  So why are these so universally horrible?

Seriously.  There has to be a reason for it.  What is it?  Do you know anyone who’s had a good photo taken for their driver’s license or their passport?  I don’t.  And what I don’t get is, wouldn’t you think those are the two pieces of identification where you should look your best?  NOT like a fugitive.  NOT like you should be arrested.

Wouldn’t you think they’d come up with some new kind of technology so we look our best, and least threatening, when we’re about to get on a plane?

Beats me.

Now I think about it, I have to renew my passport this year, too.  In May.  Jeez, how unlucky can one girl get?!

No, I will NOT be posting the photos here.  Not anywhere else, either.  If you’re that desperate to see them, check the post office next time you’re there.

24 thoughts on “Day 207. Counter-Intuitive

  1. You’d think the photos were taken by squirrels or something…. LOL!

    My license is also up for renewal this summer, so I get a new pic to cringe at for the next 8 years too….

  2. The only to get a decent photo has nothing to do with the hair, the makeup, the clothes, the glasses – it’s the smiling eyes – the best photos are when someone looks at the camera with unconditional love – so you need to practice how to not smile (that is no grinning) but to see the difference in your eyes when you think of that person 🙂 If nothing else, at least you have the memory of trying!

      • Until I had kids and then I witnessed that look and remembered what it felt like, so I try to improve things by actively thinking of my children when I face up to the booth, its definitely an improvement – thinking of Grandma works too 🙂

        I have also mentioned the spirit of Grandma to a few people in dealing with their own aging mother’s, amazing how it brings out the compassionate and “forgiving of aging” aspect. Worth a try anyway and you have some wonderful maternal figures to invoke 🙂

  3. I have to admit, I love my DL pic. It was taken around 4 months after my (now ex-) husband moved out. I was on a freakin’ mission to look as good as possible all the time!! I had a sparkle and an attitude and it came through on that pic! I am dreading the next one, though . . . 🙂

    • well good for you! You were a woman on a mission! No need to dread the next one. Just remember what your mission was and do it again.

  4. This is very strange… just last week I wrote myself exactly the same note — and the form is still sitting there – I blamed it on the weather… and the treck down to College Park and the inevitable line up…. plus – yup – the photo! Georgina

  5. I’ve always been confused as to the rules of the DL photo. Are you supposed to smile? Not smile? Is it ok to like- strike a pose a t the last second? Because if it isn’t illegal then you should totally strike a pose!!! Kat

    • Not allowed to smile for either a driver’s license or passport photo in Canada. Why, God only knows, but thems are the rules.

  6. I try not to look at my driver’s license photo, which was taken shortly after my youngest was born. Let’s just say I wasn’t looking my best! I’m also a March birthday. I always look forward to the day, not because it’s my birthday (which has lost some of its appeal), but because it’s the first day of Spring.

  7. Our local DMV doesn’t do a bad job on photos. My absolute worst photo is for my BJ club membership card. I look like a cross between a survivor from a concentration camp and an axe murderer.

  8. At least we have a little control over our passport photos. If we don’t like them we can redo them, although in my case, it would be picking the best of the worst and that could get costly! The worst “official” photo of me was one that was taken for building security ID at my last job. I literally could not recognize myself and they refused to take another one. I looked like a female version of Jack Nicholson’s character in “The Shining”. Yes, you may laugh, it is funny!

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