He says, “We’re going to do a photo shoot on Saturday.” We are? Consider my age, my dumpy body, my liver–spotted hands, and what about the age spots on my face. Dusty doesn’t care about those things. He’s a photographer with immense talent from behind the camera. Everything will be okay he assures me.
Okay? What will I wear? When can I get my hair done? I’ll need a new cover-up stick the size of a banana. Every woman I know (who is not a actually a model) will understand my fear, will understand my waking in the night from a nightmare where my body shows I’ve gained 20 lbs. and acquired 130 more age spots. But I’m going through with it. I have to do it. It will be quick and painless like the flu shot that doesn’t hurt until you get home.
First on my list – Clothes! My friends advise me to shop my closet where I will find something perfect. I have a large closet that holds many many past successful outfits. Like the silver lame jacket and matching blouse, the black leather pants, the slinky red dress with a plunging neckline.
None of them fit. I am not the same shape I was when I strutted around in those clothes. Okay, so they’re a few years old. Maybe a decade or two old. So it’s off to Stein Mart I go. Last time I was there nothing fit, nothing looked right and I walked out of the store with scented soap and a candle I thought I might need for a quick present. But this time it’s different. Everything fits. I love everything I see. What to choose? Why choose? Buy them all and confess to your husband that he’ll have to wait on those new golf clubs. Surely, a photo shoot is far more important than improving his handicap. He agrees!!! At least I decide he does when he shakes his head at the charge card slip and retreats to his office where he does all the important stuff I don’t have to do.
The day arrives. I lay out all of my new outfits on my bed. When Dusty arrives at 10 a.m., it occurs to me that this handsome young man did photo shoots for models in New York. He gives me a once over, and I guess he’s thinking what a come down from those six-foot tall, 100-pound models. He rejects most of the outfits I’ve laid out. He chooses mustard pants and a very loose top, jeans and a very loose top.
He brings in all the equipment: umbrella’s, four or so, a tripod, lighting, fanciest camera I’ve ever seen. I’m not worth it I think. He tells me where to stand, where to sit, where to look, and my smile feels frozen as though I have my toothbrush stuck sideways between my lips.
After two and a half hours, Dusty is satisfied and I suggest lunch at a nearby restaurant. Devouring a bacon cheeseburger and fries in record time, I ask when I might see the results of the shoot, hoping the word “shoot” isn’t one I’m going to use when I see the photos. By the time I’m back home alone, I know I’ve made a terrible mistake agreeing to pretend I’m a model and not the real domestic goddess I am as I pile the first of four loads of laundry in the washer.
I don’t have to wait long. I stare at the email with a subject line “Your photos.” I’m scared to open it. But I do and then I wonder who that woman is Dusty photographed. This woman has no blemishes, no age spots; she isn’t even pudgy. I love her. I want to be her. “You are her,” Dusty assures me, “Just some editing, a few cosmetic adjustments.” A few? It was far more than a few. It was a miracle photo shot by a genius photographer tackling his toughest job ever.
So what was this all about, you may well ask. Why did I do it? Well, it began with my needing an author photo and a website to promote my new book, Back Home. In other words, like so much of my life, it’s really about being a writer which means we’ll do whatever it takes because in the end it’s about love. My love for writing and readers . . . like you!