Saturday, November 9, 2019

The School Pictures

When you're a teacher, you get a school picture packet like the kids do. You don't have to pay. The picture company just sends you an envelope with a 5x7 and several wallets.

Sometimes if the picture was good, I'd send a photo of myself to my mother. Because what else are you supposed to do with multiple school-style headshots when you're a full-fledged grown-up?

Also, most years, regardless of the quality of the photo and sometimes especially if it was bad, I would cut up the wallets, sign the backs ("Stay Super Sweet!" or "BFF!") and give them out to my friends. I did this in an ironic sort of way. Like, I knew it was funny to give out school photos when I was actually 27 or 33 or 41. People laughed. My school friends would cut up their own photos, give me 2x3s, and I'd put them on the bulletin board behind my desk.

I bring this up because it occurred to me the other night that handing people copies of my novel feels sort of like handing out school photos. Except unironically, but also uncomfortably. You hand a friend a book, and you're asking, Would you like a copy of something I did? Would you like to stare at it indefinitely? Would you like to spend eight hours with it and then have to pretend that you liked it? And, should I sign my name in the front? #BFF?

I'm looking forward to feeling less awkward about this. How long do you think it will take?


LH said...

This year there was a box on the school picture form that said, "If you give up your free teacher pix, we will donate two
free picture packages to students. So I checked that. Later I was glad because my picture was dumb, but then later after that I wanted the picture anyway. So I need to think that through next year.

You're going to get very used to signing that book. Soon it will be very easy peasy lemon squeezy. The book is fire and I predict you'll be signing an awful lot of them.

Anonymous said...

I think giving them to friends will always feel somewhat uncomfortable as you are giving away a part of you and are hoping it will be liked. Signing them for fans will be easy peasy as they will be lined up hopeful to meet and interact with you! The life of an author has begun! I loved those school photo and glad the tradition will continue for the boys.😊 mom