Picture Day

As the sole woman in my household, I’m often outnumbered when it comes to decisions. Watch the game or Scandal? The game. (Fine, I’ll watch Scandal by myself, the way I LIKE IT.) What’s for dinner? Pizza or Chinese takeout? OK, call Papa John.

But the one realm where I assert total authority – what I say, goes – is school picture day. This is MY THING. I do the ordering and the dressing and everyone can just shut the hell up, smile nice for the camera, and go on with their lives.

So picture day is today. But let me back up and tell you what happened this weekend before I tell you what happened today. Saturday morning, I’m cleaning up dishes from breakfast, and my husband is at the kitchen table, which also doubles for the place where kids’ papers go to die. There’s a pile on the table, and if the paper is more than five deep, it may as well be in a black hole, because it’s never seeing the light of day again.

Anyway, both the kids’ picture forms are at the top of the pile, and my husband, thinking he is being helpful, says, “I’m just going to fill these out now so we’re not doing it Thursday morning at the last minute.” Thoughtful, right? It shows some insight and forethought that is usually absent in the male mind. I was ok with this plan, as long as he ordered the picture packages I wanted. He fills out the kids’ names, their teachers’ names, etc., and then he looks at all the packages. “I’m just going to get the cheapest one,” he says because we’ve established that he is a cheap bastard, and then when I turned white as a sheet, he told me he was joking and just said it to get a rise out of me. Very funny. But then, a few minutes later, he said, “I’m just going to order magnets, because everybody likes those, right?”

I waited for the punchline.

There wasn’t one.

“So, you mean, like, INSTEAD of getting photos, just … getting … the magnets?” I was struggling to understand this. And to breathe.

“Yeah,” he said.

I paused here, giving him ample opportunity to back down. When he didn’t, I said, “You know what? I will fill out the forms.”

He got kind of pissed and threw the pen down on the table in disgust. I don’t see why he was mad – he knows I’m anal, and honestly, ordering school pictures is total chick territory. He had no business venturing into lady land in the first place.

So I got the picture forms under control, wrote the checks, got that shit squared away. I also planned the outfits for the boys and made sure they were clean. That’s right, I #nailedit on preparation.

Cue this morning. Older child puts on his designated outfit without question or complaint. This is shocking because his everyday attire usually consists of an Under Armour t-shirt/hoodie and athletic shorts/pants with some kind of outrageously-colored socks (this is a whole other post – boys’ socks). Anyway, he’s good to go. The younger one, however, is NOT HAVING IT with the shirt OR the shorts I set out for him. He wants “the shirt I wore to Papa’s house.” Papa is his great-grandfather, and we haven’t been to his house in almost a year. I can’t remember what shirt he wore yesterday, let alone which one he wore to Papa’s. He starts tearing shirts out of his dresser drawer and I am trying to not go completely psychotic over the chaos.

He didn’t find whatever shirt it was … chances are, he outgrew it because it was so long ago. He did, however, find a plaid button-down long-sleeve shirt, which he wore in our holiday photos, but whatever. Not going to argue with him at this point because I’m now late for work. He wore that, plus some long pants on this 80-degree day, as opposed to the nice kelly green polo and khaki shorts I had planned for him. His loss.


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