14 May, 2010

Photopicturegraphs and other obnoxiousness.

So, I'm constantly reminded of the differences between my upbringing and that of Himself. There are inevitably going to be communication issues with any couple of mixed nationalities, same mother tongue notwithstanding. My most favourite thing in the whole wide world is when we re-enact the following scene:

Himself: "Blah blah blah, (insert show from his childhood that never aired in the States so I have no bloody idea what he's on about)."
Me: "What?"
Himself: "Repeats show name a little louder, like this will make me know what the hell he's talking about."

Because this isn't frustrating in the slightest to me.

Under normal circumstances, this is about as bad as it gets. Yes, it's annoying, but it's nothing I wouldn't expect from any couple in the same situation. You have your moment of "I seriously may kill him this time" and you move on.

That said, every now and then our differing upbringings actually hurts my feelings. My family (my grandmother, in particular) is very big on recording moments, whether it be on video or in photographs. I grew up having a camera thrust insistently into my face on such a regular basis that I developed a permasmile around holiday times. She videoed all us grandkids after every first day of school, asking what teachers we had and what classes we had on our schedules for the year, whether any of our friends had the same arrangements, what our favourite foods or colours were at the time, just to put the minutiae of our lives on film for future enjoyment and hilarity. I remember thinking it was the dumbest thing I'd ever had to endure, and I remember being embarrassed at being filmed, etc. Now, I'm so glad she did that for us, because it was definitely for us (and not "to us" as we thought at the time).

My memory is notoriously rubbish, I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast this morning much less where my first date with Himself took place or what I was wearing at the time (which, yes, he remembers). I love that I can look back through my childhood via these videos and the multitude of photos my family made sure to take at every big moment. First haircuts, first lost teeth, first car, homecoming dates and prom dates and date dates, it's all there. Regrettable hairstyles, even more regrettable ocular accessories, too much flannel during the early 90's, socks with sandals that one Easter that I decided various shades of brown from head to toe was the appropriate look for the day...

I've adopted this view of life with a vengeance, to the point that all I asked for this Christmas/birthday from my entire family was a new camera. With this camera, in the six days between Christmas Eve when I took receipt of said camera and my return to the UK, I managed to take over seven hundred photos. Yes, that was OVER SEVEN HUNDRED PHOTOS. At least half of them are terrible, badly framed or when I managed to put my hand in front of the flash and ruin the shot, but here's the thing... some of them are brilliant. There's one of my sister throwing a snowball at me and part of it captured in mid-air is perfectly shaped like a heart. There's another sister's hysterically joyous reaction to getting that perfect present. There are several sets of photos that document entire scenes out of Texas Life, where thanks to insanely quick shutter speed I've managed to catch the moment my sister realised my brother had demolished her freshly built snowman, the subsequent furious chase around the front yard, the forcible feeding of a snowball to said brother, and the ever poignant "I'm sorry hug", which said brother patented and we all know is a total farce as he'll be back to his old tricks as soon as he extricates himself from your loving arms.

The point of all the rambling was simply this. Himself had his first ever driving lesson this afternoon at the ripe old age of thirty. I waited around the flat, postponing heading to work by maybe ten minutes, just because I wanted to document this moment. To me, the fact that he's just now learning to drive is a foreign concept. In the States, most of us start at fifteen or sixteen. To put it another way, I've been driving for fifteen years, exactly half my life. I know that due to where he grew up and the fact that he then lived in London with access to public transport made learning to drive unnecessary, but it doesn't change how odd it seems to me. So yeah, the driving instructor rang the bell, I got out the camera, and then it happened. Himself says "I'd rather you didn't." It stopped me cold, at first I didn't know what he was on about. When I realised he meant that he didn't want me to take a picture, I didn't really have a choice but to put the camera away and leave for work before my recently rollercoaster-ish hormones had me in tears. That's a moment, lost. I'm getting a little weepy even now. *lol*

So, from now on, I might just not give him a choice. You hear me, mate? Get used to being papped, buddy. *grin*

To sign off, here are a few of my own favourite moments, frozen for my pleasure, and now hopefully for yours.

This is the heart snowball one previously mentioned...

This is at my 30th birthday party, when my brother took advantage of a moment in which he thought nobody would catch him taking a bite out of the remnants of my birthday cake...

And this is the very picture of laziness...

I love these moments. They make me happy.

On that note, to bed with me. Good night, one and all.

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