And I said that I knew my family would post them on Facebook and tag me, and I would be annoyed because I would look all sweaty and gross and wilty and all of my ex-boyfriends would see them and be all like, “Oh, thank GOD I dodged that bullet”?
A little aside: If you’re wondering why I have ex-boyfriends on my Facebook page, it’s because I’m a pretty good judge of character and all of the guys I’ve ever dated were pretty awesome—with the exception of the one who showed up, drunk, at my family’s Thanksgiving celebration the year we broke up and stood on my dad’s driveway screaming, “Dirty whore! Dirty whore!” while the entire extended family watched from the big picture window in the living room.
To be fair, I was kind of a dirty whore, my mom reminded me as we sipped our wine and watched him throw his hands up in the air in frustration as he let loose his string of profanities about me…but still, no matter how much entertainment he provided for us that night, I haven’t accepted his several friend requests.
Most of the rest of my exes, though, are really great guys with whom I remained friends after our breakups.
So anyway, the family pictures did end up posted on Facebook, and I did look all sweaty and gross and wilty and frizzy, so I can only surmise that my ex-boyfriends actually did have the response that I imagined they would.
But for some reason, I wasn’t really as bothered by it all as I thought I would be. Probably because I was too busy trying to clean up the mess of familial discord caused by the damned pictures.
What happened was, my older sister posted the pictures and tagged me in the ones that she knew I would find acceptable. And I have to say, she did a great job. Of all of the pictures, she put up the ones where I looked the least sweaty and gross and wilty and frizzy.
But then suddenly, in the comments section under the pictures, I noticed that my mom had something to say about them:
You assholes only posted the pictures of you kids with your dad. I KNEW you liked him better! I know I was the one who cheated, but it was 23 effing years ago. It’s time we all got over it.
Remember, peeps: This was on the comment section of my Facebook page.
I sighed when I saw it, and I knew it was time for a phone call to my mom.
“Holy shit, Mom,” I said when she picked up the phone. “Is there some special type of joy you get from airing our familial dirty laundry?”
“Oh, yeah, Shay, because you’re really one to talk. If I have to read another blog post about what a dirty slut you used to be, I’ll just stop fcking reading.”
Just a touch angry, then. I suppose that when I publish this post, I should steer her in the opposite direction so she doesn’t have to be subjected, once again, to my dirty whore Thanksgiving story above.
“MOM,” I said. “Have you met my older sister and me? I mean, you did carry each of us in your womb, bear us, and raise us, right? Have you forgotten how vain we are?”
“Nooo,” my mom said slowly, and I could tell she was coming around to at least hearing me out.
“Mom, you know damned well that Ursula* and I only post the photos that we look good in, blatantly disregarding anyone else in the picture. In fact, we don’t even really give a shit if there is anyone else in the picture as long as we look good. Remember the Christmas cards I tried to order that one year?”
My mom tried to hide it, but I heard her reluctant chuckle at the other end of the line.
I once almost spent $150 on Christmas cards made from a picture in which my husband’s eyes were closed. Thank God he walked up behind me at the computer just before I pushed the button to finalize my order.
“You’re not ordering prints from that picture, are you, Shay?” he asked, peering over my shoulder.
“Totally,” I replied. I pointed to myself in the picture. “Look how swoopy my hair looks in it,” I said, gazing admiringly at my own image.
My husband flicked my finger to the right a little bit so that it was now pointing at his face in the picture. “Shay, my eyes are closed in this one! You can’t use it for our Christmas cards!”
My shoulders slumped. “Oh, shit,” I said. “I hadn’t even noticed that.”
In all actuality, I was kind of mad that I hadn’t finalized the order before he caught me. I didn’t give a shit if his eyes were closed…you guys, my hair looked really good in that picture. Nobody was going to be looking at my husband when they saw that glistening mass of bleached blonde to his left.
As my mom and I reminisced about Christmas Cardgate, I could see that she was coming around and that she really did believe me: The choice of family pictures that my sister had posted had had nothing to do with which parent we loved more.
Still, though, my sister and I scrambled to find another picture to post, this time with Mom in it.
And it totally wasn’t our fault that in the one we liked of us the best, Mom’s eyes were closed. The woman is 59 years old, we rationalized. More than enough years of photos taken to know that when the photographer counts to 3, you should have your damned eyes open.
Ah, the perils of coming from a broken home…
*My older sister's name is not Ursula, but since I write anonymously, I get to have fun making up names for family members depending on my mood. And you know what? Despite the fact that I love her very much and we get along quite well, I don't think I'll ever be in the mood to call my older sister something cute like Emily or Stephanie. This way is just so much more fun (for me).