when i was in kindergarten, i was introduced to a tortuous ritual i had never heard of before: picture day. my mom and i practiced smiling for the entire month before that fateful day. every time i passed a mirror, i paused to give the mirror my best happy smile.
on the day of, i put on my frilly easter dress, had my mom do my hair in a bun that made it look like i had no hair [i already looked too girly in my dress], and marched into the classroom as my mom called, "smile pretty!" after me. i was all set for the best kindergarten pictures ever.
when i got into the room with the photographer, i sat on the stool and got all ready to flash my winning smile. for some reason, the photographer felt the need to say, "look sad". i understand the irony now, but did he seriously think a kindergartner would find humor in this? i am by nature a people-pleaser [my best and worst quality]. kindergarten laura was horrified to have everything she had been taught for the past month be completely contradicted in one fell swoop. i did not want to blatantly disobey the photographer, but i also did not want to disappoint my mommy, or look ridiculous and sad for my picture, so i settled for nothing. i didn't smile and i didn't look sad. i blankly stared at the camera. yes. full-on deer in the headlights status. it was a very traumatic moment in my young life, but now my family and i just laugh every time we unpack the christmas ornaments to find the clay star with my infamous picture glued to it surrounded by glitter.
all this to say that i have found a new song to be obsessed with, and it reminds me of this [hopefully endearing] story.