Our school system has started taking school pictures TWICE a year, once in fall ("The Classic") and now also once in spring ("The This Makes Us a LOT of Money, So How About We Do It Twice as Often").
I object. School pictures are ONCE A YEAR. Those cut-out frames, with a place for each grade's photo, have ONE PLACE PER GRADE. People who say "My fourth grade school photo" mean THE ONLY ONE TAKEN IN THAT GRADE.
I don't object TOO stridently, though, because all I have to do is "not buy any." At worst, it's a second day of the year I have to make sure the kids have haircuts and are wearing clean clothes, so that no one will think I am a parent who forgot Unnecessary Second School Picture Day.
Still, I am irked. Not STRIDENTLY irked, but irked, on principle. These photos are so much more expensive than a package deal at JCPenney's, for which I can print out a $7.99 coupon any time I want and get a 20-minute custom session where they try to get the facial expressions I'd like to have immortalized, rather than having my child stand in line and get a 6-second custom session where 3 seconds involve being told to stand stiffly and 2 seconds involve being asked to smile like they don't mean it. I do the school pictures each year rather than doing the $7.99 deal because (1) I HATE having to take kids to have their pictures taken, and (2) I HATE dealing with the sales pitch for additional shots afterward, and (3) school pictures are sooooooo tradiiiiiitional. But they are NOT sooooooo tradiiiiiiiitional TWICE a year.
I AM glad this year, though, because even though I didn't fill out the order form for photos, they sent home a proof sheet to try to tempt me to change my mind. And they did a little mock-up of what the child would look like against each of the eight background choices, which include, and I am not even kidding, "Floating Upright in Outer Space Posing for a Photo," "Standing Out in a Freezing Winter Field in Springtime Short Sleeves," "Standing in the Ocean, Apparently, With a Tropical Island Behind Me But I'm Wearing a Sweater Because Spring Was Late This Year," "In Some Sort of Mansion, I Guess, or Maybe a Museum," and "At a BASEBALL GAME, FTLOG." So I have free, tiny, stiffly-posed, insincere-expressioned photos of the twins in all these places now, and that was WELL WORTH the minor inconvenience of making sure they didn't have peanut butter on their shirts that day.
(I believe if you click the photos you can see them larger. But not MUCH larger, because they ARE tiny.)
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...