This year my sister and her husband were visiting my mom for Thanksgiving. Combined with my brother’s visit to me, all of her children were more or less in the same place and she really wanted a family portrait. (Especially since our last one has my sister’s ex-boyfriend in it, for some reason.) I understand that my mother values these family portraits, but I find it a bit strange. I LOVE pictures (obviously, given how many of them grace this blog.) I love looking back through mine and being instantly transported back to that moment in time. Each photo, no matter how mundane, is an instant memory. But my sister and I are still not speaking and I wasn’t super excited about memorializing this particular period in time.
Add to it that we’d be driving to and from Portland in one day (7 hours of driving, woo hoo!) and I can’t really say I was looking forward to it. Sigh. But like I said, I know it’s important to my mom, so I was willing to suck it up. Despite the fact that it meant an even earlier wake up call, we decided to start our morning off with a trip to the Capitol Hill location of Skillet.
I added a decadent bruléed grapefruit to my already fantastic breakfast:Then it was time to drive. Thankfully, everyone was busy shopping and not on the freeway, so there was no traffic. The plan was to meet for lunch near the Clackamas Shopping Center and we made it there without incident. It was awkward to be seated across from my sister but not talk to her or even say hello. Then it was even more awkward to feel like everyone else at the table was watching me to see my reaction, etc. Since I’m not typically the “silent treatment” type, the whole thing sucked. My mom, Nerissa and I had opted for a nice cocktail, which helped ease the tension. Erik also makes an excellent distraction and chattered with Allissa and Paul about the house they’re planning to buy, which eased some of the awkwardness.
Then it was time to head to the photographer’s studio. There’d been some talk about doing the shoot outside, which seemed like a bad idea to us, but we left it to my mom to make the final call. I think the photographer was really sold on the idea, as he didn’t really give my mom much of an option. The downside, besides the fact that it was freezing, was getting my dad to where he wanted to shoot. It was really difficult to get his wheelchair over the rough terrain, but we got it done. The photographer went to get some equipment, so we got back there to see a dark, creepy shed filled with hay bales:
Finally, things got underway. We’ve had a lot of these family portraits taken, with a wide range of photographers, but far and away the worst kind: the “schticky” photographer. This guy was from the “Take my wife. Please.” school of “comedy.” It was the worst. Particularly, when his patter would range into the insulting territory. Teasing my socially awkward brother about his receding hairline? Super uncool. But in our usual fashion, we made our own fun:
The whole experience was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. We had to pretty much drive back home right after the picture, since Wally was in his crate for most of the day (save for a visit from the dog walker). We came home, had some leftovers and had a fun evening drinking wine and playing Cards Against Humanity. Very much looking forward to getting to sleep in tomorrow!