Friday, November 20, 2009

Lots of cussing, or Ben told me so, or Fuck it! As long as we're bedraggled and bleeding at the mall in our PJs, let's take a picture with Santa

It's odd that I don't cuss on this blog because if you know me in real life, you know that I have a mouth like a sailor. I just kind of feel like not everyone who reads this blog like swearing. Also Ben told me not to because it sounds trashy.

But today, I say fuck that because my experience at Picture People yesterday? Holy shitballs, it was fucking terrible.

Gather round the interwebs, my lovelies, and I will make liberal use of the f word and tell you all about my Chrismukkah card experience, which should make the card more special when it arrives in your mailbox or when I scan it and post it when I have run out things to say this month.

So, we had two perfectly nice candidates for Chrismukkah card pictures. A really cute one of the boys sitting back-to-back that I fucking forgot to upload before I went to the office, so you won't be able to see it because my laziness is the reason for this whole damn mess that is about to unfold. And this one:

This picture is scanned and whenever I tried to drop it in a cute little card on Shutterfly, it looked like total shit because of all the dust on my scanner and because it is also blurry. Also? None of us looks like that anymore because we have all changed our hair. And Woody is not part of the family, even though he thinks he is.

So, we decided on the cute picture of Harry and Jack, and I jumped on the Picture People's website to make a card.

Only you can't make a card online at Picture People.

So I wrote down the photo number and called the store, thinking I could just order on the phone.

Except you can't order pictures on the phone at Picture People.

So I made an appointment for a time when Jamie would be watching Harry and Jack, so I could drive 35 minutes to the other side of town and view my old pictures at Picture People and make some Chrismukkah cards. I was really annoyed that you can't use any coupons on previous sittings, so I'd have to pay full price for my cards (paying full price for that shit really makes me mad-- part of the reason I even like Picture People is the silly amount of coupons they send to my email).

Only I forgot that Jamie had to take the GRE this week and wouldn't be baby sitting during the time I was supposed to be making my Chrismukkah card.

So I decided that since I had to take the boys with me, I should dress them in snowman jammies, bring along milk, cookies, and my adorable Crate and Barrel snowman plates and mugs, and stage a scene where they pretend to drink Santa's milk and cookies and come up with a delightfully smart ass caption for my card. I mean, as long as I had to drag them with me, why not make some special memories and an even better card??

Apparently, I forgot a few other things as well: my common sense, that it's not even Thanksgiving and there was no need to rush into making a card, that Harry and Jack apparently hate to have their pictures taken and freak the fuck out every time we try, that I would be wrangling them solo, that my Crate and Barrel winterware would definitely get broken, that chain store photographers are trained to catch only certain moments and would surely miss all the cutest smiles and silliest faces, that the old picture was actually perfect because getting 2 kids to smile at the camera at the same time is a bona fide Chrismukkah miracle.

Ben remembered all of those things, though. He even told me about them. The asshole.

Bu I would not be dissuaded and once I set out to check our card off my to-do list, it became an obsession, and I couldn't think of anything else until it was done. I didn't even enjoy the Biggest Loser-- that's how preoccupied I was.

Harry was stoked when I picked him up from school and changed him into his PJ's-- he even accosted his Spanish teacher in the hall to learn the spanish word for them and he delighted in how much his Uggs look like slippers. They both slept the whole way there and were delightful as we pulled into the parking lot and they serendipitously awoke. Harry even broke into an a cappella rendition of "Jingle Bells" on our way through the food court, and jack clapped his appreciation. The moment the double stroller wheels crossed the Picture People threshold, though, shit went down.

We waited for 20 minutes before the "photog" was ready even though we were the only people in the store.

Harry at 8 cookies at the very beginning of the shoot and spent the rest of the time twitching from the sugar rush and acting out some elaborate game where we has santa marching like a dinosaur.

Jack never once looked at the camera and broke a snowman plate right away.

The "photographer" missed about 64 awesome shots because they weren't Picture People approved poses.

Then we waited for another hour after the pictures while the women working at the store tried to upload them to the computer. An hour. During which time Jack popped a balloon with his sharp fingers and made every child in a 3 store radius cry.

The highlight of our wait was when a woman came in to view pictures of her 6 week old and 3 year old and burst into loud, hiccuping tears because there wasn't a good shot of her boys together. I totally judged her and thought "Dude, baby blues much?" until it was my turn and all of our pictures sucked.

I didn't cry, but when the girl helping me told me Chrismukkah was not an option, and I had to choose between Christmas and Holidays, I said, "I can't stand this another minute," and took my double stroller full of screaming kids to the rainy parking lot, where I struggled to push it in a straight line and called Ben to scream at him for being right.

He suggested that I go back inside. The asshole.

I did.

The girl was not surprised to see me, and she let me bypass the part of the sales pitch where they bring out all these silly framed pictures (which I usually TOTALLY buy but had no patience for yesterday). When I told her what I wanted the caption of the card to be, she looked at me blankly and then typed in a really lame and inappropriately capitalized greeting. I went with it because the kids were screaming so loudly and I looked at them to threaten their lives if they didn't shut the hell up (NICELY, though) and noticed Harry had blood all over his face.

The counter girl noticed, too, and said, "Do you want a bandaid?"

At the mention of the word bandaid (of which he is terrified because to him they connote grave injury), Harry burst into hysterical, inconsolable tears. So I just got the fuck out of the store and waited for the cards to print-- which is why the caption is so inane.

I tried to convince the kids to put their fucking clothes on-- you know, because we were at the MALL-- but they were just scratching and wailing, so I figured fuck it-- let's go see Santa and get some H1N1 from his filthy beard and suit.

The Big Guy made the afternoon merry in an instant:

I am sure in a few years, I will have forgotten the staged PJ picture and will wonder why my bloody preschooler and his smiling little brother were at the mall in their jammies and shoes. I'll tell you why-- because we are CLASSY.

Jack doesn't look dangerous, does he?

But he is! Look at Harry's face!!

I collapsed on the bed among the clean laundry and let the children run wild for a few hours when we got home. Clearly, they had a blast.


  1. OMG! AWFUL! I cannot imagine. I need to get pictures of the boys together but am afraid to go by myself and afraid to go on a super crowded weekend. So yeah, my relatives will be getting some adorable picture taken by me of kids playing in dirt. Because that is what they do.

  2. Omg, I totally laughed the whole time I read this. First off, that Santa picture of them is so stinking cute!!! Also, I totally avoid swearing on my posts because if I do, my mom calls. Even though fuck and shit are my ultimate favorite words and I enjoy being creative and trying to fit them into as many sentences as possible. :)

  3. I am not looking forward to trying to get two kids in a picture and looking nice! It is hard enough to get just one to look at the camera! And I think the Santa picture is great. I bet you are now wishing that you had just done that and not the store ones!

  4. OMG best post ever! I was laughing my ass off. But the santa picture is a-dorable. Too bad you went through all that shit previously because you could have just used that one.

    I am SO. LOOKING. FORWARD. to taking a holiday card picture with all three kids when I am in the sleep-deprived postpartum fugue. Leaky boobs and probably a healing tear to top it all off. Happy hellidays!

  5. I am in stitches laughing... totally something that would happen to us too!! You deserve a bottle of wine after that :)

  6. tripod8:37 PM

    This is hilarious!
    I love the picture with Santa H1N1. I guess as long as he isn't a child sexual predator in real life, it's fine.
    I am no good with Santa pictures because it's one of those odd customs that make me feel like Margaret Meade. We caution the children not to talk to strangers ever. Then we set the kids on this stranger's lap!

  7. OMG, Sarah. I'm sorry to laugh to the point of crying at your expense, but seriously. Hilarious.

    And thank you for reminding me why I won't go to one of those places ever again. There's one right next to the coin-operated cars at our local mall and the kids always look so freaking cute going in there to have their pictures taken. I've been so tempted.

    Now? Not so much.