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I have worked as a paid model on exactly two occasions for a boudoir photography class held at Austin Art Institute, and in one such session, the most glamourous picture anyone has ever (and probably will ever) take of me was created. It looks like this and was taken by Tea Eiland, who is fabulously talented…

…wouldn’t you say?

I cannot stress enough how very disingenuous of me this photograph is. I am not nearly so milky-skinned, nor have I such a refined air. In fact in color, this outfit was clownish–fluorescent red and blue and orange makeup. But this photograph here is the one that I envision showing some grandkids and saying “you know, your old memere wasn’t always an old biddy!”

One day I was visiting with my pal April and she interrupts me to say “Oh oh! I almost forgot I have to tell you! So I was at the Art Institute the other day, and I come around the corner, and there is this larger-than-life photograph in black and white. And suddenly it clicks that it’s you! There is this giant photograph of you on display as a final project!”

H-what? There is a giant picture of me. I mean, if there was ever a photograph of me that I would want blown up, that would be the one. However. It is a weird, but flattering, but weird thought. I am flattered, endlessly, that anybody I met once thought enough of a visual representation that was even a suggestion of what I look like to make it LARGE. If it had come up before, I would have described myself as a small photos kinda gal. “I look best in a locket,” I might say. And the value of the art has nothing to do with my contribution, I just sat there and tried not to smirk, and besides, it doesn’t really even look like me anyway. The true beauty is Tea’s fabulous eye and generous photoshoppery.

But it is still a picture of me, and that’s still weird to a girl raised in a household very disparaging of vanity. But because I know this exists, I wonder what will ever become of that giant picture of me. In the near term, it would remain in the possession of the photographer, but eventually . . . what? Will it be discarded in a move? Might somebody purchase a giant picture of me, and if so, what would they do with it?

The answer would appear to be “nobody really wants a giant picture of me,” because Tea posted on Facebook that she would be giving away her large prints to the models in them. Which means! I will soon be in possession of the giant picture of me. Which was very exciting for the first few minutes until I realized that there is nowhere to put a giant picture of anyone that isn’t a little weird, particularly if it is one of the hostess. Maybe if we had a mansion or some shit, I could put that thing in the foyer, but we don’t, so our options are limited. I could put it above the couch, but I can only imagine how I would feel if I walked into somebody’s house and the first thing I saw was this huge picture of the bitch, and it is not how I want somebody to feel about me.

Usually I relegate stuff I feel obligated to put out in the bathroom, but that’s probably the worst place for obvious reasons. Similarly, the guest room is straight out, and ugh, who wants to eat in the dining room while I watch them from two different angles? This is even WORSE than my Scary Clown painting, because at least that can go in the entry way or in the context of our weird stuff collection. This leaves only the master bedroom, and Dano did not have to think twice to say that would be way too weird.

Verily, no albatross has hung so heavy as That Giant Picture of Me.



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