I was advised that I needed a new head shot. The last public image of me is from my book cover, seven years ago.

A lot changes in seven years, apparently.

I knew just the right person to ask for this task⎯my husband. He was the last person to snap my public image, and, if I am anything in life, it’s loyal.

I mean, he did study photography in college. We own a collection of BlindSpot publications. He taught me about Gregory Crewdson and Nan Goldin. When we first moved in together fifteen years ago, I contributed a charcoal drawing of Jimi Hendrix. He plunked down a coffee table book by photographer, Hiroshi Sugimoto.

But for a brief, flittering moment, it dawned on me that my husband is an artist who tells emotional stories with his camera. Maybe he was a piss-poor choice to freshen-up my LinkedIn profile? Maybe the lady at CVS who takes passport photos understands more what I am looking for.

Friday was the day I picked for said “photo shoot.” I selected my most bland top. My hair was styled, i.e. blow-dried, followed by a short wrestling stint with a curling iron. Make-up was applied. The sun peeked through the windows. Perfect.

After about forty or so photos, amid four different locations throughout my house, and one lingering comment that “I pose funny just before a frame is snapped”, my head shots were done. I eagerly uploaded my images. Voila!

So many eye wrinkles! Is that red dot on my forehead just that noticeable? Why do I tilt my head like I am a five-year-old nestling a kitten? It wasn’t a good idea to snack while taking photos. A few images forever document something green stuck in my back teeth.

Sigh. I said: “I guess I am just not that attractive anymore. But that’s okay. Thanks for taking the photos for me.”

While I accepted my pictorial fate, my husband looked crestfallen: “I think you are pretty. I can use a lens that’s more flattering. I didn’t know you wanted that.”

What?

Excuse me?

A more flattering lens is available? And was not selected!?

Did my husband forget everything he knows about women? So, with one lens change later (and apparently there is still another kind of lens that is even MORE flattering but we don’t own it), I have a new profile picture. And hopefully this one is good for at least another seven years.

Here are two other portraits that I thought about today: one is drawn by me; and the other, is of Bea Arthur, (actress from Golden Girls) by John Currin.  

artwork

I had dinner tonight with my husband, David, at Le Petit Cafe in a sleepy beach town in Connecticut. We were the youngest diners by about 90 years. As I discovered the “extraordinary” 2004 NY Times review framed on the wall above the back table, I thought “impressive” and “wow, this place is pretty rad” and “how special that we are here.” I thought of Ratatouille and how the critic must have loved the food from her childhood when she came to this joint.

Quite simply, the food was amazing. But along with my chamomile tea, I was delivered a bout of explosive diarrhea and nearly crapped my pants.

But why the colon cleanse? It wasn’t the dinner. Couldn’t be. Could it be that instant? The sea scallops were heavenly. It must have been lunch. I replayed the days’ culinary intake, as I sweat.

Was it the milk in the tea at lunch? The three bites of chicken parm sandwich my father-in-law brought home and I ate while standing-up and nursing my baby? Doesn’t matter. Too late to figure out now. Maybe it’s the prospect of moving to La Jolla? My second bout of explosive diarrhea visited as Dave signed the check. Didn’t have much time to think. Must pull down pants now.

My second visit to the restroom was harried, as all second visits to bathrooms are. I realized I was in the men’s room when a) it was less clean the previous bathroom I just used, b) there was some pee on the floor, c) the toilet seat was raised and d) the hand soap was neutrogena face wash (or so it seemed).

Anyway, we’re moving to San Diego in ten days. I’ve been living out of a suitcase since July. My daughters were put to sleep by grandpa tonight and here I was out on a date with Dave, in a classy restaurant, enjoying my dessert and last sips of wine before facing a total unknown fate.

And as weird as reading a top notch review from a NY Times food critic while pooping your brains out is (they posted the review on the wall of the restroom), nothing compares to the weirdness of moving to Southern California to set-up a life when you’ve only visited that region of the country for 4 days. You’re a New Yorker at heart. You don’t have a back tattoo to show-off. And the only person you know is the broker who got you your rental property. And you think he’s nice but that’s his job description.