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Change is not always good...

I can't take that "how weird is your LJ?" quiz thing, because I have no interests, and apparently that is a sticking point. Oh well. It's not like the recent kerfuffle made me want to rush to *start* listing interests.

But that's not really what this post is about.

Last week I went to the RMV to renew my license. (An hour and a half of the Land That Time Forgot, in terms of the wait; if the RMV is only going to have evening hours one day a week, you might think they would make an effort to have *every* service booth manned, instead of, say, 3 out of the 5 license booths. Yes, you *might* think that, but you'd be wrong.) It's fairly axiomatic, I think, that pictures for IDs always suck. Perfectly normal people wind up looking like strung-out drug-runners or something. But when I first got my license almost 9 years ago, (yes, I didn't get a license until very late), unaccountably, my picture was GREAT. It wasn't just great for a driver's license picture -- it was a great picture *of me*, and such things are rare as hen's teeth. People kept remarking on how unusually good it was.

Well, this time when I renewed my license, they made me get a new photo taken. I have now joined the common ranks of all those who have a Crappy Driver's License photo. *sigh*

Now, I also need to renew my passport, after 12 years. (Yes, it expired 2 years ago, but I'm lazy.) And I opened up my old one and was looking at it, and dammit -- 12 years ago, I was cute! That was actually quite a good picture of me! What HAPPENED? *sigh* (Nevermind, I know what happened.) So I went into the post office today and got new pictures taken. They are -- needless to say -- AWFUL.

It's not very fun to be reminded that 9 years ago, or 12 years ago, you looked *that* much better than you look today (even though at the time you probably did not appreciate that fact at all). It makes you feel like, today, you look like a sad, squashed toad, or something; and because you know yourself, you know how very, very unlikely it is that you, personally, will use the cute 12-years-ago picture as inspiration to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and get in shape and get *back* to something close to that. Yes, you know yourself, and you know that what you're actually going to do is be really, really tempted to eat comfort food that is bad for you and that got you into this mess in the first place.

Bleah. (None of this is helped by being PMS-y.)

Also? The last time I got a passport photo taken, I was smiling. So this time when I got my new photo taken, I smiled. And the USPS lady who took the photo did not remark on this. But when I got back to my office, my boss told me that she thought we weren't allowed to be smiling/showing teeth in passport photos any more. That the USPS lady who took *her* photo (she had to do this in the past couple of weeks, too) told her *not* to smile. I just checked the State Dept. website and it says, "The customer should have a natural expression, mouth closed, and eyes open and looking directly ahead." I'm going to have to try to ask when I go to the post office tomorrow to send this stuff out. Grrrr.

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
jenlev
Jun. 7th, 2007 12:34 am (UTC)
according to my sister b., there are no liscence photos in the universe worse than hers. having seen it, i'd have to agree. i hope this gives you...er, hope.

and, ack about the limitations of the passport photo. *hugs* too bad they don't let us hold up our hands in a peace sign. i would you know.

ex_hedgies507
Jun. 7th, 2007 12:40 am (UTC)
I just got my new passport and I'm grinning like a fool in my picture - teeth and everything. I had it taken at the post office, too and the guy even told me to smile.
eregyrn
Jun. 7th, 2007 12:44 am (UTC)
Huh! Okay, it's good to know that you submitted a passport photo with a toothy smile, and it didn't, like, get returned to you as invalid. (That's what I'd like to avoid.)

I was doing some digging around online, and apparently in Sept. of 2005, the UK and a lot of its commonwealth (Canada, Jamaica, etc.) started prohibiting smiling on passport photos. But I couldn't find anywhere on the US State Dept's website where it said clearly or not whether it was prohibited.
green_grrl
Jun. 7th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)
Of course you could always use it as an excuse to take a new picture...
maxineofarc
Jun. 7th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
You want horror? The Maryland driver's license PRINTS YOUR WEIGHT.

I WOULD HAVE LIED.
surreallis
Jun. 7th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
I KNOW. I used to at least take fair pictures, but now? I recently had to get both a new driver's liscence pic and passport, and feh! I'm beet-red in the DL pic, and in the passport photo they zoom in really close on your face and then blow the thing up. I swear you can see the individual molecules. It's just... ECK!
troyswann
Jun. 7th, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
Demoralizing. *pets* I had a great DL photo once, too. Best picture of me ever. And then I got my passport photo (no smiling! Make sure you look just.like.a.serial.killer), and I look just.like.a.serial.killer. I'm constantly surprised they don't just lock me up the second they see my photo, because clearly, I'm just waiting for someone to serial kill. (note to random observers: I am not, in fact, waiting to serial kill, passport photo notwithstanding). Passport photos are designed to make you so demoralized that you can't be bothered to get up to something nefarious.

And photos can't catch the bright inside you that makes people like you, so you should remember that. They can't get that light in your eyes and all that stuff that makes you really beautiful. That's what I think.

*hug*

I will also go bruce banner on the asses of photographs wot make you sad *bruce banners*
catspaw_sgjd
Jun. 7th, 2007 06:57 am (UTC)
I have a theory about the serial killer look: I'm convinced that the customs people only stop the people that *don't* look like serial killers on their passports because obviously they must be the ones with something to hide. Reverse psychology ::nods::
raqs
Jun. 8th, 2007 09:49 pm (UTC)
Pompous grandstanding, in no particular order:

1. I told you you were a hottie for years. Why didn't you ever listen to me?

2. You might not look just the way you did then, but you COULD look great for your age NOW, and there's no reason not to look as good as you can.

3. (Says the chick who spent $80 on a haircut and $35 on makeup just this week.)

4. Sorry about the new photos, man. It sucks worse when the old ones were good. However, you had a good photo for years, so that's cheering. Put it next to the mirror for when you're PMSy.

5. You never listen to me.

6. Stephen told me you're going out to NZ this summer. Without me? You suck.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )