DionRabouin.com (sort of)

My favorite picture

There’s a picture of me that still hangs in my mother’s house to this day. It’s a sweet, innocuous little picture that she keeps on her bureau of her and me from our family reunion in Estes Park a number of years ago. I think I was about seven or eight because I know we were living in Colorado at the time and we moved to God forsaken Topeka, KS when I was 10.

In the picture, my mother is on the right smiling ever so lovingly into the camera and next to her is my countenance, turned down in an unforgiving scowl. I’m dressed in a suit, specially made for a seven or eight year old and she’s in one of her favorite dresses.

In the picture next to it is the entire family, everyone from my grandmother and all her brothers and sisters, their children, and their children. It’s three generations all in one glorious photo with the mountainous backdrop serving as the perfect setting. And then there’s me right smack in the middle with that same sour scowl.

I refused to smile for the picture, despite my mother’s poking, prodding and pleading, I refused. I wouldn’t smile because I wasn’t happy. I didn’t want to wear a suit, I hated getting dressed up and I didn’t want to be in the picture. The fact that all my uncles, great aunts, cousins and every other relative I had in the world were there didn’t mean a thing to me because I had to wear a suit and I didn’t want to.

I’m still proud of that photo to this day because I stood up for what was important to me. However trivial it may have actually been, there for the rest of my life is me in my childish despondency over being forced to wear a suit. To this day I hate dressing up. And to this day I won’t force a smile just because a camera’s going off. But the best thing about that picture is that to this day it still sits in my mother’s house, on her bureau, for the world to see.

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