Monday, January 12, 2015

Show us your hits

It's a new year... or it was, a few days ago. I would have posted sooner, but I am so damn forgetful these days. For that reason, I have made myself a list of all the photos I must remember to take this year.

If you're anything like me, despite the ease of use of new technology and the handiness of carrying around a high quality camera built right into your phone, you somehow manage to forget to take pictures all the time. I am so lazy that when I do remember to take photos, I very often forget to download them. And don't even get me started on how infrequently I actually print them (typically a very haste filled printing session as I wrap picture frames on Christmas eve, assuming I have a functioning ink cartridge, which let's face it, I usually don't).

Thankfully I am reminded of all of the pictures I should take but forget to take via my friends and their Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Snapchat* posts. In my messed up mind, their photos are a reminder of all the parenting/life successes I could be having. Hoping to turn around my lazy, forgetful ways in the new year, and possibly to help a few others out there like me, here is my list of the 15 pictures we must remember to take (*and post, because if we don't post it to social media, did it even happen?)

1-New Year's Day
My photo-driven anxiety kicks into full gear starting January 1st. Seeing cute, creative pictures of people either from their New Year's Eve celebration or day after chill-axing is wonderful. Accompanying the photo with a simple yet uplifting note of inspiration and positivity for the new year is amazing. But after a long day nursing a hangover that shouldn't have been so bad, but I'm older now so they just are, the last thing on my mind is "capture this moment." I'm usually left scrambling for a tiara or cheap sunglasses denoting the new year to stick on the kid's head to document that this day actually happened. The message that accompanies it might as well say: Happy New Year to my 30 dear friends, 256 acquaintances, 10 people I kinda, sorta remember from my grade school days and my friend Mary's uncle Bob.

2-Winter Day O' Family Fun
At some point in the winter we all break off into groups based on our geographical locations.
For those of us who purchase and really use winter coats, this means a gratuitous photo of our family having "the most" fun playing outside, building a replica of our family out of snow after tubing/sledding before our family hot chocolate session.
For those southerners out there, you get to post the jealousy-inducing photos of your family having "the most" fun playing outside, building a replica of your family out of sand on the beach after tubing/water-skiing before your family ice cream sundae session.
The skilled warm weather dwellers in the group know to post those pictures two-to-three days after a massive snow storm up north, once our good will towards the snow and all its fun has dried up.

3-Valentine's Day
Another day when the posts fall into two very different groups. A bitter MEME about not needing flowers and loving vodka VS. a gooey message professing your undying love for someone. This polarizing day sure brings a lot of hate with all that love. Hopefully this year everyone knows that any post being made on February 14th is going to either be a #DONT for its funny but uncomfortably awkward gloominess or a #BRAG for its in-your-face, my bouquet is bigger than your bouquet-ness. Don't forget these all-important hashtags to make sure we know which is which.

4-Winter Day O' Complaint
Hey, remember last winter with that polar vortex thing and crazy cold weather that we all thought (hoped?) would be a one-time only thing? Well they are saying this winter is going to be worse. I'm still not sure who the theys are, but that's what they're saying, and they usually know these things.
So, several weeks after our well documented day of winter fun comes the bleak, white-out/snow drift photos taken through the glass because we simply can't be asked to put on boots and a coat just to prove how much snow we have. And yet for some reason we must show everyone just how much snow we have.

5-Vacation, All I Ever Wanted
The key to these photos is making sure they are posted while most of the rest of the world is stuck in their wintry gloominess. Sure, you could post pix of a ski trip (assuming they include amazing bikini photos in a hot tub), but we all know the true winners of this category have the turquoise sea or pool across the top and your feet resting comfortably on a towel or lounger at the bottom, sand optional. Bonus points for a visible adult beverage.

6-Random Holiday Fun
This could take the form of a successful April Fools post, or it could just be you in a bathtub full of Coronas on Cinco de Mayo. The point here is that you not only know all about the fun holidays of the year but that you are nailing them!

7-Summer Baller
The only way to prove how much we enjoy the summer is to make sure everyone gets to see the fabulous way we spend it. Own an amazing beach house? Post it. Just renting one? Post it. Just visiting one? Post it. Heck, slow down when you're driving by one and post it... I'm not gonna know the difference. What is the point of having over 400 friends but to allow for the law of social media averages which clearly states that you will be somewhere better than at least one of them at any given time?

8-Back to school
Yes, our kids attend school. And yes, they all head back to school at the end of the summer/early fall. Somehow this became a really big deal involving banners, posters, chalkboards, fancy dress and multi-colored chalk answers to questions like: When I grow up I want to be? and My greatest educational inspiration is? and How much better is my parent than your parent cause they are documenting this day officially, not just snapping a pic of me with pop tart on my chin as I rush out the door with the angry bus driver waiting in the background?

9-Fall Day O' Family Fun
I have already documented this annual ritual in my post It's the Great Pain-in-the-ass Charlie Brown. Year after year we continue to subject ourselves to the hell that is the pumpkin patch/apple orchard/hay ride for the few moments of fun that is the pumpkin patch/apple orchard/hay ride mainly in search of the elusive photo documenting those fleeting moments of family harmony and joy.

10-Halloween Costumes
Whether traditional, timely, witty or just plain silly, we have to post a pic of our Halloween costumes. Something has to justify their $30+ annual price tag. Let us also take this chance to acknowledge that we, each one of us, has the cutest kid, even if it is the fourteenth Elsa I'm seeing on my newsfeed today... or whatever THE costume is this year.

11-Have yourself an awkward little Christmas: December (cause seriously, November is ridiculous)
Time to break out the Christmas sweaters and brave the crowds at the mall for the Santa photo. Funnily enough, an oversized strange man with conspicuously fake white hair and bright red itchy clothes seems to freak some kids out... weird, right? So while the smiling family around Santa is a lovely pic to share, secretly I think we all know the hysterically crying tot on his lap gets way more love online.

12-Throwback Thursday, Flashback Friday, Remember When Wednesday or whatever reason we have to dig up old photos, take a picture of them and post them to either laugh at our own awkwardness, or revel in a moment of passing glory. Also a great way to sniff out your fellow former Jordache/mullet/hemp necklace die hards.

13-Celebrity photos
Self explanatory really, but remember there is a difference between a photo of a celebrity and a photo of you and a celebrity... A photo of Peter Dinklage walking down the street with his family, taken from behind so as not to disturb him is classy, but nowhere near as impressive as you faking a blow to the head by the real deal Evander Holyfield.
I'm a New Yorker... I let him pass with his family and then took a photo afterwards to show my friends.
I wanted it to look like I was being punched... it came out looking like I was singing karaoke into his fist... but what a fist, eh?

14-Major purchases
You might be on a boat mother f#$%er, but is it yours? If so, then make sure we know that. I need photos of any major purchases you might be making, otherwise I might think you live modestly, and there is simply no glory in that game playa. If you're not the #BRAG type, then feel free to continue to passive-aggressively tell me about how "the new house is just too big for all our stuff," or fake-complain about the awful mileage on your new coupe (pronounced KOO-PAY). We hear ya barking big dog.

15-Major achievements
Don't feel like you have to buy your way to admiration. But do feel like you should post pictures of anything even the least bit Pinterest-worthy. Oh, this handmade crafty kids project that looks like something you would buy in a store? It kept the kids busy on a school holiday. Oh, this food-porn worthy five course dinner and fully dressed table? Just my way of saying happy Friday.

Oh this? Yeah, I was gonna buy some cupcakes, but instead decided to make an entire cake that looked like her favorite toy. NBD.
Ok, there's your 15 photos you should remember to take and post.
Bonus photo: Rainbows. Everyone loves seeing the rainbow you're looking at, so don't forget to post your rainbows.
Ahhhhh, rainbows

*Full disclosure, I'm not actually young or cool enough to do (be? have? use?) Snapchat, but my younger, cooler cousins do, so I know it's a thing. 

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