I forgot to mention this last week:

Last Tuesday, I go into Polling Place No. 2 on my way to work to snap a picture of someone taking part in their civic duty by voting in the General Election. Working the tables are 5 election judges, and a local couple have just cast their votes. Usually, I would announce my presence (with authority!*), but this time I figured, it’s 7 a.m., I’m the only one here with a camera and a reporter’s notebook, I’ll let them figure out who I am and what I’m doing here.

“Mind if I take some pictures?” I ask, and the judges — all of them female — either shake their heads or say, “No,” so I fire off a couple of shots.

Finally, one of the judges says, “We’re just trying to figure out who you are. You work for the newspaper, don’t you?”


“You look better in person than you do in your pictures.”

What the … ?

How do you respond to that? I reply by saying, “Thank you,” but later I find myself wondering: Just what does that statement mean? I mean, am I so hideous in any of the photographs with me in them that have been published that these women are suddenly stricken by my sheer gorgeousness? Or are they saying I look good in photos, but I look grrrrrreat in person? Well, wait: They didn’t say I look “great” — they said I look “better in person.” They could’ve kept it from being too ambiguous if they’d said, “You look even better in person than you do in your pictures” — just that little word “even” would’ve been better than what they actually said.

True to my nature, however, I do a quick inventory: I’m feeling perky, I’ve got on one of my favorite mismatches of clothing (olive-green cargo pants and a comfortable T-shirt and fleece), I’m having a relatively good hair day and, through it all, I’m smiling.

Hot damn, I actually DO look better in person than any photo could ever hope to portray!

Later, I tell my friend and former co-worker, Becky, about the incident.

“Of course you look better in person,” she says. “A photo can’t capture your lively spirit.”


* — A line from one of my all-time favorite movies, Bull Durham.