Being a photographer, I have this great love for all photographs, even those embarrassing childhood ones. You know the ones I am talking about. We all have the naked baby in the bathtub picture. Actually, in my family, it is the “norm” to show all embarrassing photos (and tell all embarrassing stories) to everyone we know. When friends come over, even romantic suitors, I enjoy pulling out my baby book (or digital folder stored on my computer). I’m always fascinated by people’s expressions as they look through the many, many photographs taken of a chubby baby that looks like me. And I absolutely love the fact that people will make assumptions about certain pictures and they are always shocked to find out their assumption is wrong. (I’m not normal, remember). They try to figure out the pictures based on what they know of me now. For example, all of my friends know that I love Halloween so they always tie that into my childhood. So when they look through my baby book, the dialogue generally goes something like this:

“Oh, you were a witch for Halloween?”

“No, it wasn’t Halloween. My Mom had to go to the elementary school for a PTA thing. I had to go with her and I was already in my witch costume. She let me bring my broom and I rode it around the school until she was done.”

“Oh . . . So, in this one, you were Wonder Woman for Halloween?”

“No, it wasn’t Halloween. I thought I was Wonder Woman so I wore my Wonder Woman bathing suit at all times. I even wore it under my clothes. At a Girl Scout ceremony, I went into a bathroom and stripped off my regular clothes. Then I ran up and down the aisles yelling ‘Wonder Woman, Cha-ching, Cha-ching’ until my Mom caught me. She told me I could do that all over the house but should refrain in public. Superheroes should never reveal their identity to a crowd.”

“I see. OK, so this one, this has to be Halloween. You are a ballerina.”

“Nope, it still wasn’t Halloween. I just put on my dance recital outfit and danced on the fireplace.”

“Same thing with this cheerleader costume. This isn’t Halloween either?”

“No, still not Halloween. And it was my sister’s cheerleader costume and cowgirl boots that were 5 sizes to big. But I could still dance on the fireplace in them.”

“Now here is another witch costume. This has to be Halloween.”

“No, it wasn’t Halloween. I cut up a garbage bag, grabbed my witch hat and reenacted the Wicked Witch’s death scene from the Wizard of Oz. I melted down into the garbage bag. It was just for fun.”

“OK. Now, Rainbow Brite. I know you were Rainbow Brite for Halloween one year.”

“Yeah, I was Rainbow Brite for Halloween one year but this picture isn’t from Halloween. It was a Girl Scout function. We were walking across the balance beam. We were supposed to wear leotards. I wore my Rainbow Brite dress and carried Twink across the balance beam with me. I did all kinds of tricks and twirls. I think it took me about 5 minutes to get across the beam.”

“What about this devil pic?”

“No, it wasn’t Halloween either. If you look closely I am wearing Popeye pajamas underneath. I just liked wearing the horns and cape.”

“Are any of these pictures from Halloween?”

“No. I didn’t take any Halloween pictures until middle school. I just liked wearing costumes and pretending to be someone else.”

“You’re weird.”

“I prefer to think of myself as gifted.”