Thursday, November 11, 2010

Should I Do It?

They were set out in front of me, one by one.

I chewed my lower lip, contemplating.

What should I do?

I twisted my fingers together in my lap.

What should I do?

“Here are the prices.” The woman slid the paper over to me and I tried not to pass out. The lowest package started at $119. Was that the real price? I blinked, trying to will a better number to pop up. But no. There was $119 staring back up at me.

As well as the various photos of my children that the woman was hoping I’d purchase.

You see, awhile back I brought the kids in to take some antique-style photos. It was a thing a local church did and $10 would get you a 10X13 along with multiple other photos shot. I figured, okay, I could spare $10. It’s a church, and I like churches.

I glanced down at all the photos of my children. The ones of Natalie were easy to pass on because she looked baffled in most of them. The photographer had tried to get her to laugh and spouted out funny words and Natalie had frowned and probably thought, “Why isn’t this woman running into a wall?” Because that’s what I do to get her to laugh at home. The photographer had handed Natalie a silver tea set and implored Natalie to play with it so she could get a shot.

Natalie just gaped at the woman. She opened and closed the teapot before setting it down.

Tommy did a little better. He did not like the overalls they made him wear.

“These are not cool,” he kept whining, tugging on the straps. “These aren’t cool at all.”

When the photographer had plopped a newsboy cap on his head he balked. “What is this? I didn’t agree to this! We didn’t talk about this!”

“Just…wear it,” I begged him from the sidelines.

The photographer had handed him a fake fishing pole with a fake fish attached.

“What’s going on now?” Tommy complained, taking it.

In short, none of the photos wowed me. But it was awkward sitting there, as the woman waited. Would she think I was a terrible Mom if I turned down photos of my children? Oh God. Why wasn’t Tom here to help me? He has no qualms turning people down. He’d have stroked his chin, glanced at the pictures and had gone, “I’m not interested, thanks.” And because Tom looks like he could snap a person in two, the woman would have merely nodded and kept silent.

I stroked my chin, like Tom would, in what I hoped was a businesslike manner. I kept thinking, “How much longer should I sit here?” Should I just grab the 10X13 that I already paid for and go?

Across from me another woman was surveying the photos of her kid. Her son stood beside her, pointing out the ones he wanted.

“It’s just, we can’t afford them all, baby. They’re expensive.” The mom whispered the last word, so as not to offend anyone. But she told the truth. If you wanted all the photos they were over $300.

Then the kid actually started to sniffle.

“Don’t cry. It’s not like I don’t like them. It’s just...” The mom lowered her voice again. “..expensive.”

Wow. Would Natalie cry if I didn’t buy her photos? Tommy was thankfully at school but Natalie was....

...oh, she was spinning in circles beside me. She could care less.

“Weeee!” she bellowed, turning around. “Weeee! I’m dizzy!”

“Um,” I said, swallowing. Why couldn’t I say the words? Why? I wasn’t interested in the photos, thank you. It was simple. I just hate disappointing people.

Maybe I could get Natalie to say it? It would be cuter coming from a three-year-old with jelly smudged on her cheek.

I sighed. No. I had to do it on my own.

“I think,” I croaked, grabbing hold of the envelope that contained the 10X13. “I think I’ll just take this.”

The woman pursed her lips. I thought she might lecture me. Don’t you want pictures of your kids? You do know these are destroyed right? But no, she silently started gathering the photos up.

“Okay,” is all she said.

“Okay,” I repeated dumbly, standing. My heart did tug a bit as I saw her sticking all the photos in an envelope. The poor things, about to be destroyed because I didn’t want to fork over the money for them.

Oh well.

“Thank you,” I said, grabbing Natalie’s hand.

And then we left. As we stepped outside, I let out a deep breath. It was over. I had done it.

I pulled out the 10X13 and smiled.

“There’s me!” Natalie said, pointing at herself. “And I have a hat on!”

I grinned.

“Tommy has a hat on,” Natalie continued.

Ahh yes, the dreaded newsboy cap.

It was a decent photo of the two of them. I’ve tried to get a good photo of the two of them, but they usually argue. Tommy will say Natalie is breathing on him, Natalie will say Tommy poked her and it’ll just go downhill from there.

So I think it was $10 well spent.



  1. That is an unbelievably adorable picture.

  2. Completely off the topic - but...

    Thank you Amber and thank you Tom for your sacrifice and service to our country.

    May you be a long remembered (and long lived) Veteran, Tom.

  3. Way to go! That is a good picture of the kids. I'd have no problem not buying the others if they weren't what I wanted.

  4. Oh, the pressure. I have been there and I wasn't as strong as you. Good for you! And that's a great picture!

  5. What a cute picture. I can tell Tommy is faking that smile. He's got a valid point. The whole Tom Sawyer look is so 2009.

  6. Girl I SO feel your pain. I have the hardest time saying no without feeling immense guilt. It sucks.

    On the upside, you did get a cute pic for 10 bucks, AND you survived the dreaded "no thanks."

  7. So adorable!! I have the hardest time saying no as well. Good for you! xoxox

  8. The picture turned out great!

    I hate when people try and get all pushy with me too, but most the time I am more like Tom and have no problem telling them no.

  9. The picture is cute, but I think you made the right decision.

    What if you forked over 300.00 and then your son wouldn't let you hang them up because of the dreaded hat?

    You avoided a possible fight with your child too!

  10. Yes, you made a good decision. One picture is really all you need, the others would have probably just ended up in a box somewhere.

  11. Awwww! Your children are adorable. Good on you for not buying the other photos. Ahhhhh the sales person pressure. Makes me want to resume my affair with amazon.. Oh amazon.

  12. That is a cute picture, but $130 for more of them? I don't think that would have been worth it. You made the right decision. You could always just dress them up like that and take your own. Don't forget the newsboy cap. Tommy would love it! Ha!

  13. I love Tommy's responses to the whole experience. "What's going on now?" Hahaha that's hilarious. I feel bad saying no to people, too. But I just figure if they give me a hard time about not buying something I'll say that my family has to eat tonight and we can't eat (insert item they are trying to sell). Unless they are selling food. That wouldn't work.

  14. what a sweet picture (and great deal for $10!)

    and good for you for not bowing to the pressure :) suck you in with a $10 good deal and then charge waaaay too much for the rest? no thanks!

  15. It was $10 really well spent! You did the right thing. Photos are really expensive, and you shouldn't buy them unless you absolutely love them.

    My daughter took some of those photos a couple of years ago. They came out great, so we bought the whole shebang, including having the complete set on a computer disk. It was a splurge, but we never had professional pictures done, and these were adorable!

    You did good though! I bet your hubby was very proud!

  16. Every parent has been put in that position - but in reality? Even if you had the money to buy all those pictures - what would you DO with them? And that is how I've always justified saying no and just buying the advertised package - which still gives me too many photos.

  17. Congratulations on your getting out of their cheaply. That one pic does look pretty good.

  18. That picture is very cute! I would have just got the one, too.

  19. Amber, the kids look adorable. The only thing is, I think those victorian style pictures are creepy. Don't ask me why, but they creep me out.

  20. AWWWWWWWWW! You got a bargain for $10! Love the shot!

  21. Good for you! I'm a rare mom who prefers candid snap shots of my grubby kids, so it's fairly easy for me to say no. And like a pp, what the heck do you do with all the extra photos?

    They look cute though!

  22. Oh I've been there before too and I HATE saying no...I'm such a pushover I let those people who knock on your door trying to convert you to their religion talk to me because I can't shut the door on them. DH tells me I need to toughen up. So I'm proud of you for walking out with just your one picture - it was $10 well spent!

  23. The hats are great. And I love the big teddy.

  24. I am so proud of you, woman! Good job not buckling because you felt guilty. That is the hardest thing for us women to do. And the picture you got is great. A bargain for $10. They look completely adorable!!!

  25. You are so much stronger than me!! I always end up buying a huge package and then wonder why I did it!

  26. Nice job just saying no - I usually won't do those types of things at all unless I think I AM going to buy more than just the "ringer" shot. Cute pic!

  27. I hate when they tell you that. The nerve of them destroying pictures of children! You are a tough cookie and that is a great photo!

  28. It is tough to say no sometimes! But glad you were able to and that pic is cute!

  29. AWWWWWWWWWWWW!!! What a cute photo of the kiddies :) You did the right thing. Why fork over money for something you're not interested in? You picked the right one.

  30. I once spent $35 on pictures of Maggie that were totally over-exposed because they sat me at the table and totally guilted me!

  31. They look cute, although Tommy's smile is totally fake! You did well with the $10, $119 is daylight robbery.

  32. It is a really cute pic!

    I wont pay for those super expensive pictures either.

  33. GOod for you for standing your ground. I NEVER buy school pictures. My rationale: I look at my kids all the live long day, why do I need to have them hanging on my walls too?
    At least you have a beautiful picture of them, and you didn't break the bank!

  34. Those picture things are such a scam.

    Good for you for finding your backbone before finding your purse.

  35. The picture is REALLY cute. Isn't it funny that they are both looking in two different directions? Did they have two camera people getting their attention? Those are really good colors on Natalie. 8-)

  36. Very good picture of both of them!

  37. That's a great picture of them! Good job standing your ground, I hate stuff like that.

  38. The pressure to buy those overpriced photos is incredible. Once I took the kids in for my free 8x 10, and when the lady started to pressure me, I said, "No, that's all we need, really. She said, "don't you need them for grandparents?" and I totally lied and said, "the kids only have one grandma, and she's blind." Yes, it was a lie, but the pressure!!


  39. This picture is adorable of the two of them. I too had some made like this of my kids many many years ago when they were like 4 years old (they are only 3 months apart - a his and hers) and they turned out BEAUTIFUL. I did not buy them all though nor should you have felt the need to buy what you didn't want either. But, like you, I have a hard time not feeling guilty over that kind of stuff - LOL Great picture - thanks for sharing! :)


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