Today was picture day.
You remember picture day, the day you were sure was the worst ever because you could be sure you'd never look as cool as (insert name here) did in the yearbook last year, but you were bound and determined to try. You planned your outfit for a week before, and begged, begged your mother not to buy anything bigger than the wallet size to give out to the grandparents. "Oh, God, I don't want to see so much of MY FACE!" You agonized over whether to wash your hair the night before so it wouldn't be so flyaway, but opted to take no chances on bed-head problems, and got up early to do it just right. And of course, there is the mortifying memory of the third grade picture when you let your mother set your hair the night before and you went to school with a cloud of hair-like substance that stood straight out from your scalp. You look perfect in the bathroom mirror, and you try to muscle-memorize how it feels when you're doing your best look.
But the worst, the worst part of picture day is holding as still as possible after the last look in the mirror for all the time you have to walk to the auditorium, and stand in line and get up and down the steps. Hold still. Lick your lips. Stop licking your lips. Is (insert name here) watching me? make him stop watching me! That doesn't feel like the right smile. I look stupid. If that picture guy touches me on the shoulder one more time....
So I tried to have mercy on all the wall leaning and wiggling and hair smoothing and ponytail re-doing and auditorium seat thwanging while everyone went through the torture I remember so well.
Many a nervous face relaxed just a little when I would look over the hair, give it a tweak here or there, and say, "That's it, you look beautiful!"