But First, Let Me Take a Selfie

by Lee Ann “Sunny” Brown       


It’s true what they say: You can run, but you cannot hide. And it’s especially true that you cannot hide from yourself. I know this, because I have been hiding out from myself for the past few days now. But no matter where I go, there I am. It’s like I’m stalking myself.

I have given in and come to grips with the fact that I have to live in a world of self-service; sometimes, I even prefer it that way. I can be self-serving if I have to. But now I have to take my own pictures, too? Just because I sleep with a photographer doesn’t mean I am one.

I mean it was fine at first, if people were interested in seeing the slice of plain, dry toast that I had for breakfast. And if someone was really dying to know what the mosquito bite looked like on my left ankle, well, who was I to deny him or her that privilege? I didn’t mind snapping a photo and sharing it with the world.

So I started keeping my phone with me at all times, just so I could share those exciting moments of my day when I am cleaning up the cat’s hairballs or doing laundry. It’s strange, but I found that life seems more meaningful when you are sharing your frustrations and photos of the rude driver in front of you with your Instagram followers. And the more likes and comments you get, the more you come to realize that your life does matter and not just to you. In fact, you can’t be living your life just for yourself. Keeping things private is just being selfish. Besides, how would you even know any of it really happened if no one was there to judge it? You have to share your selfies with the rest of us!

Taking selfies, however, is not something you just automatically know how to do. It’s a learned skill. You must spend hours in front of the mirror with your phone, practicing the perfect poses. You must learn what angle to hold your arm, which one is your best side, and how to purse your lips into the perfect fish pucker. I’m sure there is a class you could take to learn how to do it, or you can just Google it. In any case, you must do it. The world will not be denied knowing the most mundane details of your life, but you must make them look exciting! We want to see how much fun you have brushing your teeth, so add some music to the photos if you have to, but please, don’t bore us. And you have to look beautiful, surrounded by gorgeous people, in a fabulous, tropical location.

I’ll admit that it has taken me a while to embrace this selfie idea. I mean, when I am in the middle of enjoying my favorite chocolate, I don’t naturally think that I should be taking a picture of myself eating it. When I am dressed up to go enjoy a night out with my husband, I never think about other people not getting to share that moment with me. Maybe it’s true that I’m just too self-absorbed. I never really think about using my phone that much anyway. In the beginning, it was just kind of annoying to have to remember to take my picture sipping my coffee, and then trying to recreate the moment when I did forget, but I agreed to play along since this isn’t just about me. However, things began to take a nasty turn when I found myself trying to snap a photo of me during one of my darkest moments—Yes, I took a photo of myself without a hat covering my head. And still two days out from my next hair appointment! And I was in bad lighting, too. I couldn’t let a photo like that of me get out into public.

After that, though, it seemed that my right hand really turned on me, lurking around every corner, coming at me relentlessly. The more I protested, the more invasive it got, even though I was pleading for it to stop. After the no-hat incident, I began to try and hide from it, but it kept following me everywhere I went, as if it was attached to me or something, always with that phone, threatening to expose what I was wearing to walk the dog or that I needed a manicure. I began to actually be afraid of my right hand. The last straw was when I was just trying to go about my day doing absolutely nothing interesting, and my right hand didn’t believe me—It was certain that everyone would want to see me thinking. It was trying to snap my photo. I couldn’t get away. I even ran into a fence trying to escape. I am going to have to take out a restraining order against myself. (You can go to my Instagram page and see the video for yourself. It was all caught on camera. And I shared it with you, because I am being selfless.)

Certainly, there are times when it’s fun to have my photo taken, but I don’t want to have to do it myself. That’s just another reason why it’s nice to be married to Papa Razzi. But sometimes I just want to be left alone—without my selfie.

You can check out Sunny’s selfies at instagram.com/itsreallysunny

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