I sent pictures of the conference I mentioned in my last post to a lot of people. Of course I vetted them and sent out the ones where my hair looked fairly OK, and my double chin was hidden behind the potted palms as much as possible, but beyond that it wasn't like I felt the need to photoshop my flaws out of existence, because these pictures were merely to show photographic evidence to people "See! I really did have a good time at so-and-so place." As far as my expectations that people would send me medals by post for my beauty, and renewed wedding proposals ...I didn't have that many.
But see, that's something most people don't get. I put up one of these pics as my google chat picture and one fine evening a friend pings me to say, "hi...if you don't mind my saying this..you look fat in the picture." Just like that.
I just didn't get it. For one thing, Yes, I DO mind...and I told her that atleast I don't look as fat as she does in HER pictures. Something my superior manners restrained me from telling her earlier. Second, she KNOWS I talk endlessly about my weight, so it couldn't be that, as a friend, she thought she was pointing out something I hadn't noticed, so that I could thank her tearfully later on when I was all svelte and beautiful again.
Third. I didn't put up the pictures in a fond moment of belief, as I mentioned earlier, that Bollywood scouts would catch sight of them, and ask me to be Aamir Khan's new leading lady. I think, at the risk of sounding intolerably swollen headed, I have a VERY good idea about how I look and torture myself endlessly about it. I send out latest pictures, again, to show people that THIS is where I went with THAT group of people and so on. Something even my parents don't get frankly, so this friend of mine can be forgiven to a certain extent, except that she didn't MAKE me, and raise me, and so have entitlement to make rude comments about me.
I remember having a lark with friends (incidentally one is the fat-caller) in Goa, and taking pictures in very bizarre outfits and sending them to everyone saying "Check this out, we had a BLAST!" My folks remained ominously quiet about the photos until I thought I would hear the worst and called to ask if they hadn't seen them. My mother sounded instantly uncomfortable. "Yes dear, I did." "Well?" "Well dear, none of you look very...er...nice in the pictures." What about the blue, blue sea in the background, what about the funny headgear, what about the huge, big grins on our faces??" "Yes, yes, dear, I saw that."
See what I mean? Of course if anyone does compliment me on my recent pictures (yes, my darlings, that happens rarely but still does) I won't pretend to say I'm not inordinately pleased by it.
But on the whole, I feel the people who really get it is the bunch who write back saying: "Whoa! It looks like the trip was a gas! What is that person doing with that watermelon in the background??"
If not for those questions, all I really needed to do was keep circulating my college and wedding pictures ( saying stuff like 'this is me at the office party I attended last week!! Why am I dressed like a bride you ask? And why is my mother-in law in the picture, you ask?') at regular intervals and enjoy the compliments pour in, until I dropped down dead at 92.