Perpetual Plan B

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Life Lesson I Learned from Brent Casselman

Isn't it interesting how one little comment, given off-hand, can change the way you look at certain things? Here's one that has stuck with me for a lot of years.

My older brother had a friend named Brent Casselman. And I was somewhat intimidated by him. He was older, he was cute and he was somewhat tough, though he was always nice to me. I really didn't know him that well because my older brother and I weren't close, so I didn't spend much time with his friends.

Well one day, (I think it was either 8th or 9th grade because I know I wasn't in the same school as the guys) I came home from school with my school pictures for that year. Russ, my older brother, and Brent were at my house. Somehow they knew I had brought my pictures home, so to be polite, Brent asked to see them. I did the whole "Oh, they're not very good..." speech. Then I handed them over. Brent studied them for a minute and handed them back. Again I said, "They're not very good of me.", fishing for a compliment.

And then came the line that totally changed the way I look at pictures of myself (or anyone else, for that matter).

He said, "Do you think you look better than that?"

Ouch. Well, I kinda hoped I did, anyway.

My feelings were kind of hurt at the time, but I have thought about that question over and over again. And it changed the way I look at pictures of myself.

Have you ever had a picture taken that you hated at the time and then looked at it five years later and realized that you looked pretty good back then? I usually hate how my hair looks in photos, but since my hair is getting worse over the years, I always like pictures better when I look back at them. (And I think "If only I still had that hairstyle.")

These days when I have a picture taken of me, which isn't often because I'm usually the one behind the camera, I do take a little more time to really look at it and think "Do I think I look better than this? Or is it pretty realistic?"

I'm still holding out hope that someday I'll have a picture taken that actually looks better than I think I look. And I can promise you one thing. When that day comes you'll be the first to know. (Because I'll post it really big.)

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