Monday, April 30, 2012

Making Others' Memories

I know, I’ll be the first to admit it. I have cute kids. Even when I try to look through the unbiased lens of someone who did not carry them around in her womb for nine months, I continually come to the conclusion that they are pretty stinking adorable. Exhibit A:


 A certain smile, a giggle, a new trick, or cuddles with her sister and I am over the moon once again, lost in their unbelievable adorability.  So, I am not surprised when other people stop to take a gander at our little beauties. I mean, come on, there are two of them, right? 

Here is what I don’t get. Why do swarms of people line up to take their picture or, better yet, have their own photo taken while holding the foreign baby? Wherever we go, iPhones come out and pictures are taken of the girls. If we are at a public park or other location where we are stationary for some period of time, crowds gather and queues form as if they were red carpet-bound starlets.   
Unless we are in a hurry to get somewhere or they make my baby cry, I honestly don’t mind it too much. (I do worry that our girls will grow up with pathologically inflated egos and severe narcissism but I suppose we can cross that bridge when we come to it.) I just don’t understand the desire to photograph other people’s children. I often see cute ankle-biters around wearing little tutus or overalls and I let out a contented sigh and an adoring smile. But I don’t stop to take their picture. I mean, how does that conversation happen?

Hey, honey, how was your day?
Oh not bad, but guess what I saw during my lunch break?
What, dear?
A foreign baby!
No, I don’t believe it!
Why yes! Here is the photographic evidence!
Wow, that baby sure is foreign!

Or maybe it goes a little something like this:
Hey, do you want to see my pictures from my vacation to beautiful South Korea?
Okay, here we are at the palace, and here we are with the cherry blossoms. Here we are at Seoul tower. And HERE we are with foreign babies!
Oh wow, you saw foreign babies? Incredible! Now I want to go to Seoul!

I’m really not sure. I genuinely would like to hear how those photos are explained. To be honest, my goal when taking pictures is to have as few strangers in them as possible. We stand at certain angles, aim the camera in a certain direction and all of a sudden we transform a crowded park into a secluded family scene. That’s what I’m after but apparently we don’t see eye to eye on the subject. Maybe when we are in the States this summer and I come upon a cute Korean baby, I’ll have you take my picture holding him/her. Then I’ll show the picture to my family and friends and figure out just how to have that conversation. 

1 comment:

the Caldwells said...

Ugh. We have the same problem! except it bothers me. I really don't want a bunch of random pictures of my daughters floating around, just "out there". I'm probably paranoid but I'm afraid they will end up on the internet and who knows what else? The other day some older gentleman tried to take a picture of them, and I quietly moved over so that I was there was another person between me and the camera. He moved over. I moved again. We continued this dance until he finally took a picture of the poor lady that was between us! Oy.