This is my dining room of course.
I post a lot of pictures on facebook. I think of it as my replacement for the picture albums of yesteryear. I could print them some day, I can look back at them at any time from anywhere. But I take 100 photos, and I sort out all the frowns, shut eyes, blurred focus (lots of those in my haste), too dark, too bright, too shadowy. And these days I have to usually make sure one of my offspring won't be upset if I post a pic. A highly complicated process, to make it through that filter for reasons you could never tell looking at the photos. But they'll all laugh 'I can't believe you think that one is good??!' shaking their heads in despair at my gaucheness. The few that make the cut, I fix the colors and crop them on my phone in about 17 seconds (I remember the old days, when it took me half an hour to do that.)
Facebook or similar photographs, which I enjoy, are not my real life. Not mine. Not yours. Not that friend who was a cheerleader in high school who still looks good in yoga pants. I've heard "I can't stand to be on facebook and see how great everyone else's life is compared to mine." I don't suffer from this very common and understandable malady, because I know how the slices of life I (me. Toni) post on facebook are the grain of sand moments grasped among mostly long, boring, tough, argumentative, tiring, humdrum, routine, vanilla regular old sandbox-of-life. I know that when others post pics, they aren't showing me (usually) the overflowing toilet, the lost cell phone, the toothepaste cap that rolls out of reach, the front door that won't stay shut when it drops below 40, the letter from the mammography center. They aren't showing me the 47 unmatched socks in their laundry basket, or how they felt after a bad phone conversation with the bank, or a depressing visit to their parent's nursing home. Do not judge me, or anyone else we meet on facebook or instagram or twitter by the short witty sayings and sunset-background couples shots that we all love to share.
Facebook photograph sharing is not real life. That is why today, I shared the picture above. It really was taken just after we cleaned up from the dog, Molly. Molly got into the garbage when our back was turned (OK, my husband's back was turned, I wasn't home.) and rooted out some old fried chicken, bone and all. After she threw it up the first time, while we were running to grab something to clean it up with, she managed to eat that same deliciously-regurgitated chicken bone again. The next time it came up we found it on the dining room rug. Happened to be just before I took a bunch of shots of my crazy Thanksgiving dining room and kitchen. Shots that were only for me, until now.
This is a dining room you ask? Isn't everyone's dining room covered in miscellaneous flip house leftovers and the entire contents of their kitchen pantry?
Doesn't everyone's kitchen ceiling open up to the plumbing runs above it for repairs?
No? No plastic sheets hanging everywhere to keep the drywall dust down?
Am I getting new counter tops for Christmas? No, but I did get a patched ceiling, for which I'm very grateful. It was opened to fix the pipes that froze once upon a time and have kept our second bathroom out of commission for many long months, because, really, when is it a good time to cook under cover of 120 year old falling insulation?
But I digress. My point is, that you (and I, definitely I) may not post pictures like this, and I am A-ok with that. I like pictures of snow falling and babies crawling and sons playing amazing bass guitar. The photos we all share online represent the brief breath of life we want to hold onto, remember, keep. Sometimes we want to brag or make one of our children or our aunt or our dog groomer feel special. Sometimes we just want to reach out and say 'hey, I'm here' or laugh along with Jimmy. Nitty-gritty life is not frozen in time, but messy, grassy, muddy, windy, old, new, broken, stained, taupe, scotch-taped and hot-glued. Don't compare your well-worn Target version of Keds to someone else's satin-pink-ribboned toe shoes. They really aren't comparable.