Tuesday, June 22, 2010

picturing myself

It was supposed to rain on Sunday, but--glory be!--after some insubstantial morning showers the clouds parted to reveal sunny skies and hot hot heat! Despite the sun, K and I proceeded with our rainy day plans because we couldn't wait much longer! Besides, I wanted to wear this dress and I had planned to coordinate it with one of the afternoon's activities.

(dress: H&M; oxfords: Marshall's)

Lately I've been wishing that my peep-toe oxfords were closed-toe (actually, I kind of wished this when I bought them, but they were ten dollars) so I matched a pair of socks to the shoe for a sort of sneaky solution to my problem. I also ended up wearing my big dorky glasses per K's suggestion. I had purposefully omitted them from my original outfit because I thought they were too appropriate--I was afraid of looking costume-y.

We began the afternoon with a matinee of Babies at the Palace 9. I've been wanting to see it since the very first preview, but life had other plans. Because this was its last week playing anywhere in Vermont, we were literally running out of time to see it on the big screen! I kind of figured it wouldn't be the same if we waited until it came out on DVD and I think I was right--the sweeping landscapes were gorgeous and seeing it in the theatre played up the National Geographic-style grandeur.

I thought it was simultaneously fascinating and precious. K mostly just squirmed. We both agreed that the Mongolian baby was the best. The disparity between the lives of the Namibians and the others was striking. I hesitate to use the word "primitive" to describe them because I am generally of the opinion that tribal culture makes for a rich and rewarding organic human experience, but I have to admit that it was pretty startling to shift from Namibia to Japan or America, and even to Mongolia... and I can only conclude that the Mongolians seemed to have the best of both worlds. Babies made the American experience look so cold, phony and unappealing.

Next on our itinerary was a visit to the Fleming museum to check out the current exhibit: Picture Yourself: The Photobooth in America, 1926-2010. For some reason I thought my dress was well-suited for this particular exhibit, which I've had bookmarked in my mind since I first saw it advertised. I was eager to get to this one because I had been equally excited about the Andy Warhol: Fashionistas and Celebrities polaroid exhibit that passed through a few months ago and it was gone before I thought to make concrete plans.

I must say, I was un petit peu disappointed in the presentation. It seemed rather haphazard and there was no real continuity or chronology. Many of the strips had been trimmed to highlight a single image, but part of what interests me most about a photo strip is the sense of movement and progression in the four frames. It's difficult to get a sense of the personality of a person or the complexity of their relationship to the other person or people in a single image, but in four you can begin to imagine who they were and the circumstances that found them in a particular place at a particular time with particular company.

The best part of the exhibit? A real-life antique photobooth where apparently patrons were tricked into believing that they were alone, when in fact a creeper with a camera would photograph them from a secret compartment and manually slide the photos to them... and a real-life working vintage photobooth, where K and I received this priceless souvenir:

The first frame is my favorite. We were so unprepared... the look on my face is awesome, and K's blind surprise at the sudden flash is an absolute gem.


  1. haha I love your photo booth pictures!

    that sounds like quite the cultural day! If only one day I can meet a guy who wouldn't mind spending an afternoon like this! Out of curiosity, how did you two meet?

  2. i love love your outfit!!! the dress is so cute and i love your shoes with the socks, it all looks amazing!