I was hastily looking through my post-high school photo albums searching for a picture of me when I first wore glasses. Apparently, I wasn’t that proud of my bespectacled look, for I never found one. But what I did find, not surprisingly, was a “selfie” or, rather, an “usie” (a selfie for two):
This photo includes me (at a slightly younger age) on a date with my beloved Bill. (My first husband died of complications from ulcer surgery at age 25, too few years after we shot this precious selfie while on a date.) We had too few photo opportunities — as we mostly dated long-distance via cards and letters and infrequent, expensive phone calls and even less frequent, expensive visits — and, though we had the occasional friend or stranger shoot a photo of us in those cherished moments together, we often resorted to selfies, our cheek to cheek “usies.”
Just looking at this photo and its caption brought back the precious memories — but it also made me laugh at myself. Not only was I happy to be in the photo with Bill (who became my husband), clearly I also was proud of my ability to shoot such a photo, for I included the “secret” of the shot in my caption. (I should have patented it. Obviously, more people have looked through my photo album than I thought.)
The photo was shot in the late 1980s, back in the days when a camera’s lens only pointed away from you. (Why do I feel the need to explain this?) If you were using the viewfinder on the camera, you were not shooting a photo of yourself. If you were shooting a photo of yourself, you were not framing the shot by anything but guesswork. This was so long ago that we used film; we had no idea what we’d shot (or the quality of the shot) until we developed the film. This was also before such luxuries as one-hour photo developing, or at least before one-hour photo developing became affordable.
The funny thing?
Though I shot this photo back in the ’80s, I didn’t put it in an album until 10 years later… and I still thought shooting a selfie unique and unknown enough to include the “how to.” Just ten years after that I would be putting together my daughter’s life album as a high school graduation present — and find I had to make it a two-volume tome because she had so many selfies of herself alone and with friends to fit within the pages. The first fourteen years of her life were in one album; her high school (and selfie) years were in another the same size.