I wrote this weeks ago, but couldn’t figure out a good reason to post it. Today’s my birthday. Seems like a perfect excuse.
Do you remember Ann Landers? Back in the ‘50s and ‘60s and ‘70s, she was a nationally-syndicated newspaper columnist who dished out pithy advice to readers who sent her questions. Her column ran in thousands of newspapers across the country.
I was a bit of a precocious little boy and I started reading Ann Landers in the local daily newspaper when I was about six years old. When I left home to go to college it was a bit comforting to find out that Ann’s column also ran in my college town’s daily newspaper.
What possible connection, you may be wondering, could Ann Landers have with this travel blog. Well, the answer lies in the photo that was always found at the top of Ann’s column. It never changed. It was the same when I was twenty as it was when I was six. The woman never aged.
Surely she had, in real life, grown older as the years passed. But if so, one never would have gleaned that knowledge from her photo. Despite the passage of time, the damn woman simply showed no signs of aging. Crows feet didn’t creep across the corners of her eyes. Her cheeks remained high and firm. Worry lines dug no trenches across her forehead. Her pearls aged more than she did.
You’ve been patient long enough. Here’s the tie-in:
Jamie complains that the photo atop JimandJamie.com is seven years old, dated, and that it should be changed. She correctly notes that I had been very ill with Lyme Disease for several years when that photo was taken and she says that I look unnaturally red and puffy as a result.
I give her excuse after excuse to explain why it cannot be changed:
“We never seem to be able to take a photo in which both of us look our best. This one’s a good compromise.”
“The website needs a horizontal photo and I can’t find another one that crops as well.”
“We have some photos that would have worked, but I was capless in them and the light reflecting off my bald pate created a glow that ruined the shots.”
“I don’t want to impose on Russell, our tech guru, to re-do the banner image.”
And so on and so forth.
But the honest to god truth is that I share Ann Landers’ fear of exposing the ravages of time. The years have not been my friends. When I was young, people said I looked liked Peter Fonda in Easy Rider, but now, for god’s sake, I look more like Gollum in Lord of the Rings. I have less hair than a newborn chihuahua. I have more wrinkles than a bag of prunes. What started off as dimples have grown into crevices.
So if you don’t mind, I will leave that same photo up there and I will be completely happy with it many years into the future. A little fantasy never hurt anyone.