Strike a Pose

by Love Love Letter

Just before we announced that we were turning the direction of the business around entirely, we had a few lovely tourists into our space. It was a family of four visiting from Austin, and they were nothing but friendly and curious. They combed through the place for a good long time, took the time to ask us deep questions about the business and about us. The daughter bought something she’d had her eye on, the father drank more than one cup of our exceedingly strong coffee. It had been a slow day, and we were happy to have such genuine interaction – that’s why we got into it. Some days, dealing with the public was tough, days like this it was a pleasure. We were both unshowered, it was extremely hot that day, and we felt like a couple of scrubs, trying to pull it together to look professional.

The mother of the bunch was carrying a large camera, and she asked if she could take my picture after we’d all exchanged contact information. It all felt very old-fashioned somehow. These days, we don’t get that close to someone in person, with only half an hour together. Still, I figured it was a tourist move, she was recording their comings and goings. I stood at attention, ready for a photo to be snapped. What should I do with my arms? Was my hair ok?

Turned out, she’s a portrait artist, and wanted to take more artful photos. She put me back in a position I’d been in earlier during our conversation. She moved my hand a bit, pulled the neckline of my dress so it covered my errant bra strap. She asked me to swivel my hips forward and tilt my head a bit. I felt awkward beyond belief. Before long it had turned into a full-on shoot, with multiple locations, and my fiance in on the action as well. She and her husband were excited for us, that we are getting married. We couldn’t do anything but giggle. It felt silly, but also exciting. We wanted to go along with it, we felt that we should because she asked, but we were also secretly happy to know that we were going to have some nice photos of us. It quickly became fun. Too bad we hadn’t showered. My man A laughed as she positioned his hand near the gaping hole on the knee of his pants. He talked about wishing he’d shaved while she snapped away. I said I’d wished I’d put on makeup.

photo by May Lau

photo by May Lau

Just a day or so later, we’d made the decision to close – we were in a completely different headspace than we’d been in when we met them. And then yesterday, she posted the photos publicly to our business’ wall on F*cebook. I was completely taken aback at first, they seemed not at all appropriate for that page. But after a little while to get over my embarrassment, I realized perhaps it’s perfect. We’re getting a lot of unwanted sympathy over our decision to move on. Sure, it hurts us a bit to have to do this, and it’s painful tying up the loose ends, having to draw it out like this instead of being able to just walk away from it, but maybe these photos show that we’re happy. That we’re ok, the two of us. That it’s just a new direction, and that we’re able to walk off into the sunset, the two of us, and enjoy getting married. Maybe it will stop all of the apologies and reassurances and will instead allow people to be excited for us and our next steps, which we are.

photo by May Lau

photo by May Lau

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