As most of you are aware, I am a U.S. citizen who grew up in Canada. Perhaps it was the part of Canada I was in or simply how it is over there but high school graduation was not such a big thing in Canada. I did buy a class ring and my mother was right when she said I would never wear it once I was out of high school. Yet another point in the “Mom Was Right” column. That was some money I cost my parents down the tubes. Other than that, your picture was taken for the yearbook and after graduation you went out to a nice dinner with your family. It seems pretty simple; doesn’t it? Now that I am back in the States my wife and daughter have taught me that there is a little more to it over here. I didn’t go through any of this with my oldest child (my son) because he treated school like the chicken pox. It was something he had to endure even though he found it unbearable. When he graduated we were all relieved and took him to a fancy dinner. Now my first daughter is about to enter her Senior Year of high school and I was in for a surprise. There are these things called Senior Pictures and Open Houses. When my wife told me to look into Senior Pictures I asked, “Don’t they just do that at the school?” I was informed that prior to their Senior Year your child needs to go to a professional photographer and have a whole set of pictures taken. This is much more detailed than I thought. The first question all the photographers asked was, “How many outfits is she planning to wear?” That sounded silly. You wear one outfit and they take your picture; right? Not so much. It turns out people change an average of 3 times. Sometimes they bring along a family pet to be in the picture. They might bring a friend. There are outdoor pictures, black and white pictures, pictures in certain locations and various backgrounds. And every choice you make costs you more money. Then there are sitting fees, minimum picture orders, charges for different kinds of paper used, framing fees, ridiculous prices for photos and even a charge to look over the pictures and decide what you want. Then the pictures are categorized into packages. Let’s say you want an 8x10. In order to get that you need to also buy (4) 5x7s, (46) wallets, a yearbook picture and (3) poses. Just that part of it is $500. Then there are all the add-on fees. Who really uses 5x7s anyway? I mean really. At home you put the 8x10 on the wall and everyone else gets a wallet size. Otherwise some people will be saying, “How come so and so was given a 5x7 and I only was given a wallet size?” Think it won’t happen? I bet you it does. Now let’s say you want something not in the package or perhaps more than the package allows. Then you really pay. I’m not cheap…ok maybe I am but this can easily break $1000 for pictures! I love my daughter. She is beautiful and a wonderful girl. When I go in to look at the pictures, you know I’m going to like all of them. How can you not? It’s your child and the photographer has touched up the prints to make them that much nicer. Then they hit you with the time crunch…the ultimate closing tool. You need to have your pictures done by a certain date and session openings are filling up quickly. Now you’re under the gun to get this done. In talking to my wife who has lived in the States her whole life, she explains this is just how it is and to deal with it. What a racket. I’ll save the open house thing for tomorrow. I’m spent.
Fantasy fiction is my passion. This series embodies my love for a good story and action. You will find it to be many things, but not boring! Read what you love and love what you read...