At our daughter’s wedding there was a photo booth. The young man running the booth sat quietly in the corner with his table of goofy props. He did not call attention to himself but gradually the little kids found him and started having fun. When they exited the booth they were laughing and hopping around. The parents strolled over to see what was happening in the back corner with their kids. More joined the party. As each group entered the booth, the young man snapped their pics and handed them a copy. The kids loved wearing the outrageous hats, glasses, and “furs” draped around their necks. They kissed, picked their noses, and made goofy faces. They were unencumbered by social norms when in the booth.
My younger ones kept bringing me photos of themselves and asking me to join them. I ambled over (limped is more accurate as I still wore the ridiculous high-heels that I thought I needed as mother of the bride) to the photo booth with my youngest. We grabbed a few others on the way over. Four of us crammed into the small, glittery space and before I was ready the light flashed and some numbers were counting down. FLASH! Again, right as I looked up. I looked drunk or crazy. My hat was partly covering my eyes and my bra strap was showing.
I tried to adjust but the thing kept flashing and snapping pictures. We unpacked from the booth and looked at our photos. They were great! We grabbed others and did it again. Then we jammed in as many as we could. Young and Old together. On the outside wall of the booth was a small screen showing the photos as they were being taken. It was just as much fun watching others get their pictures taken as it was to be in the booth acting silly. We had huge green glasses and a little fairy wand. A pink cowboy hat and a golden turban.
The photo booth became crowded. And loud. It was the place to be for a few minutes. It was a place where we could forget that we didn’t like someone or that someone had hurt our feelings. Hard to be upset at someone if you are sitting on their lap and their feather boa is ticking your ear. We all acted silly and got a little loud. Well, more than a little loud for some of us.
After it was all over, we continued to talk about the photo booth and share our photos on social media outlets. We teased and joked about the expressions we saw on each face. For a few moments on that Saturday night, we just were. No expectations. Just big kids and little kids having a good time. We let down our walls and our defenses to share a crazy moment in time to enjoy each other’s company.
I am thinking that we all need more “photo booth” times in our lives. Times where we just let the cares, disappointments, upsets, worries, triumphs, competition go. Put them all aside. Just for a few moments. Times when we re-connect to those we should never have disconnected from in the first place. Times when we forget that we are dignified adults and enjoy each other with the laughter and pleasure of little children. Times we can heal with laughter and touch and love.
Wouldn’t it be great to begin each day in a photo booth, greeting the world with laughter and silliness?
“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.”