Sunday, December 11, 2011

Just Call Me Wang

 

Sunrise from my balcony
If you're a Caddyshack fan, you get the reference. Wang (played by Tsung-I. Dow, who, ironically, was my professor at FAU for History of Chinese Art) was Rodney Dangerfield's Chinese assistant in the movie. He always had a camera around his neck and took photos constantly.

I love to take pictures. As I get older, my memory isn't what it used to be, so photos ARE my memory. I love to thumb through photo albums from when my kids were little, and find pictures that trigger a pleasant memory that had been tucked deep in the recesses of my mind, making me smile. You can always delete a picture, but you can't ever recapture a moment that wasn't captured in the first place. Once it's gone...it's gone.

One of my favorite pictures of
Rob and Chase
Not everyone shares my enthusiasm for photography. When I went to Philadelphia for the first time with my co-worker/friend Bob, I was so snap-happy from the time we landed at the airport, that by the time we got into Center City, Bob looked at me and said, "Nancy, if we were married, I'd have filed for divorce by now." We've traveled together a few times since then, and I think Bob finally "gets" (or, at least, tolerates) me. As I took my camera out recently at a New Jersey Wawa, I looked at him and said, "I know...I know - Wang, it's only a parking lot!" To which Bob responded, "Nancy, as long as you can laugh at yourself, you're alright!" ;)

Rob and the kids in
Pismo Beach, CA
2004
In many ways, I AM like a little kid when it comes to seeing new places. My vacations growing up were limited to annual trips to the North Georgia mountains and the surrounding area, plus the occasional trip to New Jersey and one or two trips to theme parks like Disney. My parents, to this day, have never left the eastern United States. EVER. I met Rob when I was 18 and a sophomore in college and married him three weeks after I graduated. Rob had traveled extensively as a member of the U.S. Boardsailing team in the early 80's (B.N. as he likes to say) and really has little desire to travel now. I can get him to tropical/coastal locations, preferably by plane or boat. Since we've been together, we've been on several Caribbean cruises, taken two trips to Hawaii (where he has family), and three trips to California. I love all of those places (and have lots of photos of them ;) ), but I'd like to see more. Hence, my wanderlust and my desire to capture the times that I get to see new places on film!
My first plumeria blossoms

I also had something of an epiphany in my early 30s when I had a neck abscess that could very easily have killed me had I not gone to the doctor when I did. This experience taught me that there are no guarantees in life, so be the best person you can be and enjoy the time you are given. I try to do just that!

On my last two family trips, my kids were pretty much mortified by the fact that I took photos constantly. They very rarely allowed me to take pictures of them because they "didn't want them to end up on Facebook." I love my family and want to share photos of them with my friends, but it totally embarrasses my kids (which, I guess is part of a parent's job?). Being the overly-sensitive, heart-on-my-sleeve person that I am, this hurts me. I actually broke down in Cafe Tu Tu Tango - when Chase took a few candid photos and Alana immediately deleted them all because "nobody needs to see them." Yep, I felt pretty stupid, but the tears just started flowing and I couldn't stop them. I just don't get it. 

Me & my Mom
Busch Gardens
1981
At theme parks, the beach, etc., anytime I see someone taking a photo of their loved ones, I always run up and offer to take the photo if they'd like to get in the shot. Not once has my offer been turned down. People LIKE to be photographed with the ones they love, don't they? Even as a teenager (and in my oh-so-awkward pre-teen years, as evidenced by the lovely unflattering photo to the left), I never refused to be photographed with my mom and dad. I know - they were different times. I honestly do not set out to humiliate my kids in any way. I love them both with all of my heart and soul and I just wish they could understand how precious this time is. 

My family in Hawaii
2007
I think that part of the reason I got so upset over something so silly as deleted photos is because I know that the time for family vacations is getting shorter and shorter. In just two and a half years, Alana will be going off to college, with Chase just a few years behind her. I'd really like to make the most of this time and have some photographic memories to show for it.
With Love and Aloha ~ Nancy (a.k.a. Wang)

No comments:

Post a Comment