For most of my thirty years, I've lived under the assumption that I am an oddball, different, left of center. While I still assert that I am strange and intentionally so, the more I come to know other people (and by that I mean the people I am forced to work with, not my friends) the more I realize that I am not as weird as I thought.
There are others out there who take the concept of weirdness to a new, creepy, get-behind-me-Satan flavor.
Exhibit A: So for the entire month of June, my co-worker, The Spineless Turtleman, has been AWOL delivering toilet paper in Germany or some such other Territorial Army bullshit. While I've been toiling away under the yoke of all this additional work, I've quite enjoyed the empty cube next to mine. No nail clipping, no tense phone calls with his wife The Fat Shrew, no obtuse questions...
Yesterday morning, I'm here all by myself. The rest of my group's out of the office. I am milling around, giving myself a break from the oppressive millstone that Corporate Hell has strapped to my back. I stroll past Turtleman's cube, and notice this rather larger stack of photos sitting on his desk.
Okay, I am going to Hell. I know. I snooped through his stuff.
But the pictures were in plain view. In court, that counts for something. That'd be admissable evidence.
I casusally flipped through the pictures. There were probably between 25 and 30. All of his daughter. At various ages ( I think she's 8 now.).
What was disturbing about the pictures is that so many of them seem very clearly posed. Here she was bent over, picking flowers and looking up at the camera grinning. A second picture of the same flower picking, except this time she's looking pensively into the distance. A handful of pictures in what looked like New York. Girl in front of FAO Schwartz, sitting on a park bench, in front of a balloon seller. Cheesy, staged shots of her looking excited on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty or peeking through those $.25 binocular thingees. In every one, she looked as though she was following someone's directions, "Okay honey, now look excited! We're in New York! Big smile! Good!"
There were a few candid shots. Girl playing soccer (bleck). Girl in dance class. But the majority of the pictures seemed forced. It was obvious that the subject knew what to do, as if this was some game of "Model/Photographer" she played with her daddy. And there were so many of these damn pictures. It started to creep me out.
All of the photos on Turtleman's cube wall or in frames on his desk are of his daughter. No pictures of his wife, other family members, friends. Then there's this stack of pictures of his kid playing Junior Brooke Shields. The sheer volume of photography is overwhelming. I can only imagine what he's got at home.
I've met The Turtleman's offspring. She's annoying and bratty. Certainly not worth the amount of film with which he's dedicated to immortalizing her.
I'm an only child. I grew up in a house with lots of my own pictures adorning the mantle and the walls, but not to this extent. There was no Gallery of Amanda. Not at my parent's places of employment either. Shit, I think now my mom's probably got more pictures up of her cats than me.
Am I wrong to think this is bizarre and more than a little bit lascivious? Father seems a little over-enamored with his Daughter. I fear for the years to come in that family.
More of what Not To Do when Lumpy arrives.