Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ugly can be your friend...

Or, How I got an upgrade to Business Class on an international British Airways flight.

If I'm being honest, I have to say I don't take great pictures. I'm not saying I'm Heidi Klum in person, but I must say I do look better in real life. I just missed out on the photogenic genes that seem so dominant in my family.

And, for the most part, the only effect it has had on my life was to make my pile of embarrassing pictures thicker than my Encyclopedia of Biblical Symbolism in English Literature. Which, just in case you don't have one of those lying around your desk, is really, really thick.

But, there is one moment in my life where I was thankful beyond measure that I was the proud owner of a fairly hideous passport photo.

One summer in college I studied abroad at Cambridge. One of the single most influential experiences of my academic (and personal) life. It was hard and frustrating and challenging and wonderful.

My mom and sister, Tara, met me in London for the tail end of my trip and after traveling around we were planning to fly home together. And, since we're neither multimillionaires or the owners of extensive expense accounts we were flying coach.

We checked in at the gate and, though this is usually where my tales of bad luck begin, this day was different. The girl behind the counter approached us in a routine manner and asked for passports. Mine was first. And, it looked like this:

And after I handed it to her, she did the most unexpected thing. She began to giggle hysterically. Really, really loud. But it then moved on to full belly laughs. I mean, it's not a great picture, but belly laughs? Really?

She looked at me and then at the picture and then announced rather proudly that anyone with a picture that turned out that horrible deserved to have an upgrade. And she upgraded my mother, sister and I to business class.

There are not enough italics to express how important that was because when anticipating an international flight in a space the size of a steamer trunk with sweaty people and snoring old men, an upgrade to business class might as well have been an upgrade to heaven.

Have you ever been in business class? Angels sing there. And they have movies. And chairs that recline all the way. And flight attendants who don't hate you. It is glorious. And if getting a free ticket into that world of luxurious bliss means I have to be the owner of a particularly horrible passport photo then I am happy to oblige.

But, I'm wondering, do you think there is anywhere in Expedia to use that as a coupon code?

14 comments:

Muthering Heights said...

Those photos are never good! Neither are driver's license pics...

Happy Mommy said...

I think business class is divine! I've only flown in it once though!

Heather said...

You kinda remind me of Molly Ringwald in that picture (that's a compliment). At least if a picture had to be bad, it for something you don't use everyday. My first driver's license picture was snapped as I was rolling my eyes at my mother for telling me to stand up straight.

jamie in rose cottage said...

How funny! And yeah, you do look a bit like Molly Ringwald in that photo!

Domestic Spaz said...

Geesh, I don't think it's THAT bad. If it got you that upgrade then it's the best picture you've got, eh? :) I've never flown business class... just looked longingly at the cooshy seats as I walked myself and my carry on back to coach.

kellymac said...

I'm gonna start flashing around my hideous new GA drivers license and see if I get any perks...why did the DMV guy insist on telling a pregnant woman to lower her chin more?

Halie said...

Love it! Your hair is so short in this picture! I don't think it is such a bad picture, you look very studious. That's awesome that you go to be upgraded though.

marigold said...

I think you look perfectly darling in that passport photo! I cannot believe the audacity of the attendant to guffaw! Although, I would totally love a free FAMILY upgrade to business class, even if I had to do tricks to obtain it!

Crayl said...

I don't think it's that bad of a photo either, but hey, if it got you into business class, then Hurrah! Great lipstick color too, very flattering and pretty.

Eryn said...

well first i think she was on crack bc i think you look really cute... maybe now itd be a little funny bc it was taking in the 90s! but i love it! you are pretty! i think you look like molly ringwald

We are THAT Family said...

THAT is hilarious! I think I would have been a little offended, but I would have taken her up on the offer!

Life on the farm... said...

Uh.. I liked the picture! Oh well, if you say so.

The Apron Queen said...

You should see my drivers license. I have gotten the same response. Need to replace that thing. :)

For your daily dose of vintage goodness & a bit of silliness, stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen

The mom, the robot, and the dancer said...

For all the 1,000's of miles I traveled around Asia as a teenager, you made me WISH i had a horrible picture just to get upgraded like that. Rock on bad photos! With my current drivers license photo, I should be having people throwing cruises and new BMW's my way all the time!

It's nice to meet you BTW. My favorite thing about your profile is this:
I love cheesy pop-culture, cool crafty stuff, and not fitting in.

I've gotta love a girl who says that because i'm your clone!