I Claudia: It's not just photos that were exposed

  • Written by Claudia Parker




Have you ever been exposed? Uh, yeah, that would be a yes for me!

Back before my husband, Don, and I had two little beauties, we took exotic vacations on cruise ships. Having been married on a Norwegian cruise liner in Hawaii, cruising became our staple vacation choice. We’ve taken at least five. If you’ve ever cruised, then you know the main dining room requires a little sprucing up for dinner. That’s what I thought I was doing when I put on my black, fitted, sleeveless sweater and dressy khaki, nylon capris with a pair of black pumps.

“Ugh. I can’t wear them.” I said to Don. “You can see them, can’t you?” I was referring to my britches. My capris fell on my hips in a way that revealed my undies.

“Take ‘em off” said Don. It seemed like an easy enough solution. “Okay.” I replied.

And I went commando.

During dinner, a photographer visited our table. “Would you like to take a picture?” she asked.

I am a photo fanatic.

If there’s a camera near me, I’m grinning.

“Sure.” I said going into a model like pose. Don interjected.

“Come over here,” he said.

We were sitting across the table from each other and he wanted to be included. I stood up, walked behind his chair while he remained seated and leaned my face beside his.

“Beautiful”, the photographer stated, as she snapped the shot.

As I walked by Don, returning to my seat, his facial expression screamed panic. “What?” I said, responding to his alarm. Without speaking he raised his eyebrows and motioned toward my rear end.

Potentially everyone on the eastside of the main dining room had learned the secret that I wasn’t wearing my Victoria Secret. I’d neglected to latch the hook on the back of my capris after removing my undies. When I stood up and bent over for the picture, they unzipped, exposing my backside. There are no words! I was beyond embarrassed.

Since then, I’ve been cruising through life, choosing not to be exposed involuntarily but doing so with the intent of helping others avoid my pitfalls. My memoir, “Becoming a Mother While Losing My Own,” is filled with my shortcomings and as long as I’m breathing,

I’m susceptible to future error. That’s just life, we’re not perfect people. The best we can do is live with a sense of purpose by engaging in behavior reflective of our morals and values.

SUBHEAD – My new headshot

 As of late, I’ve been picturing myself differently.

How do you identify with who you are? The previous Washington state NAACP leader, Rachel Dolezal recently came under an avalanche of scrutiny for portraying herself as an African American. In a television interview with NBC news she said, “I definitely am not white.” That’s rather interesting considering a white couple from Montana claims to be her biological parents.

     In other news, we have Bruce Jenner, a world class athlete, telling the world to call him Caitlyn. “I’ve always identified more with being a woman,” said Jenner, in an interview with Diana Sawyer.     

     All this true-identity-talk has left me pondering about who I am.

Before you sit up on the side of your chair, you can relax. I’m not interested in changing my race or gender but I am considering changing my profession.

If you think I’m quitting the paper, fat chance. No, not my part-time post.

I’m thinking of resigning from my fulltime gig as a stay-at-home mom. I’ve been at it nearly eight years. The hours are long and the pay is little. I’ve started doing what most people do before switching employers -- I’m sprucing up.

Hence, the need for a new headshot, I can’t imagine anyone taking me seriously with my ball gown on.

     A whole lot of good that MBA of mine is doing, it’s been hanging comfortably on the wall ever since I left corporate American back in 2007. It's time I’ve dusted off that resume and pulled my good suit out of the closet. I’m not in pursuit of a nine-to-five anymore, more like five-to-nine hours a week shooting photography!

     I’ve been drawn to photography since I was a 10-year-old walking around with a Polaroid. Photography captures the essence of life.

It brings you into the moment.

It allows you to relive the past and anticipate the future. It’s a form of storytelling words don’t always convey. I’ve always acquired the taste for professional training but never ceased the opportunity to learn until now. I’ve been taking professional photography classes online for several months now and I recently enrolled in another one at the Beverly Arts Center.

This little number you see attached to this story was shot by yours truly…well…actually, I let my husband push the button. I wouldn’t go giving him a watermark or anything -- it was totally my technical skill that went into this.

Give me a tripod and remote and I’m dangerous. I’m looking forward to where this journey will take me and moreover, the potential revenue. Collecting box tops and clipping coupons isn’t working for me.

     Expect to get glimpses of my work as I intend to compliment my columns here and there when applicable.

     And what’s to come of my children when this new found career takes hold of my attention? That’s an easy one, they’ll still be loved, fed and nurtured in the same manner they are today.

I believe when we suppress our innate desire it can breed resentment and confusion. Life is an evolving process. Our heartstrings know how to lure us into the direction we’re supposed to go. If we force ourselves to remain in areas we’ve been pruned to move from, we can become bitter, overstressed and tired.

That is not how I picture my future!