My old license expired yesterday, and I was happy to see it go. Even though it was taken five years ago, when I was still in my thirties, the picture makes me look like a fifty four year old - a fifty four year old with a bad case of scurvy who hasn't slept in about a year.
I knew that license photos are never attractive, but I felt that with a bit of preparation and a lot of makeup, I could beat the odds and produce one that, at the very least, wouldn't make my daughter cry when she stumbled upon it in my purse.
So this morning I carefully applied some eyeshadow and lipstick, and used about three litres of concealer on the bags under my eyes. I washed my hair and put in lots of 'product' to make it bouncy and curly, and made sure that it was draped artfully over my sticky-out ear (and the other ear too, just to be symmetrical).
And off I went to the RTA.
I filled out my forms and paid the bill, and then the lovely young man behind the counter told me not to smile.
Well, let me tell you this. I don't respond well to being told not to smile.
I began to giggle. Then I began to laugh. Then I tried to smother my laughter by biting my tongue. Then I took a deep breath and pursed my lips to calm myself down....
And that's when the photo was taken.
It is terrible. Just awful. I look like a middle aged virgin schoolteacher who lost her fiance in the war, and has never recovered from the pain. Even worse, my hair is flat on the top and the bags under my eyes are dark grey.
So the moral of the story is, don't even bother trying. License photos are there to hurt you and amuse everyone else.
And if you can't hack that bitter truth, go buy yourself a pushbike and leave the car at home. Which is what I am thinking of doing in another five years time.