The Not So Funny Photo

IMG_0500I debated about including this photo in the previous posting, but went with it because it fit the subject, and I do not really know its circumstances.

For a long time I thought it was just a funny photo I had taken of two fat ladies, probably sisters, enjoying a day at the beach. But the more I look at it, the more I think it is a mother caring for her mentally handicapped daughter. If the daughter, on the right, turned around, I think she would have the appearance of Down’s syndrome.

A clue is in the way they are standing.  The mother seems to be holding her daughter’s hand in a protective manner common to mothers everywhere, but this one has become automatic after perhaps 40 years of daily routine.  The mother, bored by the constant care-giving, is easily distracted by something in the distance, but that is okay because she is holding onto her daughter.  The daughter looks straight ahead, unconcerned, knowing her mother will handle everything, as she always has.  For both, hand-holding is as natural as the sunshine in Florida.  Neither gives it the slightest thought.

The photo is over ten years old, and the mother could well be dead  and her daughter institutionalized by now. The mother must have been worried about the future but kept a brave face to give her unsuspecting daughter one more day of carefree pleasure. This, too, was as natural as the sunshine.

Whatever the true story is, I am now saddened by the photo, not amused, and I deleted it from my files.

About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
This entry was posted in Aging and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Not So Funny Photo

  1. indianonthestreet says:

    I guess the thing is with us nowadays… We tend to over analyse everything and find faults in everything. Back in the old days a picture like this would have meant nothing serious , but now we forced to think in different ways, who is this , what is gonna happen if I post it, how will people react to it and so on ! What you are imagining might be true or it may not be ! Life too short to get depressed buddy .. laugh it off and hope that the story is happy 😉

    • Roger Walck says:

      You are quite right—we all need to stay positive. I should laugh it off and assume the best, but for me the choice is simple: If I enjoy looking at a photo, keep it. If I don’t, trash it. In this digital age, photos cost almost nothing, and I have plenty of others. Once you have learned an insight, you can not un-learn it.

      P.S. Thanks to your comments, I retrieved the photo from my recycle bin and will reconsider it. I enjoy taking street photos just to speculate on the lives of interesting strangers. The speculation is not always good, nor should I expect it to be.

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