My Dark History with the Easter Bunny
Easter has come and gone and spring is well on its way, but I just felt the need to serve this one last bit of bunny fever before we move on to summer dreams.
We are all ashamed of something in our past. A moment when we've found ourselves in a situation and thought -- "how did I get here??" The key is to take those moments in the valley and find a way to climb out on top. To use our lows as ammunition, as fuel to drive us to a higher goal.
One of those moments in my life occurred as I looked out of the netted, sweat-soaked fur of a giant Easter Bunny costume. That's right, folks.
I. Was. The. Easter. Bunny.
Let me explain.
I have always had a love for photography and video- as my free time entertainment in middle and high school, my friends and I would stage photoshoots and create short adventure films and satirical commercials. We were that cool. This led into college where I set my sights on a part-time job that wouldn't leave me working long nights and weekends and coming home covered in bacon grease and rude people's leftover pancake syrup.
Enter: Sears Portrait Studio.
I know, I'm cringing too. But it was an entryway. A door to something greater.
And it had a paycheck.
I'll just say without too much detail (because I could go ooooon about this for days) it was basically here where I learned every way I would not want to run my business and all the things that worked against the outcome of authentic photos and an enjoyable, stress-free photography experience.
When spring season rolled around, we started shoveling the idea that if you were a decent parent you would bring your child to our closet of a studio to sit for a photo with the Easter bunny. As the newest employee and also the tallest (at a whopping 5'5) I fit best into the costume that had most likely housed many a middle-aged bald man in the past but was to be my smelly home for the next 2 weekends.
I will say without exaggeration that I have never felt like more of a creeper in my life.
Breathing heavily and sweating from beneath my new fur wardrobe, the other employees would sit some unwilling, usually crying or at least terrified looking child down in front of the cliche fake grass, plastic egg, and miniature white-picket fence set up as I crawled toward them with my giant white bunny fingers and black eyes the size of that poor child's head. I was then expected to hold or pull him/her onto my lap for the "perfect" picture.
There was nothing perfect about it.
To this day I don't understand why parents feel the obligation to put a child through this torture. There is not one who enjoys it. Perhaps it's a tradition. Maybe they get some sort of sick, subconscious satisfaction or humor from watching the scene unfold. All I know is, I have climbed out of that dark place and onto a new peak - from Easter bunny at the mall portrait studio to photographer and business owner who serves happy children and never forces them to hug strangers dressed as large forest animals.
Want to know the best part of my Easter bunny days? I had just started dating this really amazing guy and he came to see me at work. He brought a friend and they laughed in my face as I held my temporary bunny hand at my side, but he also brought me lunch, a hug, and then married me 2 years later.
PS. Part of me wishes I had a picture, but all evidence of this lifetime milestone has vanished on a broken old phone. This is my monthly public service announcement to print your pictures!! ;-)