Hey Stranger, Thanks for Taking That Pic of Me and My Friends
If the paparazzi doesn’t come to you, find the paparazzi and go to them.
I’d like to give a shout-out to the stranger who took my picture.
The one who was in the middle of his evening run when his 5k dreams were momentarily paused by two girls who desperately needed their friendship, the sunset, and the sailboat to their left on the Hudson River captured.
The one who was just trying to buy groceries and get home but agreed to photograph me by the bananas. “It’s an inside joke,” I explained.
The one who was on her phone, and the call looked kind of serious, but not serious enough that I felt uncomfortable waving in her face then whispering, “Hey, so sorry, do you mind taking our picture?”
Thanks to the one who kindly suggested I fix my hair.
A huge “thank you” is in order for the stranger who waited patiently while all 10 of us aligned ourselves — tallest in the back, me and Emily doing the camp-counselor-squat in the front; Sara on the right because of her hair-part, Jess on the left with a nice side-turn skinny arm. You took it both vertically and horizontally, and asked if we wanted a flash. We didn’t, and the flash went off anyway, so you took it again. That one came out great. I’ll probably get it framed.
Thank you for resisting the temptation to take a picture of yourself. I know how alluring that is; the little flip button makes it way too easy. And I wouldn’t have minded if you did that…it just would have been a little weird. You are a stranger, after all.
Speaking of which, thanks so much for not stealing my phone.
And thank you for not dropping it, either.
Thank you for nodding when I asked if you “got the whole outfit,” and thanks for not being a dick when I was like, “Actually, could you do it again?
Thank you to the old man who’d perhaps never seen an iPhone before, who thought he was doing a good deed by taking a chance on some sweet girls when instead he was barraged with an impromptu tutorial on how to take a photo with a device that to him might as well have been a rocket ship.
Another thanks to his grandkid who showed up five seconds later. That version was better, mostly because Monica had her eyes open.
I’ve said before that a stranger is a purse you haven’t met yet (“can you hold my keys for a moment while I search for my wallet?”), but you were so much more than that: paparazzi. Friend.
Maybe one day we can be in a picture together. Maybe I’ll post it to my Instagram, and you’ll post it to yours. I’ll make the caption something creative like, “Lol, so random.” You’ll use a nice filter — we could both use a tan.
And then I’ll ask you what your handle is, and I’ll “at” you, and you’ll “at” me. We’ll go our separate ways, then both obsessively check for “likes.”
Someone will inevitably comment “who the eff is that Amelia?”
And I’ll write back: “A friend.”
“Who took it?”