I don’t care how smart you are, the task of ordering your child’s class photos can push any IQ to the breaking point.
On its face, the order form for the school photos is a complex mess of choices.
Let’s say, for example, you have trouble deciding over paper or plastic bags at the grocery store; the order form for class photos would cause your head to explode like that guy in the movie “Scanners”.
If you don’t know what I mean, “Scanners” is a 1981 horror/sci-fi movie written and directed by David Cronenberg involving a group of people with telepathic and telekinetic powers that, for one, can cause heads to explode.
If you don’t know what I mean about the complexities of the photo order forms, I’ll share a few examples with you.
For $30 bucks, you can get the following combinations of photo prints: (A) one 8x10, one 5x7, four 4x5’s and 20 wallets; (B) one 10x13 one 8x10, one 5x7, two 3.5x5’s; (C) two 8x10’s, two 5x7’s, two 4x5’s, eight wallets and 10 sub-wallets or (D) one 8x10, one 5x7, 15 wallets, 10 sub-wallets and one keyfob.
Yes, I know exactly what you’re thinking, and that’s what is the difference between a 10x13, a 5x7, a 4x5, a 3.5x5.
The answer is nobody knows. You just have to order whatever and hope that it fits in the frame you have available.
The other question is what I asked since seeing the order form, and that’s, “What in the name of Kronos is a sub-wallet size print?”
It must be something that fits perfectly in a smaller wallet than what you previously had because your wallet will most certainly shrink after placing the photo order.
Package deals can go up to $50, but you can also add on different items like a keychain, a button, a magnet, a 5x7 in mate (which sounds like a prison cell), keyfobs, an ornament, a mouse pad and options of digital images available.
But wait...there’s more!
There are options to have the photography company remove light blemishes like minor acne and red eye, heavy blemishes like severe acne and bruises and the Industrial Light & Magic option that removes all blemishes, gives your kid and facelift while aging them to adulthood as an actor playing a lawyer representing Matthew McConaughey after being wrongly accused of murder.
Then your total is roughly $938 or, if you aren’t independently wealthy, you have to enter the second phase of frustration, and that’s deciding which family members get whatever sizes are available.
Yeah, you thought buying photos on a budget was frustrating enough, but after you select your package, you have to decide who is, what I call, “size worthy”.
Let’s say you come from a simple nuclear family and started your own simple nuclear family, and you order a random $40 package that contains two 8x10’s, two 5x7’s, one 4x5 and 10 wallets.
Naturally, you and your spouse will take one of the 8x10’s, the other 8x10 would go to a grandparent, but what about the other set of grandparents? Then you have to figure out how one set of grandparents will get the 8x10 and the other will get the 5x7.
That debate can involve factors like how much time do the grandparents spend with the kid, how much babysitting is done, how many gifts are given at Christmas and birthdays, their individual credit scores, details of their will and especially if the other set of grandparents will ever step into the other’s home and vice versa.
If the latter is a yes and if the parents want to avoid a family feud that even Steve Harvey can’t handle, then the parents will have to give both 8x10 prints to both sets of grandparents, and the parents settle with the 5x7.
However, there’s the other 5x7 as well as a 4x5 to distribute to the child’s aunts and uncles where a process similar to that of the grandparents takes place, and one will also have to hope they only have two siblings to worry about and no very-close cousins to consider.
“Well, my cousin Vinny has babysat in the past for little Ralphie, so maybe he should get the 3.5x5; of course, my sister Sarah donated a kidney to Ralphie--ugh! Decisions!”
“Well, we can order an extra set of 5x7’s for an additional $25.”
“Screw it; they’ll both get the wallet size!”
Now that’s the spirit and the only way to truly survive figuring out who gets what from the photo prints other than avoiding the whole thing and becoming a celibate monk.
When it comes to the sub-wallet size prints, however, your best bet is to give them to relatives you rarely see or give them to people with really good eyesight because everyone is going to squint at a sub-wallet print and say, “Why is your kid in a courtroom with Matthew McConaughey?”
According to Hofmann is written by staff reporter Mark Hofmann of Rostraver Township. His books, “Good Mourning! A Guide to Biting the Big One...and Dying, Too” and “Stupid Brain,” are available on Amazon.com. He co-hosts the “Locally Yours” radio show on WMBS 590 AM every Friday.