I've always been pretty good at entertaining myself.
I'm far from antisocial, but I'm also fine just hanging with the coolest guy I know — me! Throw a cat or dog into the mix and I could amuse myself for hours, dancing around with the helpless pet and making up epic songs about all the fantastical adventures we could be having.
When I had human roommates, I could giggle quietly to myself for quite some time as I hid, waiting to scare whomever came home next. Thankfully, I never got punched in the face as a result.
So when Jaci Velasquez’s autograph session was delayed at the Miss Quince & Latin Bridal Expo back in August, I wasn’t too upset. I took the opportunity to wander a bit and see what I could find.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Tri-City Herald
The expo part of expos is far from a photojournalist's ideal subject. When public relations people are behind an event and everybody is thrilled to see you there, it’s hard not to feel like a shill. Plus, it’s hard to make photos when a sales rep. keeps trying to tell you about his or her amazing product and customer service record in hopes of some free publicity.
Away from the noise of the fashion show and the booths of merchants eager to get some free publicity, I noticed a curtain move in my periphery.
Checked my exposure.
And I slowly slid into position.
I can only imagine what other passersby must have thought of me as I waited with my camera in front of my face by two rows of gowns, and I may have negatively affected sales because when a couple women came by to check out the dresses, I gave a half-smile and held my post, certain that a tiny shy guy would peek out at any moment.
Angel Boscas, 6, quickly closed and reopened the curtain, closing it again when I approached to get his name.
The experience brought me back to my childhood, when shopping with my mom meant scampering my way into the clothing racks, and though I remember the verb of hiding, I can't remember the adjectives.
I can't remember why it was so fun to do that without the punchline of bursting out and scaring someone.
I can't remember how it felt to crouch in there.
Did it feel safer to be surrounded by Liz Claibourne?
I do remember taking mental notes while growing up about the misunderstandings adults had of children in the hopes that I would not repeat those offenses when I grew up, but I can't remember what those injustices were.
Even though my internal generation gap kept me from fully empathizing with little Angel Boscas, it still put a smile on my face and reminded me of a simpler time, when entertainment could be nothing more than being enveloped by cloth.