Shortly before Pea was born, my wife and I decided to get a membership at Costco. We’d heard that you can get some great baby items in large quantities, as well as a free lunch in appetizer form on weekends. Plus, I’ve always wanted to buy my feta cheese in an oil barrel, so it really was a no-brainer.
The day we purchased our membership, the Costco employee serving us was very jovial… lots of smiles, good natured joking and pleasantries were exchanged. In fact, this interaction remains as one of my top 5 customer service experiences of all time.
And yes, I keep track of my customer service experiences. On a chart. In Excel. No, not really.
When it came time for me to take my photo for the back of the card, I asked the Membership employee if I had to merely smile at the camera, or if the photo shoot was open to my own artistic interpretation. Much to my delight, he said “Go nuts!”
So I took my spot in front of the white backdrop, settled myself, looked straight at the camera and threw my thumbs in the air. The resulting image is the one you see to here and every time we go to Costco the cashiers laugh just a little bit at the fool that is Me.
When the flash went off and the spots disappeared, I remember thinking “You’re such an idiot. This is going to go on your permanent record. You’ll never be approved for credit again.” For a while, whenever I would hand the Costco cashier my card, she would chuckle and I would wonder if I went a little too far with my exuberance.
Ever since Pea was born though, I look at my Costco picture with a different perspective. Instead of it being the portrait of a childish, goofy man-boy, it is now the image of a Dad who still embraces fun and silliness at every possible turn.
The photo represents the birth, or I suppose the re-birth, of the inner-child I will need to summon on a daily basis as Pea goes from infant to toddler to pre-teen.
It’s the portrait of a man sitting at a tiny table taking invisible tea with stuffed animals; the portrait of a man wearing layers of gaudy make-up, glittery lip-gloss and sparkly nail polish; the portrait of a man at a Miley Cyrus concert who just happens to be singing along.
It’s the portrait of a father doing whatever it takes to make his daughter happy, and in my book, that is also the definition of a man.