I was browsing Instagram one night a couple of weeks ago and saw that The New York Times Travel section had asked people to post their #awkwardfamilytravels photos. The mother of all awkward family travel photos was sitting not two feet away from me on my laptop, so I couldn’t not post it. I was proud to post it.* Because while my family will never be the most beautiful, cultured, gracious, or fun, we hands down are among the most awkward people on the planet. Especially when we’re together: our awkwardness’s whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s nice to accept yourself and your family as is, and to embrace the thing that used to horrify you. (The thing I am talking about is our family’s awkwardness in general, but I could also be talking about my haircut here, which is the one that mortified me as a child, but which I now find rather elfin and cute.)
It didn’t surprise me one bit when @nytimestravel reposted my photo as their favorite. Of course it was their favorite. Why wouldn’t some of the most awkward people on the planet take one of the most awkward photos on the planet? If I had access to my parents’ photo albums right now, there are at least fifteen more where that came from. We could lap and double lap and triple lap other people’s #awkwardfamilytravels.
What I didn’t expect was for The Times to print the photo in the actual paper this past Sunday. I love love love this most dubious of honors and am overjoyed to have gotten such a low-brow photo into such a high-brow publication. (My parents bought a copy of the paper for me but I haven’t seen it yet. I really hope our pic is on the same page as some article about luxury ecotourism.)
*The reason I had it on my computer in the first place is because I had made it my Facebook picture after rediscovering it at my parents’ house a few years ago.