Sunday, October 09, 2011

A model husband

“Did I miss a memo ...?”

His text messages were blinking. It was Sunday night, but his office manager had a pressing question that couldn't wait until Monday.

My husband laughed as he held out his phone so I could see the barrage:

“Is there something I should know? … Such as ... Have you changed professions? Exactly how long have you been a male model?”

She'd been leafing through her copy of This Old House magazine and recognized her employer's face in a Campbell's Soup ad.

Well, actually she only thought she recognized his face. She wasn't exactly sure until she studied the two children balanced on the back of the line-backer-esqe man pretending he was a bucking bronco.

“I'd know those kids anywhere,” she said of Ittybit and The Champ.

He was laughing as he typed a response: … “Ever since I married a photographer.”

He's a good sport.

How could he not be when the focus of my camera often makes my heavy-object-moving, truck-driving husband the target of cheek-biting barbs.

“You sure you can lift that all by yourself? I wouldn't want you to break a nail … or muss your hair ... now that you're a model and all.”

He's a better sport than I'd be, anyway, if my hairdresser had done the double-mirror inspection bit wherein I learned he'd been photoshopping hair on my bald spot ... for years, by the size of it.

I meant well. Really, I did.

But I digress.

I've been selling stock photographs for a few years: A couple of regional ads here, a few website illustrations there. Most of the sales amount to pocket change, which I try to squirrel away so the kids will be able to buy themselves sweatshirts from their college bookstores in 12 or 15 years.

We rarely see the finished advertisements or know where they end up other than the monthly statement of sales telling which ad agency bought what photo. Based on those accountings, it's been apparent that non-US sales are the bread and butter of my little toaster factory. In fact, his minor popularity abroad has become a running joke. He likes to tell people he's “big in Belgium,” though technically his likeness has been licensed more times in Germany.

So being recognized in this country, not to mention finding out (from another Facebook friend) that the same ad appeared in Sports Illustrated was an extra special treat. And one that meant he and I would spend our anniversary “date night” at the newsstand carefully leafing through every possible book that might contain ads for soup.

Honestly. I never knew there were so many magazines. Or so many ads. Or soups.

I think we might have been there an hour learning about the intricacies of advertising one publication at a time. Few ads seemed to be repeated, and don't bother looking for anything save performance enhancing potions in men's fitness magazines.

“So,” I wondered. “If we're blaming fashion magazines for bulimia can we blame fitness magazines for baseball?”

He shrugged.

“Look at this: Page after page of statistics. Honestly, I think I'm missing some genetic component for spectator sports. Reading this kinda thing would make me go blind.”

“Nope. This would make you go blind,” I laugh, holding up the prize he thought I'd overlooked: Maxim. I knew he'd poured over it slowly and carefully as I inspected every single offering in the home design section.

“I think I'll just go through that one more time. I may have missed a page.”

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