A small story:

If pressed, I think the most baffling thing to explain to anyone younger than 25 is how rarely anyone over 45 took a picture.

Well, that and rotary phones.

I imagine myself pulling down a photo album and then stopping to explain a photo album.
Having broken down the idea of "We printed them and then put them in a book and never looked at them unlike now, where they are in your phone and you never look at them," I'd show them an average page.

Birthday or two.



"That's a year," I would say.
They'd possibly push the pictures a few times, thinking that maybe it would open a file of the rest of the 16,000 images of pets, meals and bomb-light pouting which is now how we measure a year.

"Nope," I'd say cheerfully, "The picture were printed, picked up, put in here."
(Pause for break while I explain a little more fully about getting your film printed and how the place was never open when your mom went by but as it was inside Thrifty's you could usually coax a crappy scoop of ice-cream out of your parent)
If the saying goes, "Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel," the corollary might be, "Never fight with a form of self-expression which is basically free."

In both cases, you will lose.

And yet, here I am.

About to...push back a bit.
I am no photographic naif. My hands are not clean. I take more pictures of my grand cat in the average morning than my great-grandparents had taken of themselves in their lifetimes.


In my defense, none of my ancestors had implausibly large eyes.
I'm taking photos of myself in @RenttheRunway to hold myself accountable that I'm actually doing this little project.

I took pictures of myself in all my atrocious workout leggings because they were objectively funny and it was a dark time in America and someone needed them.
See the common denominator?

Me, me, small mammals who don't know about Twitter, me. Yes, one could make the argument that social media is basically, "Me, me, small mammals, me," but part of the "Me" is "BEHOLD MY FRIENDS."

"OOH, let's get a picture!" someone shrieks.
I grit my teeth, slide towards the back. If it's noticed that Quinn - the size of an 8th-grader - has moved to the back and is gently pushed forward, I try to duck, look away, let my hair flop in front of my face.

I wasn't asked if I wanted to be photographed.

They never do.
"Quinn, people ask."

Not really. Even if they do, they don't. Recently I was with someone after hiking and I noticed they were about to take a picture of me.

"Oh, please don't," I said.

"It'll be cute," she said, then took it.

It was not.

I asked her to delete it.
She was slightly hurt; why wouldn't I want my picture taken? Isn't that what we do?

"NO WE DO NOT," my friend I saw Saturday said hotly after we talked about this story, then told me hers. She's dealing with a chronic condition, which is requiring many doctors.
One of her doctors has a nurse who keeps trying to get a picture of her.

"Why?" my friend asked.

"Why, what?" the nurse asked.

"Why do you need a picture?" my friend said reasonably.

The nurse thought and then said, "For the file."

"Why?" my friend asked.

"I dunno."

This happens every time.

Every time, my friend says, "If you give me an actual medical reason, I'll be happy to take the picture. Until then, I'll see you next week."

The last time she said this, the nurse said hopefully, "When we can get a picture?"
How often have you taken a picture of someone or something for the metaphorical file? Done it for reasons you can no longer remember? If you are performing an act which is no longer yoked to meaning, you have moved from ritual to rote.

And that's not my problem.
I'm tired of being yanked into photos when I'm sweaty, or disheveled, which is a fair amount of the time. I'm tired of leaning over food so we can all cram in because yay, brunch is back and I have maple syrup cleavage stain to prove it!
I'm tired of being asked by people who are going to do it anyway, even when I say "no." I'm an introvert and this kind of performative happiness for some people I don't know in the photographer's facebook cohort is exhausting bullshit.
I don't like parties, I rarely like get-togethers and this new form of trophy-gathering just irritates me. I am on this earth to observe myself and others, to write, to bottle-feed a few more kittens, to make as many drinks as Bacchus permits.
I am not on this earth to be a dress extra in your tiny self-esteem theatrical spectacle and the next time someone asks me and answers "It'll be cute," to my "Oh, please don't," and tries to shoot I can promise you two things:

1. There will be no picture,
2. It won't be cute.

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More from @quinncy

21 Oct
A small story:

For a couple of years, Kid swam/water polo’ed/dove. She was never completely dry and the back seat of my car was a shade lighter than the front seat thanks to chlorine.
While all three pool sports shared a venue, the participants were easily categorized. The swim-team kids were the ones shaped like inverted triangles, the water-polo players were covered in bruises and the divers had destroyed hair.

“Didn’t they all?”

Swim team wore caps, water-polo wore caps- at least in part so an opponent didn’t tear off their ears- but divers, did not. The pattern of diving/waiting to dive created greater porosity in the hair, leading to greater damage.
Read 15 tweets
20 Oct
For those who asked, here is the book (feat: Non-janky highlighter) Image
Here is the first page. I will give you no more but lie to me and tell me you don’t want @ElieNYC’s book.

Pre-order it. Image
You have no idea how mad I am at you, @ElieNYC.

Read 20 tweets
20 Oct
A small story:

I loved ballet.

I loved the precision, the quiet, the discipline, the chasing after a Platonic ideal of a line, a movement, the feeling of flight, of speed. I loved the wardrobe and oh, did I love pointe shoes.

Ballet tolerated me.
At its heart dance is a sport * and, like all sports, there are certain people more physically-suited to the sport than other. I wasn't designed for ballet.

* At its heart, ballet began as a way for French aristocrats to look at lady-legs and pick out their new mistress.
Even though I was small, I was the wrong kind of small; the perfect ballet dancer should have a smaller head, very long limbs and very bendy feet.

If spiders could pirouette, Balanchine would have married three of them.
Read 26 tweets
14 Oct
A small story:

"I'm sorry," someone who knows me in three dimensions says apologetically, "I'm not on Twitter."

It's fair for them to assume this will wound me deeply. As I have noted before, "I was on Twitter" will always be my alibi, no matter the day or time.
Anyone who spends as much time as I do on here must like it.


"Good for you!" I say supportively to the non-Twitter person, then add, "And never start. It's a septic tank."

I believe this.

Turns out, I'm that bacteria which has evolved to thrive in septic tanks.
Until this morning, my answer was always, "There is no good reason an emotionally healthy and fully-actualized person should be on Twitter. The Nazis alone are reason enough. Also, no edit button."

This morning, I received a text from a friend's son, newly in this tank.
Read 10 tweets
13 Oct
A small story:

As anyone who has followed me for a while knows, my volunteering energy goes a bunch of places but I put the bulk of it towards @SanteDOr, a tiny, nearly all-volunteer rescue, based in a single storefront in Atwater Village.

Don't let the size fool you.
In the last twenty years, they have saved and placed thousands of cats, some dogs, a few very confused rabbits and one very alarmed hamster. During the pandemic, they redoubled their TNR efforts because a lot of groups were overwhelmed.

They are good people.

Stuff gets done.
More to the point, animals get second chances. Frequently during a Trap/Neuter/Release program in a feral cat colony a volunteer will realize a "Feral" cat is frantically purring and curling around their hands, desperate for safety and care again.
Read 25 tweets
12 Oct
A small story:

"I LIKE this dress!" Consort says appreciatively. I nod in agreement; it's very flattering, clever enough to keep me from yelling about who would pay over $700 for this dress. I mean, I wouldn't but I respect that someone with near-infinite resources would.
I swish around so the dress can have a moment and Consort says happily, "I'm glad you're enjoying this experiment."

I stop mid-swish.

"Oh, I wouldn't say that," I say, then add, "I mean, it's fine. It's a good writing prompt."

Even the best couples have unbridgeable chasms.
I think of Consort's temperament as the byproduct of his Mediterranean ancestors, a man capable of great pleasure merely by being surrounded by the things in this world which matter to him. A great red wine being drunk with lifelong friends on a lakeside porch?

Read 16 tweets

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