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A picture's worth a thousand words

"I hate them. I hate them all."

That, my friends, is your introduction to the most beautiful 17-year-old girl you've ever seen. You will know her henceforth as The Girl, a pseudonym that I hope gives her a modicum of anonymity. She knows me as Mom.

And what transformed this usually rational young lady into a drama queen came in the mail yesterday. I have two words for you:

Senior pictures.

"That one I can sort of stand," she points to a pretty pose that depicts her seated on a bench. "But I look fat!"

I assured her that she does not look fat. (And she doesn't.) Then we perused the various poses.

Senior pictures have changed a lot since I posed for mine in — well, never mind when. Our hometown photographer gave us a neat stack of wallet-sized proofs from which my parents and I selected what we wanted. The packet The Girl received had two big sheets — one with formal shots, the other with casual.

"I don't like that green screen," I said, pointing to the bottom row.

Apparently, that green screen gives us a choice of backgrounds to put that pose on. We can, for example, have The Girl hanging out on the beach. Not Rockwood Beach — the kind with sharks somewhere in its waters.

We could, if we so choose, have her with her back to a graffati'ed brick wall. Or with a serene wooden bridge surrounded by greenery. There are apparently more choices on the photographer's website, which we have yet to inspect.

What is also left to inspect is the price list. That's when I'll have my own dramatic moment.

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Cheryl Duncan is assistant editor of the Roane County News and, most importantly, the mother of a high-school senior who gives her some of her life's proudest moments. She can be reached at cduncan@roanecounty.com or (865) 376-3481, Ext. 316.