Two things need to be said.
1. I got a camera.
2. I am not a photographer.
Dreamy-eyed amateurs clutching a few hundred dollars in nickels and dimes, scrounged from babysitting and Saturday morning walks -- they head into Walmart looking for Canon Rebels and Nikons. Me? I was going to camp and had a big budget of thirty bucks. I walked in and immediately got lost in the technology department, and after strolling through aisles of game controllers and snazzy laptop covers, landed in the cheap-o digital camera lane.
Here I learn a very hard lesson about love at first sight: It was pink, cool and everything was wrong.
The screen was 1.5 inches. Its little turn-on jingle sounded like one of those plastic games thrown in with a Happy Meal. The time stamp (who wants a time stamp?) appeared on every photo. The lens was permanently hibernating, the zoom was pathetic, and the pictures -- they were like a bad paint job.
I named it Vivienne Rose, because I have a penchant for naming my technology. If it has a name, it has an independent personality and a pinch of original sin. Read: I am not responsible for the technological blunders it makes. (You could spell that i-r-r-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-i-l-i-t-y, but I prefer to think of it as tact.) It was a Vivicam, so that's where Vivienne came from; it was, as I said, a cool pink, and I always wanted to slap on the middle name Rose to something, be it camera, cat or child.
Name or no name, it was nothing but trouble from the fated second I laid eyes on it.
"I got a cool pink camera!" I hollered to my dad, who was watching the children zipping around on scooters and taking spills on the pavement. "What do you think?"
He turned it over in his hands. "How many photos does it hold?"
"One hundred and twenty, I think."
"Where does it say that?"
"It needs an SD memory card, see?" He pointed: SD memory card required (not included).
So I dragged along my sister again, who was complaining about my misfortunes in life and why did she have to take center stage with them?
"One thing we're not going to do," she told me: "we're not checking out with the same cashier."
Deal. She has this paranoia of cashiers. But truthfully, it was embarrassing enough to be buying a cheap pink camera, much less trooping back in because Some Unmentionable Person didn't read the labelling. I didn't feel like becoming another Weird Customer Story. I was wearing pigtails, you know. I didn't need to the extra attention.
We parked (perfectly) and to our horror, our cashier was walking out of Walmart, matching in navy polos with another worker, apparently just let off work.
"I am not getting out of this car," said the sister. I was laughing. She was laughing. We were red-faced, out of breath and lost once we got back to the camera section. Of course, to be logical, the SD memory cards were nowhere near the cameras.
With memory card in hand and batteries popped into the camera, we tested it out. I cannot relive the pain in detail, but the mood was such that my sister was inclined to say, "Sunlight will make everything better."
I was thinking something along the lines of, "How did I let those thirty dollars go so easily?"
Note to self: Wipe the gullible off your face. That will eliminate any future thirty-dollar-rip-off transactions with alluring pink point-and-shoots.
To make matters worse, the company committed false advertising. Part of the reason I parted with thirty dollars instead of twenty or ten was because this cool pink camera could take video. A thirty dollar camera that snaps photos and videos? Almost too good to be true.
It was. Because after shooting two videos of my sister explaining her deep distrust of this plastic camera, we discovered that it shot only silent video.
Ha. We nearly died laughing. Because one, who actually falls for the notion that thirty dollars can buy a video-shootin' camera, and two, who on earth thinks it's a boon to society to shoot silent video? I got thirty seconds of my sisters spelling their names in sign language anyway.
All that to say, I got a camera and I'm not a photographer.