Friends, I have finally met my nemesis on this earth. In my silly early days as mom I thought it was poopy diapers. Or bedtime. Or attempting to balance our budget while having cases of wipes and Goldfish crackers shipped to my door.
I was wrong, I was so wrong.
Enter the embodiment of evil: the school picture order form.
It arrived in the weekly Wednesday folder. While part of me loves that our elementary school is organized enough to only pummel parents with paperwork once a week, the other part of me has started preemptive whimpering on Tuesday in anticipation of being slayed.
Being slayed by cruel beasts like school picture order forms.
The form-completion process all started positively enough. I had woken up early one morning, while the kids were still asleep. I gathered my coffee and checkbook, glared don’t-bother-me looks at my husband, and settled in.
Gracious glory. Clearly I had been given the wrong form. Apparently I had been given a copy of investment options for a multi-billion dollar company. I would have called my son’s teacher to report the mix-up, but the sun hadn’t yet risen, and she probably hadn’t quite arrived at school.
I stared at the form, hoping some of the columns would somehow-sort-of blend together and minimize themselves. Had I missed the memo about getting my PhD in School Picture Ordering?? Why had no one told me?
No bother. I could ace this. I mean, we figured out the school bus, surely I could order photos. Plus, feeling like a rockstar, I had found a promo code. I decided to just pop online, order the pics this way, and rock my coupon all at the same time.
The promo did not work.
After mutliple stubborn attempts, I acknowledged that the promo was probably not going to magically start working no matter how many times I punched in the convoluted letter/number combo. Still, at least I was saving the effort of writing a check, right?
I then realized, as we live in the one state in the nation that the photo company requires to pay a tax for pictures, I forgot to include said tax in my non-changeable, non-cancellable online photo order.
It is possible that I was getting grouchy.
I wrote a separate check to cover the tax.
I may or may not have then called a friend, blaming her for getting me into this mess by allowing me to have children in the first place. Clearly, if my incompetence with navigating all the previous tasks of motherhood wasn’t a clear sign that I was a failure as a parent, the catatrosphe of trying to order photos was the definitive nail in the coffin.
I tabled the form as I was now losing my crap…
But hey, THIRTEEN HOURS LATER, Kahlua added to fortifying coffee, and several whiny phone calls to husband, who had since gone to work and returned home, I finished the darn form.
God knows what I ordered. It was either about 14,000 pictures or stock in a large investment firm.
At this point, it didn’t matter. I had finished the form.
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Debbie McCormick says
hehhehheh – oh how I know! I don’t order school pictures. I never like the photo they have taken and also the price is crazy. Close to 50 bucks to get a package for all the same pose. What am I going to do with 24 wallet pictures for a 2nd grader??
Ashley @ 3 Little Greenwoods says
Crack me up! I hate those forms too plus those half smiling, messed up recess hair pictures cost a fortune!
Recess hair is the worst!
Haha perfect post
😉 xo, friend.
Chris Carter says
HA! They are a mess of complications aren’t they? I always look for the cheapest combo pack… just searching the prices. And BAM- through that code in there and ask big daddy for a check. lol
Why does it all gotta be so complicated? Us mamas can’t handle that shiz….
WAY too complicated for this Mama 😉
Reason #6476 I love you.
*why. Why I love you. Pass the Kahlua.
Kahlua passed. Love you back.
They send it twice a year here. I always gasp at the prices. 😉
TWICE a year!? I have so much to learn as a first-time mom. Godspeed to you and your checkbook, Rosey.
Christine at More Than Mommies says
The pictures are crappy and the prices are soooo high and there is never a package that’s just the number of pics you want…if anyone can come up with a clever use for 72 wallet sized snapshots of your toothless 1st grader, let me know.
Will immediately go search out Pinterest…
Kathy at kissing the frog says
Why do these forms have to be so difficult before we’ve had our coffee? Seriously, I think I spend more time on school paperwork then my boys spend on their homework.
And I bought sharing size ones last year – waste of money. My boys didn’t even hand them out. This year when they whined that they didn’t have any to pass out, you better believe I reminded them of that!
Good to know about the share sizes–I wasn’t sure. And yes! The parents’ homework is a beast!
Eva Natiello says
Love this! I too would have tried the coupon code no less than 7 times…. Congrats on gettin’ the job done!
We just had picture drama. After completing the form, subtracting $3 because I only wanted the grey background, and choosing package A2.4 (package A minus the 36 mini wallets minus the 8×10), my kid forgot to hand it in. I tracked down the studio, mailed it in, and his lovely eyes-blinking picture came home yesterday. Next time it’s JCPenney.
Good night. You need a vacation to recover from this trauma, Cristina!
So, for years now I have ordered pictures. Enough to not seem cheap and upset my kids, not so many that I can’t afford to send them to college. Then, when the pictures came, I would pass out the grandparent copies, and stuff the rest away because I had no where to put them. I needed frames, but for whatever reason had always put off buying said frames because we needed 6 and frame cost x6 always seemed silly to me (yet $250 for a purse seemed okay? I know) So, this year I bought frames. I planned out the cutest gallery wall. I even made my own template and hung said cute frames, waiting for cute pictues to come back. Well, they did yesterday, and they are awesome, and all artsy and not school picture-y… best part? THE ORIENTATION IS REVERSED. The pictures are horizontal rather than vertical. My gallery wall will not accomodate this. W.T.F. It’s the universe I tell you…. it just knows!!! I could take the time to send them back, but alas, that takes more forms and (gasp) a phone call. And so it goes.
Sarah, I love this story so much, I can’t say. And I’m so sorry. 🙂
Michael Lombardi says
love the “add-ons” section. Put your name on the wallets? Because we only sell 8 dozen to a set so you’ll have to go so far into the family tree that no one will even know the kid’s name. And photo retouching? 7 year olds don’t need to be retouched unless they have chicken pox. And I’m pretty sure since I was a kid chicken pox are way less common because now there’s a vaccine.
I say take your preemptive whining to a more productive level and schedule a photo shoot right before school pictures next year. Spend the same money and get shi++y studio portraits that you can at least choose from or spend a little more and get a pro who will provide pictures actually worth what you have to pay.
Michael, I think I need you to come be my life coach. Remind me to schedule those studio portraits next year–no retouching or name additions included! 😉
Michael Lombardi says
ha, I wish I could be a life coach! But I give the kind of advice people don’t want. 😛
But no problem, anonymous, I’ll let you be free since you’re my first client.
Anonymous was me, Michael–no idea why my own blog recognizes me as such. I definitely need a coach ;’)
For the love of God and all that’s holy, why can’t I just order a damn 8×10?! Seriously! Just one 8×10! I don’t need 42 wallets. I don’t even know what to do with mini wallets and I sure as hell don’t need bookmarks, door hangers or calendars. Just….one…8×10. *strokes hair while rocking back and forth*
*Hugs as you rock*, Megan…
Set my alarm an hour early to fill this out. Trying to decide among the 12 backgrounds (ooh, gold bubble thingies!) How fitting that I’m choosing Package F.
😉 Love it, Anna. Godspeed.
Thankfully my son’s school has an option for a cd. I bought the cd last year, $15, and I could post it to facebook any email it to the grandparents. If they want it printed, they can take it to Walgreens!!!!
Oh gosh! What a smart option, Abby!
I just want to know why in this day and age they can’t produce a pix w/o having eyes closed or mouth open? Retakes at a later date?? Really?? What photographer looks at a pix of a kid wth eyes half closed looking drugged and thinks “yep parents will be ok with this…..next!”
Ha! EXACTLY. Exactly, Lisa…
Lisa @bitesforbabies says
LOLOL!! I’m laughing my head off…and I’m that teacher wondering why it’s taking so long to hand the form in!!! 😉
Now the mystery is all cleared up, Lisa! 😉
HA! I’m so glad to find out that I’m not alone in my extreme dislike of the school photo extravaganza. Though, now that I’ve done it for a few years (oldest is in grade 5), I have to say that the order form ordeal is just the tip of the iceberg.
First kiddo, photos were only a week into the school year so I almost sent her to school in her regular every day clothes/hair that day (which is still cute …but not $50+ dollar photos cute), and we missed the due date with returning the proofs (5 days… not enough time to check in with grandparents and ensure it’s an 8×10 they want, not a 5×7). But the pics did turn out well, so I paid the late purchase costs…. we didn’t really need to eat that week anyway.
Second kiddo, different school, a month later, well …we’ve discovered she gets ill if I try to do her hair in the morning in front of the mirror. (what? Isn’t the norm to do hair while walking to the car?) This is not the first time but we had always assumed it was a tummy bug before this. Finally pieced this puzzle together and basically the deal is, if I try to curl, braid, or put a clip in her hair while she is looking at herself… puke-fest AAAAALL morning. Which results in missed photos. So, we’re still waiting for the proofs from a questionable retake day. (She flat out refused to let me do anything to her hair at all, even without a mirror, because she didn’t want to be sick again…remember I said regular everyday hair isn’t really worth the $50+? ha.ha.ha.)
Lins! You’ve got serious school picture stories! Dying! And “we didn’t really need to eat that week anyway.”–you are hysterical! 🙂
Add to this all the back ground choices they now offer. Daughter picked background then didn’t like clothes that match said background. Then son comes home crying because they didn’t use the right background ( it’s a green screen and choicen background is added in later) and no one bothered to explain this to him.
PS We are able to chose Add ons alone and I can just get an 8×10 or 2 5×7. Price is still crazy but at least there are not a million pictures of my kids with recess hair floating around that I have No clue what to do with !! lol
This is such a complicated beast, Karen! I feel like they should offer degrees in figuring this out 😉
I was so determined to use the promo code that I called them after placing the order. I had to hold for over an hour (not an exaggeration) before speaking with someone. They told me that they applied the code, which was for a free digital image. I never got the digital image. Called back three times trying to get it before giving up.
Victoria Eliason says
The free digital image deal. I got mine to work. You had to select purchase the digital image and then apply the code at the end…but you had to have the digital image in your cart first in order to get the money taken off. Hope that helps.