I took about a dozen pictures of myself this morning, hoping to capture something that doesn't exist without airbrushing and a stylist or two. It's my 43rd birthday, and I thought I'd get a snapshot of me to mark the occassion. I like to think that I'm not a terribly vain person, but I know that I am vain, if not terribly. The grey hair, I don't mind at all, and think is pretty neat. We call it silver. But, I snapped from above, below, and to the side, trying to avoid the dark circles, the jowls, the rosacea, the weird smile. I even changed shirts twice, thinking that a different color would erase or diminish imperfections. Finally, I took one more-or-less straight on, imagining I was surrounded by tiny little seahorses, and by golly, that was the one, dark circles and all. After all, I am 43.