When I was about three, one day, there was a large gathering in our community of tiny half-dilapidated apartments. Most of my friends and their mothers came together in somebody’s home (a tiny apartment) and had a potluck party. It must have been a special occasion – somebody’s farewell party, perhaps – since the place was unusually crowded with a large number of people.
My two childhood best friends were also there, but that day, I spent the time playing with somebody else. She and I joked around together by putting on some funny accessories on our faces. We were giggling like mad people when adults called out and said it was time for a group photo.
In the largest room of the tiny apartment, all of us – both the children and their mothers – lined up in rows. I sat at the right corner of the front row next to my friend who I had been playing with. We took one photo, and while everybody was getting ready for the next shoot, I found a pair of toy sunglasses on the floor.
I picked them up and tried them on my face. My friend laughed upon seeing me with the sunglasses, and I grinned back.
“Are you ready?” The person with the camera called out from the front. “One, two, three, say peace!”
Everybody smiled to the camera.
“Who’s that with the sunglasses?” A voice said in the room. “Why don’t you take them off? We can’t see your face well!”
“Don’t worry!” I replied. “I like my sunglasses!”
When the camera clicked for one last time, I posed like a cool kid, emphasizing my sunglasses.
The group photos of that day can be found in our family album. In the first one, my whole face is visible, smiling with others. In the second one, I’m wearing the sunglasses. And in the third one, I’m posing intentionally, wearing the sunglasses and a huge grin on my face.