As I enter into middle age, I hear a lot of my female contemporaries lamenting the fact that they have very few photos of themselves holding their babies. Now, ten or twenty years later, they realize the folly in their decision. They only have a handful of photographs reminding them of those special early days with their babies. By the time I was in my mid-thirties, this propensity for female friends to throw up an objecting hand when I pulled out my camera already annoyed me. But on the other hand, I got it.
There is a picture of me when I'm 13, lined up in a gaggle of swimsuit-clad girls, complete with oversize teeth and nascent breasts. For some sadistic reason, the eighth grade ended with a class-wide beach trip to the New England coast. At first glance, you'd notice the cute Persian girl in a teeny flowery bikini and the tall dirty-blonde in the white tankini. And then you'd notice me. I'm the one swaddled in enough fabric to safely parade through downtown Riyadh. The only one wearing a one-piece, I have one towel draped over my shoulders and a second wrapped around my waist, its edges trailing in the sand.