Attention, School Picture Studios! Times have changed! Kids still carry wallets but trust me, they are NOT trading photos of their friends like Pokemon cards, much less carting around a collection of postage-stamp-sized photos in their hip pocket. That is not cool.

Now there’s FaceBook. Kids post photos, comment on them, and post updates on what they’re thinking and doing throughout the day. Basically, it’s a group blog written by the entire universe of people born after the Tet Offensive. (Also Emily made me set up a FB account, because she’s a mere baby of 39, and I must say it is a most excellent time-waster on which I can spy on my children and godchildren, which I am enjoying immensely. Thanks, Em!)

I know school photo studios are facing huge revenue losses as a result of FaceBook. Look what happened to classified ads when craigslist came along. Free stuff always trumps pricetag stuff.

Despite school photographers’ growing irrelevance, they still have us over a barrel. If parents and grandparents want the official photo of the 2008-09 school year, every single package diabolically includes the dreaded and obsolete Wallet Exchange size. You CANNOT opt out of it.

OK, does anyone ever use up all those wallet size photos from School Picture Day? I mean, really? In this house, we cut the wallet sheet every time the elementary school says ‘Send in a photo of your child.” Second grade Hugh is immortalized in the above paperweight, and Ian’s tiny face is in a plastic key fob. But there are still 363 extra wallet size photos floating around our abode. It seems heartless to recycle the faces of loved ones, and so we live with the Ghosts of School Photo Days Past.

Now my desperation grows. Because all the boys are out of elementary school. No more crafts projects or holiday “Secret Santa” workshops at school. Therefore, no more getting rid of at least one or two wallet pix of Malcolm. PanIc looms at the prospect of yet more sheets of repeating faces.

If you’ve had any brilliant ideas on how to use up these excess portraits, do tell.

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