A catchy song often played on the radio these days is "Hey Ya!" by Outkast. One of the lines in the song, "Shake it, shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture," reminds me of one of the most precious and thoughtful gifts I ever received. It was a Christmas gift from my boyfriend, John, when I was 17. I had emigrated to Canada from Britain 18 months previously and the Christmas I was 17, I was heading back to England for a holiday with my parents. John gave me my gift and insisted that I open it early so I could take it with me. It was a Kodak instant camera which, like its Polaroid competitor, developed photos immediately so you could tell straight away if the picture hadn't come out properly. Then you could retake it. Today, with our digital cameras and phones, we take this for granted but back in the late 70s this was revolutionary. It saved much disappointment when the photos were finally developed and you discovered they were blurry or too dark. Especially when retakes involved expensive and lengthy trips across an ocean!
What a sweetheart John was. And how thoughtful. I got lots of great shots with the camera and did have to do a couple of retakes but could take them immediately. The film was expensive but I much preferred the glossy, smooth finish to the papery Polaroid ones. And no shaking involved with the Kodak photos. Just set it down and watch the picture develop in front of your eyes like magic!
But my camera was recalled. I can't remember exactly when or what I got in return for sending it back. Something about a patent issue with Polaroid. I remember being very disappointed, especially as I loved the camera and thought it the better of the two. However, I still had all the treasured pictures it took. A visual portal to my treasured memories and people thanks to a kind and thoughtful young man all those years ago.
Think back, what were your first cameras like? And what was one of the most thoughtful gifts you ever received?
Welcome! I'm Sue Blott: a writer of all things, a poet at heart, mom, wife, daughter, step-mom, grandma, tea drinker, tai chi-er, mystic, artist, dreamer...and now a blogger! This is my world.