The girl was cute, though dirty and bedraggled. She was watching me, fascinated, as I took pictures of the pee wee ball players running around the diamond, dust clouding up in the hot afternoon sun.
"May I take a picture of you?" I asked her. She glanced over at the older woman, her grandmother I assumed.
"Let her take your picture for the newspaper!" said the lady.
So I did. She smiled shyly and I snapped one picture. Her dress was so colorful and her wire-framed glasses had slid down the bridge of her nose. She looked up at me, smacking loudly on a mouthful of gum. I joked with her for a moment and moved on to finish up my work.
Moments later I was verbally accosted by the girl's mother for taking her picture. My good mood was immediately flattened like a bug on the windshield of a passing car. A trashy, dirty, dented-in, used-up, car. With part of the grill missing. And well over 200,000 miles on it.
"Kids enjoy having their pictures made. They love it. It doesn't mean I will put it in the paper. It's good for their self-esteem and obviously your daughter needs that," I said. I shouldn't have said it, but I did.
There's no telling what was going on with her. I don't know the whole story, and I always wonder when someone is so adamant about staying out of the paper. Explain why or don't, but there's no need for the anger.
It's always better to be nice with your request, assuming you know how to be civilized.