The Passport Photo Guy Told Me Not To Smile And Now We’re Engaged

Life is short – so this year, I made the choice to expand my horizons and travel more. But even though my decision to start traveling has changed my life, what happened right after changed it even more. I’ve found the love of my life, and I didn’t have to go any further than the photo department of the pharmacy by my house. That’s where I met Jake, the passport photo guy at Walgreens who went out of his way to tell me not to smile.


And now we’re engaged!


I spend so much time as a woman being told all kinds of different things my men, many of whom are strangers. “Don’t swear, it’s unladylike.” “You should wear less makeup.” Or, the most irritating one, “Why don’t you smile more?” It’s endless, and it’s infuriating. So when I was standing up against that blank drugstore wall, fuming over all the indignities I faced that day but trying to remain positive so that my passport picture wouldn’t be a disaster, and I heard Jake utter the phrase, “You don’t have to smile,” my heart skipped a beat.


I knew he was the one. I knew I was being loved for all my emotional multitudes. I knew I’d found my future husband.


Sure, some of my friends have said that I’m moving too fast. Some have said that I shouldn’t marry a guy who I met last week and who hasn’t returned any of the phone calls I’ve made to his pharmacy. Some have even said that his telling me not to smile wasn’t a romantic overture, but just the standard protocol of what people who take passport pictures have to say because you legally cannot smile in a passport photo. We have our detractors. But I pay them no mind. I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!


After he said that, I couldn’t help but to look at my shoes and let out a little smile. Finally, somebody understood me and my lived experience. He took his time before saying, “Please look at the camera whenever you’re ready.” And that’s the moment when I asked him if he’d be my forever person and he said “yes” and “please don’t smile I have to take your photo now”!


Love is a mysterious thing. They say you can’t go chasing after it, it don’t come easy, you have to let it come to you. Well, that’s exactly what I did. You never know when destiny will come knocking at your doorstep. For me, it was the minute I met my lil’ photographer who takes the extra step to respect my boundaries.



One day, we’ll travel the world, just me, him, and our two smileless passports. As soon as I get in contact with him. Jake, if you’re reading, could you please lift that restraining order? Please?! I promise not to smile! :)