Skiing With The Attractivesons

May 24, 2012


I spent Monday up at the mountain enjoying a winter holiday adventure with my family.  We sat around, pretending to enjoy each other’s company, then put on our pristine, expensive outdoor gear, drove up to the ski lift, stood there looking at the mountain, turned away from the lifts, took off our gear and went to lunch.  After lunch it was time for a series of carefully staged toboggan rides in Santa hats.  And I didn’t even get to keep my clothes.  Ahh.  Family.

Two men ski-lift, One man slaloms!

Not my real family, of course.  When we go to the mountains we usually actually ski.  It’s also usually winter when we do it.  Also a dearth of Santa hats.  And, of course, I keep my clothes, but that’s not that exciting because our gear is such a mish-mash of collected, used, and adapted gear that we look like “Mad Max: Beyond Ski Vacation.”

No, this was a photo-shoot for an outdoor clothing/equipment company here who’s working on their winter catalogue; Monday I played “dad” to a couple of photogenic kids and a photogenic wife. The Attractivesons.  Out for our smiling, handsome, expensive ski vacation where we stand around smiling, but never ski.  In May.

C’mon kids! Let’s hit the slopes!

Obviously, these things have to be shot in advance, so you have to load up in four layers of thermal, waterproof outdoor gear and get photographed in the May sun.  Boy could that have sucked, right?  Well, as luck would have it, up in the mountain where we were shooting, the weather turned conveniently awful, so we enjoyed our family fun in driving, icy, muddy rain.  Yay!  It’s a Christmas miracle!  On the plus side, we were dressed for it, and it was high quality stuff.  On the down side, it’s for a catalogue, so we had to be really careful not to get our outdoor gear dirty.

So to recap: we were supposed to be too hot in our winter clothes, but the weather turned bad so we were cold and had to be careful not to get our protective gear dirty.  Yes, it was raining irony Monday up at the mountain my friends.

I was worried the shots would be ruined, but they were confident they could fix the weather background with photoshop.  No word on what they’ll do with our dour, pained expressions and squinty, wind-whipped eyes.

(*side note: I’ll be able to include some photos from the day eventually, but obviously they weren’t keen on me posting pictures of next year’s stuff online*)

I was pretty disappointed that we didn’t get to keep the clothes.  And before you say, “Well, did you ask?”  Oh, I asked. (“Any chance of keeping the clothes?”)  I insinuated. (“Man, this stuff’s great. I’d talk up this stuff like crazy.  If I owned it.  If you know what I’m saying.”)  I threatened.  (“You won’t be able to re-sell it anyway, because I’m going to sweat through it all. No, I don’t mean I sweat a lot;  I’m telling you that I will intentionally super-hydrate the night before so that I sweat through everything.”)

But no luck.  Not even an undershirt.

Iron Man’s goggles were pretty nice, too. Maybe $450.

I wouldn’t have expected to keep everything of course.  Certainly not the ridiculously expensive ski goggles.  (Me, shoving goggles on my head: “Cool goggles.”  Equipment guy: “Careful with them.  They’re 600 bucks.”  Me, carefully re-placing them gently on my head: “O-kaayyy.  CLEAR A PATH PEOPLE!  SKI GOGGLES, COMING THROUGH.  NOBODY TOUCH ME!”).  But, you know… something…

Besides the criminal lack of swag, it was a fun shoot, although it reaches a point where you’re trying to look at each and find things to talk about while being ridiculously happy where you’ve run out of getting-to-know-you, run out of anecdotes, run out of chit-chat and all you can offer is, “I’ve got nothing left.  How are you at being ridiculously happy about nothing?”  “So so.”  “Me too.  Let’s go for it.”  “Ha ha ha ha!”  “Ho ho ho ho!” “Meh.”

The theme of the catalogue is going to be “high performance,” so I was supposed to drive my “family” in to the ski lot in this super-cool, expensive car.  In order to get just the right ‘slight, photogenic blur’ to the vehicle, this meant me whipping the car through the curves in the parking lot over and over.  I suppose they won’t include one of the many photos of me careening along, smiling evilly, while my family shrieks and grasps the seats and handles in fear… but I think the catalogue will be worse for it, don’t you?

My hope, though, is that they’ll at least want a cool shot of the goggles.  That there’ll be at least one image where I can act all falsely self-deprecating and say, “Yeah, that’s me.”  Because the idea of modeling sounds all cool… but sometimes… it turns out like this

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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40 Comments on “Skiing With The Attractivesons”

  1. 1pointperspective Says:

    Lemme see if I got this right: You’re an incredibly witty writer AND a fashion model?! I can’t wait till next post when you regale us with stories of playing the classical violin in between trips to feed homeless orphans near the endangered wildlife refuge that you run.

    Has the submission date for k8edid’s envy post passed yet?


  2. Life in the Boomer Lane Says:

    I’m trying to digest this, as well. You are an amazing writer, AND you are a fashion model? Jeez. I’m scared to see your next post. Do you have an art show opening at a New York Gallery? Where is the wildlife refuge you run?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Well, thanks on the “amazing writer” part. And I actually hesitated to post about it expressly because “I do a little modeling” sounds so… bleccchh.

      And ixnay on the Wildlife refuge talk. If we had the money, my wife would be all over running an animal sanctuary of some kind. She talks about it from time to time the way some people talk about having a place in the Caribbean.


  3. Elyse Says:

    I’m looking forward to getting it in the mail along with the 12,000 others I get daily. Since it is so upscale, does it shout “wait, wait, this one has the Bryonic Man in it!” on the way to the recycling bin?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I’m assuming there’ll be some sort of sticker on it, at least.

      And it’s not actually all upscale – I think the goggles were among the “platinum” items. That and a $900 ski coat. The goggles have gps. I don’t know what a $900 ski jacket does. Gives off jealousy-inducing pheromones, maybe.


  4. gojulesgo Says:

    I can’t believe the sweat thing didn’t work. And I think it’s been really kind of you to only post half your face all this time. People wouldn’t be able to handle the whole thing on a regular basis!

    Seriously though, this is so cool!! Except, I guess, for the part where you were cold, and pretending to be happy, and not getting swag, and giving people whiplash. …Nah. Still cool.

    P.S. – I really thought you were talking about your in-laws at first, and some sort of fake Christmas card photo shoot. And I got scared for you.


  5. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    writer, model, possible future astronaut…..what DON’T you do ?


  6. Michelle Gillies Says:

    Shoots like that are always lots of crazy! You could’ve been shooting speedo wear in an ice storm with them having to colour correct your blue lips and high shutter speeds to avoid your chattering teeth.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      That was one of my first thoughts: better than the summer catalogue shoot in winter. Also, because I have skinny legs. A low was playing “hiker” for some video, and after seeing me in shorts they decided to shoot from the knees up. Ouch.


  7. susielindau Says:

    Wow! I know a real Male Model! That is so “hideous!” ( I am trying to get the new meaning of this word out to the public. Hideous=Awesome) You will have to blog the catalog when it comes out!


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I still have high hopes for “fie” and “pauperism” (from yesterday’s post. Yes, I’m referencing myself, now).

      I suppose I’ll blog about it when it comes time, even though it makes me wildly uncomfortable to draw attention to myself in such “Hey, look at me, everybody!” kind of way.

      Somehow I suspect I’ll overcome, though.


  8. She's a Maineiac Says:

    I was going to do a photo shoot once for the L.L. Bean “Crazy Women With Guns’ catalog, but once I realized I would have to make small talk with the other models, I was outta there. Not enough money in the world.

    P.S. Fie on you and your modeling career and ability to make idle chit chat with strangers!


  9. pegoleg Says:

    I have nothing else to add.


  10. thesinglecell Says:

    Well now that I know you’re a model I’m going to have to start hating you for no real reason other than you’re a model. PS I think this gig was bogus, because, as I understand it, all models get to keep their clothes. PPS was this for Patagonia? Because I once gave my brother-in-law a gift card from them and they will NOT stop sending me catalogs, so if this was for them I bet I’ll see you. Or not. But I’ll actually look at the catalog and be pointing to every guy in $600 goggles going, “Is that him?”


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      First, “I’m a model” definitely carries implications that border on flat-out lies. And, yeah, I actually was a little irritated not getting to keep things, but it wasn’t a huge budget deal, which in part made me like it more. Also, of course, the rationale behind usually giving the model the clothes is so that people say, “Ooh, look! It’s the famous model, Cheekbones McTooskinny, wearing that _________ shirt!” That would probably not happen with me, unless the person saying it was my mom.


  11. magikdolls Says:

    Oh man, you always make me laugh. You’re life sounds so interesting and so remedial at the same time. Good you can make a joke about it 😉



  12. Michelle Gillies Says:

    OK, Charlize Theron just told this exact story on Ellen! Well, not exactly, but she was saying her first modelling job was in the middle of summer out in a desert modelling skiing outfits sweltering under the sun. I’m thinking there are big things in your future! 😉


  13. Lenore Diane Says:

    I was so waiting for “Beyond the Thunderdome” or whatever that song is called. I’m impressed with your modeling, Byronic. But, being in the Mad Max video with Tina Turner would be even better.
    And no brand drops … what was it? LL Bean, Patagonia, The North Face? I’m getting that catalog when it comes out. Is that weird?


  14. rambling jill Says:

    Lord Byronic Man,

    You have just become the most interesting man in the world. Can the beer commercials be far behind?


  15. brownponytail Says:

    i used to work at a modelling agency.
    i pity models now, i don’t envy them at all.
    poor you. at least you’re pretty though 🙂


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      No, for the most part they’re damaged, damaged people. At one shoot everyone was at the “no carb” end of the craft services table while I gorged at the “good food” end.


  16. Go Jules Go Says:

    We just got an LL Bean catalog, which reminded me of this post and also that I needed to bug you about bragging about this when it comes out.

    But then wizards happened, and now I don’t even care anymore.



  1. Raiders Of The Lost Outdoor Gear Catalogue | The Byronic Man - January 14, 2013

    […] dash my illusions.  Last Spring I did a shoot for athletic gear, which I talked about in the post Skiing With The Attractivesons, and said I would include some of the photos when the catalogue came out.  This has turned out to […]

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