When Brenda started her sentence with, “Deb, will you do me a favor…?”  I answer yes without even waiting to hear the rest of it.  Which is probably good because once I do, I really, really, really wanted to say no. Brenda has an online boutique, FemmeBoutiqueBoston.com, and had met a photographer who was giving her a free photo shoot.  I am certainly not a model, but I love her clothes, and figured everyone else had turned her down, so okay.

But then she keeps talking.

The photographer is going to want some shots for her own web-site. (Melissaluella.com)

Again, okay…

She’s a boudoir photographer.

I have no desire, absolutely none, to do a boudoir photo shoot.  I am a writer, in the process of writing my memoir, so I’m already feeling exposed.  I don’t have it in me right now to feel, never mind look, sexy.

But it’s Brenda.  She has encouraged me and given me faith in my dreams so I will do anything for her.

I talk to the photographer and she tells me to bring bras, and garters, and no fake tan.  Seriously?  Not even fake tan to hide behind?

God, help me.

We start with Brenda’s clothes but then it’s time for the boudoir shots.  I plan on wearing my husband’s big white shirt, black sheer hose, heels and a peek-a-boo black lace bra.  During the session Melissa convinces me to take off the hose and the push-up bra, basically losing everything that is supposed to make me feel sexy.  And the truth is, I feel relief.

Weeks later when I see the pictures, I feel unexpected freedom.  If I’m really the woman in the pictures, I can stop pretending to be something I used to be.  It’s through the lens of Melissa’s camera that I meet the me that I am now.

I’m grateful to meet her.  I actually like her.  Me.  The woman I had no idea I had become.