A man took our photo today without asking. Hope and I were having vegan chili and toast at the café when we heard the unmistakable click of a smartphone pointed directly at us. “What are you ladies reading?” the man asked. With heat rising up my neck and face, I said, “Just some essays. They’re not very interesting.” I felt trapped. What I wanted to say was, “Delete that photo, now!” Instead, I looked at Hope, who was equally uncomfortable and smiled. We finished our meal hurriedly and left.
We’re safe at home now, but I’m still rattled. Should I have said or done something differently? Technically, it’s not illegal to take a stranger’s photo in public. It is, however, rude and inappropriate to photograph or film someone without asking permission.
For guidance, I try to imagine what an enlightened person like Eckhart Tolle would do. In my mind’s eye, I can see him with hands in prayer position nodding and smiling for the camera.