I have a box I keep in the basement crammed full of pictures from the past. The majority of these pictures are from my first marriage and the years since. However, shoved among those photos are random photos from college, high school and my very favorite of all … random photos from my childhood. A childhood accented by a really bad wardrobe.
I know it is usually painful to look through someone else's photos but man, I just have to believe you are going to enjoy these few shots. Are you ready? Here goes:
What the hell is going on in this picture? Just so you know who the players are, let's introduce everyone … in the front, that's my sister, Carrie, with the dark hair and navy dress. Apparently this photo was taken post her lobotomy. That child doesn't look like she has brain one in her head. Behind her, in the red and white and doing my sister's hair (I think that's what she's doing) is my mother … well that's either my mom or a member of The Monkeys. Dear me. What's with that outfit? She looks like she was just challenged to a duel. Either that or she stole Mr. Darcy wardrobe. I could also say some things about my mom's hair in this photo but you'll understand in a bit why I'm refraining. And then, finally, bringing up the rear (so to speak) … that's me in the, well, in the buff.
Let's just list a few things upsetting about this picture: 1) The bedspread. It's not so much the floral print that upsets me, but the color palette... what was the theme here? Colors you find in a toilet? That there is one ugly bedspread. And guess what? There were TWO of those. And they matched. 2) The giant drape on the wall. Wow. That is one heavy drape. I'm lucky that drape didn't fall on me. I'd be crushed – literally. And even though I'm very little here, I can remember that drape. It was some sort of faux-fabric on the front and it had a plastic back. A plastic back. It was like an adult diaper for the wall. 3) Um, hello? I'm naked ….is that upsetting anyone else? My mom claims that she always had to dress me last and right before we left for anywhere if not, whatever I was wearing was in danger of getting ruined. Okay, I'll buy that but would it have killed someone to put underpants on me?
Let's move forward a few years and include daddy:
Well, at least we're all smiling. Dude. One word … Wings. Everyone in this photo has wings in their hair. I guess that was in fashion at the time (oh lord, please let that have been the reason). And I think, upon close examination, my dad has a mustache. Nothing says "Smile for the church directory picture" like a 1970s porn star mustache. When my mom saw this picture recently, she said "Oh I remember that suit! That was my one and only suit!" No doubt. She was probably put on suit probation after buying it. And how about those teeth I'm sportin'? Wow. I could eat into a corner with those beauties. And again, other than noticing the wings I'm holding off commenting on anyone else's hair. Not because there isn't anything to say but because of …..
This lovely portrait. Oh good golly. I can't stop laughing. My sides hurt. Did I say sides? I mean eyes. I don't know what's worse – the picture or the fact that we gave this picture away framed as gifts the following Christmas. There is a lot to talk about in this pic, but let's just focus on the hair. Had you noticed the hair? And let's be even more specific and talk about that blonde atrocity. I mean, sure, my sister's hair is hot mess too but that woman always had difficult hair. But MY hair … people, that was ON PURPOSE. I actually DID that. I mean, I WANTED it to look that way. Hey, just for fun, put your thumb over the top of my hair … use both thumbs if you have to … and slowly move your thumb upwards uncovering inch by glorious inch that pile of sprayed and stacked hair. It's truly shocking how high it goes. I have to say I've never felt guilty about the environment until I saw this picture. I think I may be personally responsible for any holes in the ozone directly above Sheridan, Indiana. Oh 1987. I love and hate you.
Regardless of how bad some of these old photos are, they make me so happy. I'm almost giddy when I uncover a new old photo. I love it that so much awfulness and wonderfulness can exist in the same photo. I love it that when I look at these I can remember how I felt in the photo and how I felt when I first saw the photo. I love it that if it weren't for some of these photos I wouldn't have remembered a dress or a mustache or a hi fi system. I love remembering my daddy and I love laughing with my mom and sister until tears run down our faces. I love the awful fashion and the terrible colors and the ridiculous expressions.
But most of all I love it that my hair doesn't look like that anymore.