Sometimes you have to look a bit deeper to really understand a word’s true meaning in context. In this case, I don’t so much mean “fond” as “horrified,” but it’s an irony thing, you see. We writers do that, sometimes. We say one thing in order to imply another. It’s crazy! What’s next? I don’t know! Perhaps utter chaos!
A couple of women whom I admire greatly have recently bared their sordid pasts just to allow us a few moments of hilarity. First Jenn got out her big mall hair and hoop earrings, then Holly showed off her purple Disney glasses and Coolio hairdo. It’s a thing of beauty when us gals can share this way, don’t you think?
Well, I started digging around. You may wish to avert your eyes.
It turns out that I don’t seem to have any candids laying around from my childhood. They’re all in Ye Big Olde Family Album at my mother’s house, I suspect. I do have a number of my school pictures from elementary school, but other than a few unfortunate hairstyles and the obligatory frightening clothing choices of the 70s, there’s nothing too interesting there. I am smiling and toothy and clearly oblivious both to myself and the world around me.
No, I prefer to make fun of the Me Who Was Old Enough To Know Better.
I’d say the turning point was somewhere around 6th grade.
Here we see my picture from the start of the 6th grade year. It’s grainy, and small, but let me assure you right up front that yes, that’s my hair and not a puppy draped atop my head. You can also see that this was the beginning of a long stretch of turtleneck wearing, and–as was the style at the time–I would wear them under EVERYTHING. I only regret that I could not find my wannabe-preppie photo where I’m wearing a turtleneck UNDER a polo shirt (color turned up, natch!) UNDER an oxford. ANYWAY. Here I am, looking pixellated, but basically happy. Not too frightening.
Now, what you need to know is that I got glasses when I was 9. And I picked them out, and wore them for many years, and I loved them, and my mother–having better long-term vision than myself–always told me to take them off for pictures. So I almost always did. There is very little photographical evidence of what I thought was hip.
Here we see the emergence of what I refer to as the Angry Mir period. It started around… oh… age 11, and lasted until… ummm… well, I’ll let you know when it’s over. Anyway, immortalized for all of history in this charming still of me inserted into the yearbook along with the other student council officers (student council! at age 11! so important! I vote for BENDY straws in the caf!) are both my glasses AND my impressive scowl. Also I appear to look like a 40-year-old chain smoker in this picture, for reasons I’m unclear about. I wish it wasn’t such an awful picture. You really want to behold the majesty of the gold-wire aviator glasses taking up half my face. Seriously.
Thankfully, in high school I went on to remember to take my glasses off for photos. But–alas–my hair continued to expand, as did my scowl. I cannot remember what I was pissed about in the junior high picture, but I clearly remember having had a spat with a boyfriend the day this picture was taken. Also I was probably still pissed that I’d gotten into Madrigals (the dweeb singing group) but not Vocal Jazz (the cool singing group). Or maybe I’d just been trying to detangle my hair. Hard to say, really.
I’d like to tell you that once I cleared high school, it was smooth sailing from there on out. But that would be a lie.
Would you like to see a touching photo from the rehearsal dinner before my wedding? Of course you would! And you can! Just clicky clicky right here! (Of course, now the truth comes out—now you all understand why I ended up divorced. He was a wonderful, sweet man… but his face… well… he was always so… I dunno… blurry.) ANYWAY. Check out my HAIR. It had been growing ever-larger since that high school shot, I tell you. And the GLASSES. They are asymmetrical! Which I thought was so cool! Except they are eating my face! Which apparently I had not noticed! Also please note that I appear to be approximately 15 in this photo, as I was a fetus on my wedding day.
SPEAKING of my wedding day, I have one more goodie for you! I must say, I look lovely for a toddler bride, do I not? Yes, I do. Except for the gigantic flowered headpiece veil thingie that was so freaking heavy it made my neck hurt, and I’d always wondered why, you know, but this picture makes it all clear. I thought it was just flowers and netting. I had no idea they’d stuck a wire hanger and an entire suit bag in there, too. Also, I had a lovely little bridal shower wherein I received any number of lingerie items that I never wore, but NO ONE THOUGHT TO GIVE ME A PAIR OF TWEEZERS. Sweet Mary mother of Jesus, did no one see that once I took my glasses off, my eyebrows were free to devour my face? Sheesh.
I hope you have enjoyed this stroll into my past as much as I have. There will be a ceremonial bonfire later, if anyone else would like to join in. Bring pictures!