For Posterity's Sake
Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Girl

Christian Side-Part

Among the many things my mom held onto: School photos. Lots and lots of school photos that FOR SOME REASON I CANNOT FIGURE OUT never made it into frames on the wall or hell, even tacked to the fridge with a magnet, because here they are years later still in their envelopes. Most of them didn't even get the wallet-sized ones separated from the 5x7s. 

(Sort of like Noah's school portrait this year, which I only ordered because I thought they were funny, because I completely forgot about picture day and sent him to school in desperate need of a haircut [and probably a bath], in a soccer jersey because it was the only clean shirt I could find. Now I have two dozen of these studies in ragamuffinism and zero idea what to actually do with them:)

Picture 128


Anyway, now on to the really embarrassing shit.

Picture 125 

This is the only photo I can for-sure identify what grade I was in -- sixth -- simply because of the accompanying class photo with me wearing the same outfit. It was a dress. A floofy full-skirted one, with matching tights. I remember picking it out at TJMaxx and thinking it was a terrific find, because do you see the black check? BLACK. Black = cool. Black = cool enough to totally negate the fact that I was a 12-year-old girl basically wearing an overgrown five-year-old's sailor dress. I am not kidding, I really totally thought the black check made this dress kind of hardcore and felt like getting my mom to buy it for me meant I was getting away with something.

Clearly, I still had a lot to learn in sixth grade.

Picture 127 

Which...okay, still working on all that learning, and on fashion horizons beyond the sailor dress. I THINK this photo is from seventh grade, but I cannot say for sure. I am at least allowed to wear dangly earrings -- that and the braces mean I'm at least 13, and therefore a WOMAN, a woman who obviously has better things to do than style BOTH sides of my hair. Like figure out which fingers I should put an inexplicable number of cheap rings on, probably.

Picture 126 


Okay, maybe eighth grade? I'm really not sure. The non-dangle earrings suggest THIS could be seventh grade, but the progression of one-sided poof in my hair tells me I'm older than in the last one. By the time I graduated high school my curling iron and I needed two hours to get ready in the morning -- right before I got introduced to hot rollers in college, which, man. Those were some crazy days. CRAZY CRAZY DAYS.

I only have vague memories of that sweater, but I can tell you for absolute sure that I stuffed my bra special for this picture.

  Picture 124 

You know, I have to hand it to myself: I found a look I thought worked and stuck with it. The left side of my hair could go fuck itself, basically, I was simply NOT going to devote the same kind of time and hair spray on it that I devoted to the right side. 

I remember really liking this photo, actually, because my hunter-green sweater looked black instead. And BLACK = STILL COOL. This photo reflected the darkness, the edge the art, the secular music I only pretended I was allowed to listen to.  

(A trick I'm still doing, occasionally. I never listened to Whitesnake, nor have I ever seen that Tawny Kitaen video outside of a Pop-Up setting. I just read a lot of Wikipedia.) 

(It's Jason's birthday today. When he met me I looked like these photos. Though to be fair he had a regrettable hair part of his own. But still! Happy birthday, Mr. Sainted Selective Memory.)



I wish I could find my junior high and high school photos to share. I so didn't find myself, or my hair, until college. But in high school - I SO RAWCKED the spiral perm.

Anyway, as awkward as you think you were, you were still very cute. And my goodness, you have not aged!


Ahem...that second photo of you is a dead ringer for Elizabeth Smart. I thankfully only have 1 school photo from my middle and high school years. The nuns were cheap. I suppose they did the photo thing in 5 year intervals to not waster photo paper??

The photo I have is horrendous. I have short Dorothy Hamill meets Julie from the Love Boat hair, aviator style glasses which I loved, and a school uniform shirt and tie. My kids think I look like a boy. Nice!

Are you BlogHer bound? I will be there. Will be fun to meet up with another local blogger. I'm in Howard County, Maryland.

From Belgium

Oh, trust me. The class photographs my mother has saved (and puts on display) are a LOT worse. Especially the one of my Holy Communion. That one is pure horror.
I blame this on my mother since she always picked out my clothes until I was 13 and a fashion sense she has not!


You at least look like a normal person in your youthful pictures. Imagine someone with cat-eye glasses, hair home permed to the maximum fluff, and suffering from flu but still going to school because by god it's Picture Day. That was me in 7th grade. It's a miracle I ever had children.


fantastic! thanks for the walk down memory lane. it's nice to know i'm not the only one with pictures like this from my past.

oh, and i had acne but was not allowed to wear makeup... so genius me? saved the white clown makeup from halloween to cover my zits. yeh, i'll let you just imagine how well that worked out.


Looks like you and me were exact-same sailor dress buddies!


You are so, so, so brave to share those. Mine will NEVER see the light of day due to 1) uniforms 2) REALLY unfortunate perms and 3) Elton John glasses.


It's nice to see that someone as pretty and together as you, was like the rest of us back in high school! Thanks for sharing.

Life of a Doctor's Wife

Your photos bear an eerie resemblance to mine from that time period - the one-sided hair, in particular. It was EXHAUSTING, getting up at 5:30 am to spend eight thousand hours on carefully curling the one side.

Happy birthday to Jason!


I think 13-year-old you tried to sell me a time share in Connecticut last year...


k- I *love* the Noah pic. So much more spirit than the best dressed pics would ever convey. It's like they could barely get him to sit there long enough for the shutter click.


I looked at the photos before I read and I thought at first the top photo was you as a child and was like wow you and Noah are identical, but your parents gave you a very boyish haircut.


Oh, middle school, how I loathed you. My pictures are so sad and pathetic - I look at them now, and think, how? How was that possible? How could I be such a dork and SO awkward? High school was a smidge better, at least. But the bad acne didn't start to clear up until late college. And I got contacts. Thank you sweet baby Jesus for contacts. But're in good company with the sailor dress. I had one too. It was navy and white POLKA DOTS.

Jen L.

BRILLIANT. My part was on the other side, but I rocked it, too. Happy bday to Jason!


Can I tell you that you come off SO WELL in these pictures?? In my sixth grade pic I was rocking the hot pink with a string of pearls (and the brace-face). Got to take off my neck gear for the pic, so special. I have a first day of school pic of my brother and I that is so horrible godawful awkward that I've thought about submitting it that awkward family photos site but I think it might go viral in ten minutes which is more than I could handle.. Seriously, you look like a very cute girl in the awkward phase of life, but I don't see any true hair crimes here. Around this same time, my hair was defying the laws of physics in the most horrifying ways. I think you should be proud of yourself and your mom. Haha :)Also, Noah's pic is soooo cute!!


I still part my hair on the side... No hairspray though.


Waaait. So are we saying that it's not acceptable to part hair on one side? Because, ummm. There's no swooping or hairspray, but I'm still parting my hair on the left....


OMG, me too on the side part thing. Is that not okay? Are people totally mocking me behind my back?


OK, that first photo of you is during that "awkward phase." But the rest are beautiful!!! I would not show my school pics to anyone. But if I were brave enough to do that, you would see that yours are GORGEOUS. . .


These are awfully awesome.
I'd commiserate with you but I burned all my junior high pictures and replaced my memory with images of Tiffini Amber Theisen ala saved by the bell. So I was super hot. And Zach Morris totally loved me.

happy birthday to Jason!


It's not just the black check, it's RED AND BLACK check! Red and black are the colors of SEXY!! That dress is practically LINGERIE!!

beta dad

There are no surviving pictures of adolescent me because I had spiky hair, an earring (gasp), and wore a spiked dog collar most of the time. It was the early eighties and there was no such thing as a digital camera, kids didn't have cameras, and my parents never took pics of me because they were embarrassed that I was such a freak. I toned it down for class pictures, but even those have disappeared.

Elizabeth Doolittle

Umm.....I have several pictures of myself in sailor dresses. I begged my Mom to get me one from Laura Ashley in the 8th grade that was purple striped. I felt very special when I wore it. It was like a garbage bag in the way that it fit me, but I wasn't the most slender teen so that's probably why I liked it. Ugh....Glad I'm so much cooler now. Ha.

Shannnon @nwaMotherlode

At least your mom had the good sense not to let you cut all your hair off.

Awkward stage + boy hair cut = U.G.L.Y.

And then I did the same thing when I was nine months pregnant. Those are some be-u-tiful pictures, too.


No kidding...I totally had the red and black checked dress. 7th grade. We must be about the same age. And if we are, in fact, the same age then I have four words for you. Rave number three hairspray. Enough said.

Kathy at Wellness Roadtrip

I never give my right side of my hair attention. It's all about the left. And get over it...sailor dresses rocked and you rocked them well.


Honey, those are NOT as bad as mine. I win. Absolutely 100% win the prize for bad hair pics.


OMG you and I shared the love of the sailor dress! I remember going home and changing at lunchtime on picture day because my classmates were -so- ripping on the outfit my mother sent me to school in that I couldn't take it. So I changed into a blue and white striped sweatshirt material sailor dress. Oh yes. And I had the poodle puff for hair. Because I wasn't allowed to grow it.




Oh, I positively loved all of these. More, More, More!!!!! How about a bunch of you at even younger ages next to the boys' pictures, too?? Don't stop - you're on a roll!!!!!


My school friends nicknamed my seventh grade picture, "Wingtips."

That probably tells you everything you need to know.


Oh, you looked great in all of them! I've a picture of myself in junior high looking all sorts of awkward with plucked brows. I sure looked like a young and plump skank ... it gives me shudders to think about it.

And anyway, you can always put these up on Facebook! Or not.


These (along with your commentary) are hilarious.

They remind me that I will be okay if I never (ever!) see my school photos again.

Parsing Nonsense

You are so brave to post these!

I, too, was fond of black when I was in the awkward pre-pubescent years, but only because I was chubby and heard that black was slimming, thereby turning me into an inadvertent goth as I stockpiled as much black clothing as I could find.


You look like Elizabeth Smart in that second photo. You're lucky you weren't stolen as a wife for a self-appointed prophet back then.

(I get what you're saying about the half-styled hair, but let's take a moment to think what you would've looked like had both sides been poofed out. Feel better now?)


I had a checked dress almost just like that! And I wore it for my 5th grade school picture! I remember that I didn't wear a bra yet, but the fabric of that particular dress was a little irritating on my newly developing nipples, so I would put scotch tape over them. Problem solved.


Gimme that Christian side-hug . .that Christian side-hug. Man, now I'll have that song in my head for another 84 days.


OH MAH GAHHHH those pictures are hilarious. And as always, the captions KILL ME DEAD. (With humour.)

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