Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Worst School Picture Ever

One of my worst traits --- among many --- is thinking I must "catch up" on old things before moving on to whatever should or could be done NOW that is more relevant to what is going on in the present.

I could give myriad examples, but this blog is certainly one. I want to post about everything I've missed documenting over the past year. I want to finish my travelogue of my traumatic plane trip. I want to write extremely long tutorials about hairstyles I wore eight months ago. Of course, I also want to report that we are in Williamsburg, VA on vacation right now, that Tyson turned 29 yesterday, that Beck says a bunch of funny words, that Sawyer asks every day about when he can go to preschool, and that we are moving into a new house next week. But how can I post about those (current) things when I haven't yet posted the latest pictures of the nearly-complete house in Standrod, Idaho? ("Latest" as in pictures I took when we were there in December.)

My scrapbook. There's another example. I last worked on it two years ago. Clearly I'm behind, then. If I haven't worked on it for two years, then Beck isn't even in it, right? Right. And neither is Sawyer. Neither is Tyson. Neither is anything from 2002 forward. I've been diligently, methodically, chronologically working on my scrapbook since about 2003...but I have always been documenting events that happened seven to eight years in the past! The next few pictures that need a layout are from the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Wow. When I think about it logically, I know I should skip forward to the present time, but for some reason I just can't! I did come up with a compromise: alternate doing one layout from the past with one from the present. When I get started again, that's what I'm going to TRY to do.

At least this little gem is already in a scrapbook:

That's my ninth grade picture, the one I wanted to use as an accompaniment to my story about cutting my head under the bleachers. And here I go again, posting some irrelevant picture and story. Does it really need a story, though? The picture is charming enough as is. I will just post some details, rather than a full narrative.

Time the first bell rang at Centerville Junior High: 8:25 a.m.
Time my mom, Mrs. Baker, was supposed to be there ("contract time" it was called): 8:10 a.m.
Therefore, time I arrived with her each day: 8:05 a.m.
What I was supposed to do during the 20 minutes before the bell: practice my trumpet

Time Mom usually woke me up to accomplish the above: 7:00 a.m.
Usual wake-up method: "Liiiiiiiii-saaaaaa, Riiiiiiiiise and Shiiiiiiiiiiiine!" (sung/said in operatic tone of voice outside my bedroom door)

Time she woke me up on picture day: 8:00 a.m.
Special wake-up method: "Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! My alarm didn't go off and we need to leave RIGHT NOW!!!!" (yelled frantically through the heater vent that functioned as an intercom between her room and mine)

Hairstyle I had been wearing for the past year: crunchy permed bob
Hairstyle method: Wet hair in shower or with spray bottle, use pick to comb through hair and begin scrunching/fluffing process, liberally apply Dep gel and/or "sprunch spraygel" and/or mousse, scrunch hair with hands, scrunch some more, scrunch some more, curl bangs under with curling iron, hairspray liberally, probably scrunch some more
Time needed: Five to ten minutes after wetting hair

Time available to style hair on picture day: 30 seconds
Hairstyle method suggested by my mother: "No, we don't have time for you to shower or get your hair wet and heat up your curling iron and my brush curling iron is already hot so just brush your perm out with this round brush and curl your hair with my curling iron hurry hurry hurry I don't care HURRY!!!!"
Result: Well, you see it above. I brushed out my permed bob, which was full of styling products from the day before. Needless to say, this led to an impressive amount of volume. Then, when my product-laden strands made contact with the hot curling iron, the curl became crustified and winglike, sticking out from my head. I would characterize the look as Utah female newscaster circa 1989. You can see that due to the amount of product in my hair, pieces could loft away and become stuck in mid-air (see left side of picture).

Now, the outfit...

The multi-colored sweater belonged to me. It was one of my prized clothing possessions, from GAP Kids. Everything I owned at the time was purchased in children's stores and departments. Underneath the sweater I am wearing a light-wash denim shirt belonging to my mother. I have no idea why! I never wore it before or after that picture. I had a different shirt that went with this sweater. It must have been in the laundry, and my mom hastily procured this shirt for me from her closet, claiming I needed to wear a collared shirt so I would look more "polished" in my portrait.

My age at the time: 13 years
My height: 4'9" or 4'10"
My wight: 85 lbs. or so

My mom's age at the time: 37 years
Her height: 5'4"
Her weight: 135 lbs. or so

Tell me, why on earth did my mom think I should/could wear her clothes?!?! Why did I agree?!?! We were both probably high on the fumes created when my hairspray-saturated hair made contact with the curling iron.

Now, my glasses...

Up until eighth grade, I removed my glasses for my school pictures. Then I got the frames pictured above, and wore them in my eighth and ninth grade pictures. I'm so embarrassed to admit this, but I find it hilarious: I have a tape recording of myself where I say that I am going to wear my new glasses in my eighth grade picture because "they have dark frames that complement my hair and face, and they are much cuter than my old glasses". Delusional. Completely delusional.

The zit...

Par for the course, at that time.

The makeup...

I was allowed to wear a little at that age. Did not have time to apply any.

School pictures were taken during English class. My friend Emily was in my class, which was Mrs. Shinn's 9th grade honors English class. Later she told me that when I walked in that day she saw me and thought, "Oh no! She forgot it's picture day! Oh no!" She told me she desperately wanted to be the "cool friend" from the '80s movie who has a bag full of makeup and hair stuff, and could fix me up to look normal or even cute in my picture. Maybe like the Helen Hunt character in "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"? No such luck, though. Emily was just as clueless as I was. Lucky for her, she was naturally beautiful and also woke up on time on picture day. Also, her mother wasn't philosophically opposed to re-takes. Mine was, apparently, because the photo above went into the yearbook and was displayed in our family room for a full year.

When I went to sit in the chair for my portrait, the photographer kept adjusting his lens, trying to get a wide enough angle to fit my hair in the frame. Finally he just had to scoot the camera back to accommodate my hair-wings. In the yearbook, everyone else is pictured from the neck up. My picture shows my whole upper body, and the sides of my hair are actually cropped out of the picture because there wasn't room for the full glory of my hairstyle.

Good times.

Oh well, at least I wasn't the only one wearing dark framed glasses that "complemented my hair and face." Check out Jennifer Garner's school picture from about the same time!


  1. Well I am just glad you write anything, whether it is from 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago because you make me laugh so hard. I love the way you describe things. Have fun on vacation!

  2. Oh my gosh, I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed. All of my Jr. High pics are terrible, and it's even worse because I never slept in. That's just how I looked! I'm surprised you were able to not judge this "book" by it's cover and be willing to associate with me :) Oh, good times is right. Thanks for the laugh!

  3. Haha, this just made my day. The picture is FABULOUS!!

  4. Every time I think of this story, I laugh so hard. Maybe it's the wings, maybe it's that the camera man had to back up, maybe it's that I thought you woke up late on accident and you're mom didn't know about picture day, or maybe that I thought you were going for a new look because jr. high is the place to experiment and picture day is the day to capture FOREVER what we "really" look like so when that cute boy looks you up in 20 years he can go, "so much cuter than I remember," but you just couldn't quite manage it; then I realized you MUST HAVE forgot it was picture day because this is the day we do none of those things and play it safe with our best look. We lay our clothes out the night before, plan our hair and makeup accordingly, set our watches and timers and take lipstick (or tinted lipgloss) out of the house to touch up right before the big moment. We are LATE to school if we have to be because this picture will sit on grandma's mantel, in your jr. high scrapbook, and worst of all - be in the yearbook that EVERYONE will look at when they sign it, flip through it, or later stalk you. So the best thing I could think of was something like, "Um...Did you know it was picture day?"

  5. I had an eerily similar story...except it was the day of senior pictures. Yes, that's right. The one your kids look at later to try to understand "what you were like" in high school. My hair had the opposite problem from yours; it was totally limp because it was in such serious need of a wash. Curses...

  6. Lisa, I have to tell you I just laughed so hard I was sobbing!!!Thanks for the fun look back to the "good ol' days."

  7. oh my word Lisa...your posts crack me up. i hope we look back at pictures of us from college and think "what the heck?" I know the things I did and sad and thought were ridiculous, but for now..i still think we were hot! maybe we won't think that when we are 40 though? (wait..isn't that 5 years for you?) haha sooo kidding!! i love you and miss being close to you! i definitely have to plan a time to come see you. ah..why does everything have to involve money?! boo!!

  8. This is hilarious!! You are a great writer. I too have an
    embarassing school picture story from 5th grade that involved Heather McKay feeling bad for how big of a mess I looked like so she french braided my hair. It was humiliating!

  9. This is hilarious!! You are a great writer. I too have an
    embarassing school picture story from 5th grade that involved Heather McKay feeling bad for how big of a mess I looked like so she french braided my hair. It was humiliating!