Yep. That’s me. I’m guessing 1st or 2nd grade. It’s okay. I know it looks like Cindy Brady and Fire Marshall Bill had a love child who grew up in a settlement on Plymouth Rock (nice collar). And does anyone else think I look like I’m secretly summoning all kinds of unspeakable evil to come forth and do my bidding?
Don’t feel sorry for me because my hair is accessorized with yarn, either. It was the 70’s, and it’s obviously very fancy yarn. You can tell by how thick it is, and because it’s exactly the same cornflower blue as my dress. As far as I can remember, yarn like this did nothing other than decorate hair (and sometimes bicycle handlebars). What else could you possibly do with it? Macrame an owl to hang on the wall of the den? Nope, too blue. Braid it into a belt? Yeah, that might’ve happened. But only if you mixed in every other color of the rainbow first.
I love this picture, all the way down to the pinking shear detail on the right side. It’s bad ass. The hair and clothes lure you in with sweetness and light while the eyes and smile say, “Mess with me and I’ll unleash all the demons of hell before you can even think Holly Hobby.” This little girl would kick your ass. Just sayin’.
So, what brought this on? I got an email the other day with a link to the new book, Awkward Family Photos by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack. It got me digging around and thinking about all of the crazy shots taken of me over the years. You’ve seen exhibit A. But there are others.
Like the time in 4th or 5th grade when I decided to cut my bangs right before picture day at school. It didn’t go well. Well, I take that back. I did an excellent job of removing my bangs, and I mean all of them, right back to the scalp, but it ended up looking kind of different than I expected. Lesson learned. Pay to have your hair cut. Got it. I couldn’t find that one (thank God), but it’s out there somewhere.
And the one, more recently, where I was in a group photo with my husband’s family, taken at the beach. Everyone looks very nice; we’re all in khaki shorts and white shirts, very J.Crew meets the Hamptons. It’s a great family shot. Right up until you look a little closer and see the inordinate amount of dark orange eye shadow that I have on.
It looks like I’ve been playing in my mother’s bronzer or like I have a contagious and frightening rusty mold growing on my eyelids. It’s awesome.
For the life of me I can’t imagine that I looked in the mirror and said, “Yeah, I want this saved on film forever,” but there’s a picture to prove it. In fact, there are even Christmas ornaments with this picture on them to prove it. Luckily they’re small. I keep hoping that make-up mimicking dark copper eye fuzz will become high fashion, making me the only one in the family who saw it coming. Exactly.
So take another look at that adorable little hellion in her pretty blue smock, and keep your fingers crossed that you don’t see her in your nightmares all weekend. Then, for some real winners, check out this link: Mike Bender: ‘Awkward Family Photos’: 7 Weirdest Family Pictures (PHOTOS, POLL) Who knows? Maybe you’ll recognize someone. Maybe that classic moment when your crazy Uncle Hector’s wig moved just before your dad snapped the picture made it into the book. You might already be famous and not even know it.