Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Prove to Mom I'm Not a Fool

Ah, September. As I have learned this past week from everyone and their mother posting pictures of children in their first day of school garb on Facebook (literally, I'm talking about everyone's mothers), school is in session. 

These poor kids nowadays. Children that are seven and under on this present day are literally going to grow up on Facebook. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but it's slightly unfortunate for them that they won't be able to control which horrible fashion choices of theirs (or their parents) remain in the Internet universe forever and ever. 

I'm lucky enough that I didn't (or couldn't, I guess) join Facebook until I was twenty, therefore, only a quarter of my embarrassing life choices are represented on the World Wide Web (are people still saying that? See? Embarrassing). 

However, I am a blogger, and therefore an open book/attention whore, and after seeing all of these kids prancing off to the bus in their their BTS getups, I was inspired to take a trip down memory lane, also known as... The School Book. 

the sheer size of it will sprain your fingers,
which if you read on, is most likely an injury
i have sustained.

I guess when people have children they record their every move and capture it in a spiral bound book courtesy of their local Hallmark store that sits on a shelf until the pain of adolescence is long since past that they can look back on such memories and laugh. I get that normal people probably have passages in their school books like:

"Sally got all A's this year! We are so proud!"

"Timmy learned to play the recorder in Music this year. His favorite song is Hot Crossed Buns."

While there is a fair share of that my personal academic memoir, I noticed that under the "Special Memories" category that there are many years of memories that I wouldn't exactly look back on as "special." I swear to good I am not making any of this up or elaborating. Note my comments in italics. 

Preschool: "Had her first fight with 'best friend' Erin (ouch. I don't really remember poor Erin, but how embarrassing to be given the best friend title but only within quotation marks?). Wanted to sit next to her but she wanted to sit next to her mother (wow. What an exciting friend she must have been). Cried so hard you fell asleep."

Grade 1: "Lindsay fell in Gym class on May 27th (thank you for the accurate timekeeping. Is the exact date of your first broken bone an anniversary worth celebrating in the future?) and broke her collarbone (whoops- sorry for giving away the punchline. It gets better) and had to wear a sling for a few weeks. She went back to keyboard lessons (not piano, because you know, that's too classy) the next week and dance class but then came down with chicken pox on June 6th (againSO SPECIFIC), the day of the recital and had to miss is. Through it all she was a real trooper."

Grade 2: 

(It's blank. I mean, how could I have even topped all of the "special memories" from year one?)

Grade 5: 

(Apparently words were unnecessary and an entire year's worth of memories could be summed up with a single handbell choir photo. Although if there were any room left to write, it should have also listed "being really really cool.")

I'm sure all of you can think of your own version of this photo or this book that you secretly thank the Baby Jesus is only stored in paper form at your parent's house. Now just imagine if all this embarrassing information and photos were captured on social media site for all of eternity. That's what's going to happen to your kids someday. Someday they'll be sitting at a job interview and the HR person will be looking over their resume and background check, saying things like "now I see here that you graduated from Plymouth State and you were the Features Editor for the school newspaper. That's all fine but can you explain the thinking behind this purple plaid pantsuit that you wore on your first day of second grade?!"

Okay, so maybe it won't go exactly like that. But you get the idea. 

In an effort to let all children know (especially the awkward ones) that "it gets better," I have chosen to share a few of my own personal gems. And that purple pantsuit? It happened. 

Grade 2: I don't even know where to start. Even for 1992, this is one loud pantsuit. Also, I'm seven. Head to toe plaid is difficult to pull off at any age, and the flaming eggplant hue certainly doesn't scream "hey kids! I'm just like you, blending in, hanging out. You know, normal playground stuff. Let's share a carton of chocolate milk." Also, if there's anything I've learned from the real life school of Stacy and Clinton, it's that your accessories shouldn't "match" but "go." Cause if there's anything this outfit needed, it was an additional dose of purple. Speaking of accessories, I don't know how the beaded Little Mermaid headband got thrown into the mix, but I can tell you it's definitely not doing it's job of helping to grow out my bangs. 

Grade 3:

Again, with the plaid. I cannot believe I even chose the same pattern two years in a row. That is so unlike me. Obviously we got somewhere with the bangs, but the only thing that is really going for me here is a sweet tan. I don't know if you can tell, but upon further examination of this photo I discovered that despite the life path I chose, I was obviously meant to be a gangster. The abbreviation on my shirt reads "NKA," which for those of you who aren't down with my homies from Derry, NH, stands for Not a Kid Anymore (apparently, I was going for irony). It also featured additional bad ass phrases like "Traditional Grunge" (an oxymoron, perhaps?) and "Word to Your Mother." Hide yo kids, hide yo wives.

Grade 4:

Okay, so this is not an actual first day of school photo. It's actually better than that because this is clearly where I discovered my love for fashion among the elite chosen (cough, cough entered by my parents) to model for the local Walmart fashion show. Notice how they artfully constructed a runway in the middle of what was most likely the electronics department. Not to brag or anything, but this obviously requires a natural air of confidence (exhibited by my eyes planted firmly on the floor) and a killer walk (I mean, have you ever seen Gisele work it down a runway comprised entirely of Oriental rugs? Didn't think so). I would also like to point out that I chose this outfit, despite the fact that it is exactly the opposite of what children want to wear because it's practically a Catholic school uniform. 

Grade 5:

This is the year I finally started to grasp the concept of trends (or just convinced my mom to buy me something that was actually considered cool). I mean this was the year Blossom went off the air, so I had to work that hat as long as I possibly could. I'm not sure where the denim shapeless dress came from. It would have been cute had it been taken in about seven inches in the waist area. And ironed. Not that you can tell here, but I weigh all of seventy pounds (that's an official School Book recorded weigh in). It may as well have been seven hundred pounds. Also I think those shoes doubled as my footwear for my Kirsten Halloween costume. 

Grade 9:

I hope you all understand what just happened here. I have just shown you the worst first day of school photo I've ever taken and you are promising not to show this to anyone because we are friends, okay? *virtual pinky swear*

I can't even list all of the things that are wrong with this photo. 

Actually I can, but I have to limit myself to only six because we could be here all night.

1. The reason this jacket is too big is not just because I weigh less than one hundred pounds soaking wet. It's because it's my dad's jacket from the 70's and I thought I was wearing something "vintage."
2. I am carrying a backpack and a purse. Because when you're fourteen you have a lot of important things to carry. 
3. You can't see it, but my jeans are from Ames and feature white embroidery along the bottom of the legs. I can see you're jealous.
4. I didn't get my braces off until I was a sophomore. For some reason they disguised that I do in fact have an upper lip.
5. I brought a picture of Christina Aguilera to my hairdresser and said "make me look like this." Clearly, it worked. Twinsies!
6. This is my version of a middle part. Somehow I didn't notice until I was in college that I had a cowlick that like Miley Cyrus, couldn't be tamed. I have highlighted this with jeweled bobby pins that only exacerbate the unevenness that is this haircut. Correction: layered

So there you have it, folks. I was not always the fashionista I pretend I am today. But it just goes to show you that how you are in school is not how you are destined to be for the rest of your life, which is a concept that is way beyond your thinking at any of those ages. That poorly dressed little girl had no idea what she was doing wrong because she didn't care- she was actually excited to learn and read and dream about what she would become. I think that despite the circumstances, we turned out okay. 

Except for our shoe size. Those things are still ridiculous. 


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