#201 In which our hero reveals a dark period of his life.
During Mom Health Crisis 2007 ™ I found myself in my old house (but not my old room, Mom took that over for her office) with a fair amount of time on my hands. I dug through some boxes and found a book I wanted Lily to see (The Laughing Dragon, by Kenneth Mahood. Man, I loved this book as a kid. Lily tolerates me wanting to read it to her every night) and then spent several hours just looking through old photos. In fact, three hours went by before I remembered to look up at the clock again.
Pursuing these old pictures, I was reminded of a particular… problem… I had in high school. There was, of course, the issue of my hair: a fat curly ‘fro that Mom liked to keep big and bushy because she hated me. No, that’s not true, she thought I looked cute. I was so brainwashed by my Mom’s desire for me to have big hair that it wasn’t until after college that I finally said, “Holy shit! What am I doing? I look like a pale mushroom!” and started cutting my hair short every after.
But this other thing, I cannot blame on my mother.
This was a conscious choice I made. A conscious fashion choice which, for anyone who knows me, should send shivers down your spine. And rightly so. In high school I was addicted to… (it shames me even now to admit it)… I was addicted to… suspenders.
I’d like to use the excuse that they were in style at the time, like every girl who had giant hair and acid-washed jeans does. But sadly, that probably wasn’t the case. For some reason I thought they looked cool, and kept buying them.
Are there photos? Of course there are photos.
This is me in our family portrait. I guess I could blame my family for enabling my downward spiral. But maybe they thought the suspenders looked “cute,” especially coupled with my ridiculous hair.
Yep, that’s my senior photo. Suspenders, Bill the Cat t-shirt and Chucks. I think I just scored a geek hat-trick. No idea why I’m posing on a hay bale. Incidentally, this wasn’t my only pose, I also got some photos of me in a nice sweater. My folks mailed those out to relatives and acted like the above atrocity never occurred.
Oh God. This is me getting ready for the after-prom. My girlfriend and I dressed in matching colors but, if I remember correctly, she didn’t wear suspenders. And am I wearing a BELT with my suspenders? Of course I am. Amazingly, I managed to have sex that very evening, and not for the first time. Clearly standards were low in my home town.
What can I even say? Three things you need to know:
- There are yellow SHORTS on the business end of those suspenders
- The shorts and shirt came together in a set, ala Garanimals. And I bought them with my own money
- This was taken at my senior graduation party
Some day my daughters may read this, and I can only say this: girls, things were different in the 80s. VERY different. But more importantly, you’ve inherited your mother’s fashion sense.
So you can stop crying now.