When I was around 2 years old, I used to parade around the house wearing nothing but footy pajamas, a droopy diaper and a backwards Red Sox baseball hat. My chubby cherubic face was always sporting either a milk mustache or a peanut butter grin; my hands constantly covered in grime and dog slobber. (I lived with five brothers and several dogs after all.) Unfortunately, over the years, my sense of fashion hasn’t improved much. In fact, it’s gone steadily downhill.
Lord knows, I tried. And failed, time and again. I just had no clue how to put together an outfit or match my stripes with my plaids. There was always that girl in school who just knew how to dress. She was always hip with the latest fashions. Her hair was perfect, her makeup flawless. How did I hate her. I was always the one a few years behind on the current trend. What? Garfield scrunchies are out now? You mean to tell me my Mork from Ork rainbow suspenders are already ‘so last year’?
Overall, my clothes, hair and makeup were natural disasters just waiting to happen. Thankfully, my efforts to look good didn’t go unnoticed. Once in the early 1980s when I was in high school, I spent a solid hour hunched over our bathroom sink (while my brothers pounded on the door) holding a curling iron to the side of my head until my ear exploded into flames. I was trying to achieve the then-popular ‘feathered’ look. Very complicated stuff. Then I spent another hour spraying Aqua Net until there was a permanent cloud hanging in the air, the pungent aroma of burnt hair and chemicals filling my nostrils. I haphazardly applied makeup, trying desperately to cover up my dark undereye circles with concealor. I happily skipped off to school and couldn’t figure out why everyone was staring and snickering at me. Then I went to the girls’ bathroom and saw in the mirror that I had one perfectly shaped curl sticking out the side of my head. It resembled an odd-shaped airplane wing. The other side, flat and lifeless. Under my eyes, the white dots of concealor still there, not concealing a whole lot. I looked like some sort of clownish airplane, ready to crash and burn.
Yep, I was a hopeless case. I still am. Most days I can barely manage to put on a fleece jacket, sweat pants and Bean boots. Good thing I live in Maine, where fashion goes to die.
If you think I’m exaggerating, please, go and check out the proof over at Angie Z’s hystercial blog Childhood Relived. Occassionally she’ll critique some poor slob’s fashion faux pas from the 70s, 80s and 90s. I have no idea where she got that old picture of me circa 1977 in her current ‘Dynomite!’ entry. But I have plenty more where that came from, if she’s interested.
Enjoy and please, be kind. That little girl in the picture couldn’t get a clue if it was on sale at Walmart, buy 3 get one free.
OK, I dug up some more blasts from the past…(it’s fine to laugh at the next one, I understand. I laugh at it all the time.)