Tweenage Wasteland Time Capsule

by anna on October 9, 2008

So, we took Mini up to see my Mom the other day, and she busts out with this old scrapbook of mine, which I haven’t seen since, say, the first Bush was in office. Naah, maybe even since Regan’s second term. Oh yeah, it’s been a while. It’s not even a real scrapbook–it’s one of those craptastic “photo albums” with “magnetic” (i.e. sticky cardboard, plastic cover) sheets in it. The cover, well, why describe it when I can show it to you?
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I feel like this cover raises more questions than it answers. The first question being, of course, why did I pick this out? Clearly it appealed to me for some reason, it’s not as if my mom went and bought this for me independently–you know this was the one I wanted specifically. Was I charmed by the idea of teenage love in soft-focus? Did I like men who wore hospital shoes? Did I secretly hope to be that barefoot, running-through-the-fields chick? Why do I always think of styptic pencils when I see this? What are styptic pencils?
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Or, as Mr. Right-Click said, “Maybe the photographer was so moved by the people in love that the lens got all blurry from his tears.”
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I suspect I bought this photo album at Woolworth’s. There used to be a Woolworth’s in our local mall, and I remember going through that Woolworth’s and buying things occasionally. In fact, that Woolworth’s was where I bought my K-TEL “hit express” album.
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Why, yes, that is the one with “Don’t You Want Me, Baby?” on it. And “Tonight I’m Yours,” as well. But this is not just an 80s nostalgia love-in people! Eyes back to me! Here I am in first grade. Aren’t I cute?
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If you are wondering what all that gold crap is all over the picture, that’s the special late 70s satin finish on the photo. It reflects light like the devil! So, even in with my special miniature photo lighting set, I still get the glare off the flash! If Mr. Right-Click were here, he’d be able to fix it, probably. But he’s not, so we’re SOL. Still, even with the gold crap, don’t tell me I’m not rocking those bangs. As I am in second grade, after moving into the french braid period of my hair history:
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So cute! Wait. I took that picture out of the picture album to photograph it. Now that I put it back in, what is that blue pen slashing across my own face?
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I hated myself enough, already, in second grade, to cross myself out of the picture? Jeez. Talk about issues. Well, wait–to be fair, I seem to have crossed several others out, too.
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If you look closely, you’ll see that, in addition to myself, I have crossed out the faces of seven girls in the photograph. Which leaves <counting> two girls in the picture that I liked. Or at least wasn’t concerned with enough to cross out. What could these girls have done, at age 6 or 7, to inspire this kind of anger from me? Search me. But if I had to bet, it had something to do with unicorns.
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Wait, one soccer team named the Unicorns wasn’t enough? Guess not.
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Did you see that several of the Unicorns (both I and II) were crossed out as well? What the hell did they do to me? Maybe I was just pretending that these girls were the ones behind the vast conspiracy keeping me from watching Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (starring Peter Frampton) in its entirety. Maybe if I write our pay TV channel a letter, they will see it my way and put it back on TV again.
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Infuriatingly, she ignored my salient point, viz. that I couldn’t watch Sgt. Pepper that day because we were going to be in Mammoth. Duh! Why didn’t she just add another showing onto the schedule? Better keep that letter, maybe reinforce it with a construction paper backing or something. It might come in handy some day, like if somebody ever asks if I’ve received a business letter from a now-defunct cable channel. Or if I write a blog and I need relevant ephemera evidencing my contention that I was born a major clinical depressive and alcoholic, and it’s evident from my earliest recorded moments.
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But alongside the borderline antisocial personality traits, I also display the typical first-born need for approval. I seem to have acquired a ream of “achievement” certificates, including this one–a mimeographed “math certificte” that certifies I can add in less than 8 9 minutes. Go me!
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And, like many kids, I had my fair share of bad breaks. In second grade, I was skipping two bars on the jungle gym, and broke my arm. My friend R gave me a get well soon card, and I saved it.
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I never had a get-well-soon card before that. Now that I think of it, that might be the only get-well-soon card I’ve ever had, since I’ve never really been sick from anything. There is something about going through a book from a period in your life when you had more static pages than you had mementos to fill them with that makes you realize how lucky you are. You know, to have made it through to where you are today. Now I have boxes of mementos and no time to fill them into scrapbooks, diplomas that sit in my closet unframed and unnoticed, and though there are probably tons of people I’d like to proverbially cross out with a blue pen, most of them are people with whom I rarely come in contact, and besides, I don’t have pictures of them. I made it through my childhood despite my own best efforts at driving myself crazy, and this book full of WTF mementos kind of documents that process for me. And yeah, it’s kind of nice that my Certificate of Completion from the Jog-A-Thon (sponsored by McDonalds) will always have a home in this very special, very fugly scrapbook.
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{ 15 comments }

Mr Lady October 9, 2008 at 11:06 am

Oh, dear lord in heaven, how I LOVED Sgt Pepper. It was my very favorite movie EVER until I was 10 or something. I still have it at my dad’s house, ON BETA.

Mr Lady´s last blog post..Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts of Traal Make Bad Parents

Jen October 9, 2008 at 11:21 am

This post is awesome!! My mom made a ginormous scrap book of this kind of silly stuff for me when I graduated from college. My daughters think it’s the greatest bedtime storybook ever!

Jen´s last blog post..Fall!

Casey October 9, 2008 at 11:39 am

All of my old stuff is still packed away in my parent’s attic. After reading this, I’m going go have to dig it all out… thanks for the reminder!

Casey´s last blog post..The Times They Are A-Changin’

jenni October 9, 2008 at 11:54 am

“So please watch it.”

That’s priceless. But I don’t know what it more hilarious, that McDonalds sponsored a sporting event or that your soccer teams were called the Unicorns.

jenni´s last blog post..The Asshole Pediatrician

anna October 9, 2008 at 12:01 pm

Hey, yah, what’s with the “please watch it, [bitch]” comment. I didn’t even think about that. Probably because I was six-going-on-seven and used to being patronized at the time.

HeatherPride October 9, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Look at you – writing letters to the big guns at the tender young age of 6!! I loved this walk down memory lane with you! I think it’s hilarious that you crossed out all those girls in those photos. I wonder if it was done all in one sitting, or if it was something that you pondered over the course of soccer season and x’d out one by one as they committed various offenses?? hmmmmm

HeatherPride´s last blog post..Baby Wipes and Black Eyes

AKD October 9, 2008 at 2:02 pm

I’m bracing myself for when you start posting photos from high school and I find out you were drawing blue X’s through my face, too.

anna October 9, 2008 at 2:13 pm

No, I quit with the pictures in high school. I don’t even know if I have my yearbooks anymore.

Jenny Henny October 9, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Wow, what a great post. You took me WAAAAY back. And scared the crap out of me for what I have to look forward to with my two girls. You’re right though, the neurotic girl stuff starts way early – how I remember now!

Jenny Henny´s last blog post..Getting Old

always home and uncool October 9, 2008 at 5:31 pm

I used to write letters to the NY Mets telling them what players to sign and why so and so sucked. They sent back decals. Some how I think my 8-year-old insights were shortchanged.

always home and uncool´s last blog post..Six Degrees of Quirky Uncoolness

Linds October 9, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Oh, I’m laughing so hard tears are streaming… Somewhere (probably in my parents’ garage), I have boxes of this kind of stuff. And I probably have a photo album with THAT EXACT PICTURE somewhere, too!

anna October 9, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Linds–I fixed your comment for you–my sites acting a little wonky tonight.

jenboglass (steenky bee) October 10, 2008 at 7:32 am

You are a math wiz AND an accomplished jogger as seen through the eyes of McDonalds? Who knew I was flirting with such greatness? I love all those pictures of memories here. We recently cleaned out our storage room and I found a bunch of things in a box that reminded me when I stalked The Monkees (only Mickey Dolez really) and other random items. I didn’t have a bunch of awards like you do, but I DID have seven, count ‘em SEVEN participation ribbons. Don’t say that old Jen never showed up and did her sort of best to just be a warm body. I totally kill in the Participation arena. Just warning you.

jenboglass (steenky bee)´s last blog post..The Spin Cycle: Unorthodox Therapy Sessions

Ann October 10, 2008 at 4:15 pm

This post is nothing short of ‘Fantastic!’
And Sgt. Pepper with Peter Frampton?!? I made my mom take me to see that in the movie theaters, twice! (Pathetic) I could go on and on about that movie.
I’ve been cleaning my attic and came across journals from High School. Why in the world am I keeping those? There’s no way I want my girls to find them.
It’s time for those to go away. Just like my Ronco album, “Get It On!”. (Circa 1974. )

Ann´s last blog post..It’s Picture Day!

Mary Anne October 10, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Oh…I totally love 6-7 year old Anna…you can see the snark in your eyes already. I need to go find mine at some point where I cut my bangs off (you know, because they were hot and I could) two days before pictures.
Go Unicorns!!! :)

Mary Anne´s last blog post..Today….

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