Painful Realization(s)
Sunday, May 04, 2008
In preparation for this weekend's yard sale (more on that later), I combed through the items I have stored in my parent's basement. Amongst the old collections - keychains and cameras, mostly - I happened upon a photo book from my high school exchange to Duisburg, Germany. Immediately, I became acutely aware of just how clueless I used to be about my appearance.

Growing up, my sister and I received the utmost in love, support, and conservative parenting. Our parents treated us very well - and always made sure we had our heads screwed on tightly. There were dramatics, as one can expect from a household with two adolescent girls, but mostly we just went about our business. I never thought twice about my appearance (and by "thought," I mean significant thought - doubt, self-loathing, etc.) because it literally NEVER occurred to me.

So tell me why, NOW, I look at these pictures and cringe?! You know what they say about retrospection...

Above, you see me sporting not only an ENORMOUS rain jacket, but also low-top Chuck Taylors and jeans with a tapered leg. A tapered leg. Because apparently it wasn't enough to have clothing that screams "I'm a tourist, please pick my pockets!" but was also necessary to look like a small, stumpy leprechaun.

Also, what is UP with the arm placement? I cannot for the life of me figure that one out.

Next up...graphic tees! Now in cheesy themes! Like Kermit the frog:

I took this photo in the hopes of teasing my friend S, who was completely infatuated with Max, a german student who was accompanying our group. Max had dreamy eyes, but a HORRENDOUS lisp that I simply could not get past. Good thing he wasn't even remotely interested in me, thanks in part to my creepy Anne Geddes t-shirt and braces. See below:

That's Max on my left. S, who was in luuuuurrve with him is on the far right, in the navy baseball hat. I think, at one point, they got drunk on Jagermeister (how cliche) and made out with one another. I didn't drink a drop in high school, so I mostly spent that night taking care of people, trying to keep everyone from getting busted. It didn't work, but I definitely earned brownie points with our chaperones for being the ONLY person who was not vomiting into the street drains the next morning.

Continuing on with the misery, I present to you a little something I like to call "Zero Body Awareness meets Birkenstocks and Socks" - enjoy!

Don't I look excited to be alive? I vaguely recall being irritated on that trip due to humid weather (hence, the frizzy 'do) and the fact that S (whom you see in the long, tie-dye skirt) kept singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at the top of her lungs.

I even managed to look horrendous while eating. Now, prepare yourself for the following image. Let's just that while Virginia may be for Lovers, Germany is not for Vegetarians. Germany is for carnivorous, redheads who have yet to discover the wonders of hair product and eye makeup.

Ahem. I'll say only ONE thing about the inevitable reaction you may have to this photo, and that is this: I'm a good girl. I didn't do that kind of thing back then, and MY MOTHER READS THIS BLOG, so let's just drop it, okay? Okay...

Finally, I present you the ultimate in embarassment. Because that is how much I love you all. If those photos above weren't bad enough, there's always the flight home.

Because what goes better with a full face scowl than overalls that are also shorts?! I think those two go hand in hand.

No? Was it the scrunchy white, athletic socks that threw you off?

When my reunion committee peer J told me that the guys at our 10-year high school reunion were mentioning how amazing my friends and I looked, I was shocked to hear it. I don't feel any different. None of us really (on a fundamental level) look any different than we did back then. But looking at these photos, maybe we do.

It's been said that hindsight is 20/20. And while a healthy perspective on one's self is helpful, I think there's a reason I wear glasses.