Monday, November 27, 2006

Cool Guy, 1988

I found this photo just laying out on the bookshelf like it was a normal picture at my parents' house this weekend. It was taken on school picture day, 1988. I was in the seventh grade. Maybe the eighth. As this photo illustrates, my sartorial skills have increased dramatically, possibly deleting disk space allocated to math skills in my brain. I'm okay with that.



This is the only one of its kind, I think. I doubt my parents bought the full suite of school pictures that year, somehow. They must have, though, unless Olan Mills offered the "Awkward Years Special" that consisted of exactly one wallet-sized photo.

What you see sprouting powerfully from my scalp in this photo is the line in the sand between my burning desire for waist-length Jane's Addiction hair and my parents' insistence that their kid look somewhat normal.

I managed to wrangle coolness back on my side, though -- by shaving the sides and back of my head but leaving the top exactly as it is in this photo. The cut never had a real name, but I now think of it as "the Primus fan" or "the brain handle." That cut really showed the world who was cool, though.

I can honestly remember sitting in my room at that age and listening to Bauhaus' 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' over and over and thinking "gosh, why aren't girls paying any attention to me?"

The one conclusion I can draw after four days back home, visiting local hangouts and running into WAAAAY too many former classmates is this: Nobody worth being around now had an easy time of it in high school.

A bunch of you that read this blog have blogs of your own. Some of you even care what I have to say -- and I challenge you: let's see a photo from your awkward years. Send me a link or leave one in the comments ... unless you're too cool now.

16 Comments:

At 2:02 AM, Blogger 1961 said...

I enjoyed reading your blog. I agree the teen/akward years are terrible. I have finially learned to smile when someone puts a camera in my face. They are going to take the photo if I frown and say don't or if I smile, so I smile.

 
At 3:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that you win that comp!

 
At 6:58 AM, Blogger E :) said...

As soon as I get my damn camera back I'll copy my awkward photo and paste it on the blog. Promise. I think.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger Lonnie Bruner said...

Oh damn, my scanner's broken!

 
At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would leave a photo but I'm at work right now. I had myself some awkward teen years, considering I didn't start developing boobies until after I turned fifteen. I'm sure I creeped out many a female with my longing gazes at their buxom bodies while I was stuck with the figure of a scrawny nine year old.

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger honeykbee said...

Couldn't agree more with your theory regarding those who had a rough go in High School and their current worthiness!

Even with no current photo to compare, that's one great shot. Love how it was just hanging around minding it's own business... waiting to be discovered. I'm sure I could find a few that would put yours to shame. There are few things more horrifying than a 12 year old girl in the 80's...

 
At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Valaer said...

Wow, Steve Urkell did actually have an albino brother. Oh snap! S'ok... my 8th grade bangs/braces combo was pretty fugs. You are brave.

 
At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol it's funny that you posted this because last night i was going through old pictures at my parents' house and actually scanned a few, intending to send them to myself via email to put up on my blog.

sadly, i forgot to email them but you can bet whenever i get back there i'm going to put a picture or 2 up.

 
At 12:23 PM, Blogger Fiery Nuggets said...

Sadly I don't have any of these photos, but my mom does. And she keeps them in her wallet to this day. She has been known to take them out (all school photos from Kindergarten through college) and show people who have never met me the progression of my childhood includung the very embarrassing 8th grade photo with the big bangs. I mean really big. Like, wall 'o' hairspray big.

 
At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Sweet said...

Damn! All of those photos are hidden away at my parents' house. And boy do I have some gems -- in fifth grade I had to wear a neckbrace for a month with glasses.

 
At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel like I still am in my awkward years. I'm 26.

 
At 3:08 PM, Blogger Nics said...

I'm still in my awkward years, there's definitely no way that I would call myself too cool!

 
At 4:00 PM, Blogger ejtakeslife said...

I just... I mean... wow.

I am completely and totally at a loss for words from the hotness of it all.

Oh, and I see you, and I raise you.

 
At 9:23 PM, Blogger Rothko said...

Two words say it for me: Rat Tail. I was proud as hell of that thing and let it grow much longer than I should have. I've got photo documentation, but those are things best kept safely tucked away in the bottom of a box somewhere.

Oh, and I still have a soft spot for Primus. I mean, come on. Who doesn't?

 
At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My cousin just emailed me this pic, of me with his son, circa 1986, which would have made me 14 or 15. I think we had the same hairstylist....
here's a link: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v388/mamacat531/tommyinrichmond19861.jpg?t=1164767932

and a recent pic, just as a cross reference....
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v388/mamacat531/ApplefestDMom.jpg?t=1164768003

i still may not be cool, but at least my eyeglass frames are no longer as big as my head.

Gwen

 
At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Jeff. ~cc~

 

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