My husband will say to me, "You can't help being beautiful can you?"  It is a laughable statement to me.  I showed him my third grade picture, the epitome of a horrific school picture, illness (I had mono that year), an unflattering haircut, hounds tooth dress, teeth in desperate need of braces, and not even the smallest desire to care how I looked.

One of my nieces, after finishing her freshman year in college, returned home and contracted mono.  Her normal peppy, bright-eyed, exuberant ways were subdued.  The sparkle in her eyes and face showed the effects of mono.  I wanted to encourage her that she would feel better in a few weeks.  Having had mono both in third grade and again in my adult world, I knew that you look about like you feel, like crap! 

I emailed her my third grade picture to let her know that I had her beat in looking bad from the effects of mono.  She giggled.  Who wouldn't!

I looked like the poster child for the Stop Child Abuse campaign, in need of massive doses of sun, a blood transfusion and orthodontics involving some sort of head gear. 

I hated third grade.  I did not like Mrs. Anglemyer or the way she combed our hair right before school pictures.  Really, did I want or need her to comb my hair into the way she wanted!  No third grader, boys included, wanted their teacher messing with their hair. I didn't like throwing up on my red boots or having to be in the hospital either.  And who puts a pale, skinny, bucky-beaver toothed tomboy in a hounds tooth dress - my mom!  I was just out of sorts in more ways than one in my third grade school picture.  I refer to that year as the "Lost Year".

I'm going to guess my mom made that dress.  She made a great many of my clothes when I was young, which I hated with a deep white-hot passion.  Much like I hated that she made cakes from scratch when I wanted a cake mix one for my birthday with icing from a can.  

My Aunt was a hairdresser who cut our hair.  I am not blaming her for the way I looked.  Seriously, look at what she had to work with!  How could anyone have made me look good in third grade.  Shag cuts were all the rage in 1973.  But my picture is proof that all trends do not work for all people!

I eventually got over mono.  Summer came and my skin was exposed to the sunshine giving me some healthy color.  I donned braces for four years helping to stop my sisters from calling me Bucky Beaver.  My mom morphed from sewing most of my clothes to buying them from Sears or Quality Farm and Fleet, which was merely a lateral fashion move only!   And, by the time I was a young adult I got a better handle on haircuts that were flattering and rarely wore a dress.  

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