One should never procrastinate cleaning the attic by sitting down and sorting through old photographs. It can be quite humbling, and frankly, who needs that?! Isn't the first time the cute checkout guy at the grocery store calls you "Ma'am" tragic enough?! Huh?! Well, isn't it?! GOSH!
So, I found some pictures. My 1987 Christmas Dance pictures, to be exact. And aaaw.... look! How ADORABLE. Oh! The matching head tilt! The happy, sincere smiles! Despite the teased, poofy bigness that is my Aqua Netted, Dippity Doo-ed bangs, we are just too cute, right?!
Whatever. My then-boyfriend was uber sarcastic with a dry, wicked sense of humor and I totally loved that about him, don't misunderstand. But the dude absolutely detested formal dances. Like, DESPISED. Hated them a whole lot, basically.
He was sooo not sincere in that picture. That was his "God! This is so totally LAME!" smile, with a dash of "I wonder if she noticed that my Swatch totally matches this sweater?" Because guys? His Swatch totally did match his sweater. I am so serious.
This candid shot is much more "him."
You see? That's his "Thank God the picture thing is over, I am WAY too cool for this" look. Or maybe that was right after he pinned on my corsage and "accidentally" rounded second base? I do look a little flushed... Ah well, who can say? It's all a blur, really.
Truthfully? I have no idea why he asked me to go. Maybe he thought I would put out? I WAS an older woman... No, that could not have been it, as-- if I remember correctly-- not only did he absolutely refuse to wear a suit (even when I asked NICELY), but he abandoned me the minute we arrived at the dance and sat in a corner with his buddies all night while I Rock Lobstered and Mony, Monied with my peeps. We did not even get official dance PICTURES, y'all. I know, right?! The bastard.
But the real tragedy here is not that my date did not spring for pictures at the dance. The real tragedy is not that my Christmas Dance dress was actually two separate pieces: a double-breasted top with ginormous black buttons, and a triple-crinolined poofy bubble skirt that was elasticized so that it bunched and billowed around my bum. Nor is it that the dress had long, puffed sleeves (sans shoulder pads, thankfully), or that the chilly winter air behooved me to employ-- in an ill-advised use of layers-- a black turtleneck for warmth.
It is not the fact that my dress was made of crisp, slick taffeta that rustled and swished with every move, or that I wore dark black tights with my best-friend's borrowed black heels which were a size-and-half too big and kept slipping off when I tried to bust the funky lyrics and Break It Down.
No, the real tragedy-- the honest-to-goodness TRAGEDY here-- is that, y'all? Y'ALL?! God help me, but when I walked out of my house that evening I walked proudly, with the calm self-assurance of a young woman who knew she looked GOOD. Like totally bitchin'. Like Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink with a smidge of unfortunate Breakfast Club envy bitchin'. And no one bothered to tell me the hideous truth: I was wearing a dress that was covered in (wait for it...) polka dots.
Polka dots, people! POLKA freaking DOTS! Everywhere! On a semi-FORMAL dress! Dots that make you look FAT! (Not to be confused with PHAT!) Dots that by their very name call to mind old men and women enthusiastically oom-pahing their way across Lawrence Welk's dance floor! Honestly! And the accordions! Holy Mother of Heaven, the ACCORDIONS! What was Jessica McClintock thinking?! Why didn't anyone STOP me?! Because, ew.
If that isn't tragic, I don't know what is.
- WILLIAM commented:
Seriously, I thought you were making fun of my senior prom picks from 1988, because my date wore the same outfit. And the kicker you guys look like each other. With the high hair and stuff.
- » 12/14/2005 7:24 PM
- not-so-normal mom commented:
My dress, one year after your unfortunate polka dots, was pink and white polka dots with a big butt bow. I also wore dainty gloves. I guess what I am trying to say here is...Noone told me, either. My bangs were equally aqua netted. The things we do....
ps. word verification....iyelf...ELF, yeah!!!!!
- » 12/14/2005 9:31 PM
- hemlock commented:
Yeah...I've got a few pics like that. Like the one of me holding my baby cousin with mile high bangs and one of those longish sweaters that cover the butt while wearing leggings... And that was 1990.
Oh jeeze...why? why? why???
- » 12/14/2005 10:21 PM
- mrtl commented:
I thought I had it bad with cardigan boy. This dude was your boyfriend and you let him out in that God-awful sweater?
I think that's the bigger tragedy here.
- » 12/14/2005 10:48 PM
- Hänni commented:
You look back in disgust now, but in 1987 tafeta, two-piece, polka dot monstrosities were all the rage! I remember lusting after a pink and black tafeta polka dot number myself. And the swatch - that totally brings back memories!
My date for senior prom didn't want to get pictures taken, so I've got one and my Japanese teacher took it of us. So lame.
- » 12/15/2005 6:46 AM
- Amy commented:
For '87 you look pretty cute! The turtleneck is bad, though. Was it your mother who suggested that? As a sort of Circle of Friends 'modesty panel'?
As for polka dots, I do remember them being very very. My grade eight grad dress was like a friggin loaf of Wonder Bread. And I didn't even have a date, let alone a sarcastic swatch one.
- » 12/15/2005 7:21 AM
- Vajana commented:
oh yes, let's consider the times. You were smoking in 1987. And the Swatch? Tripled your date's coolness factor, so maybe he was in fact too cool for the picture. Bastard!
Oh I have to dig up my Christmas dance pic from 1989. My hair is WAY taller than yours.
- » 12/15/2005 7:23 AM
- Charlotte in Pa commented:
It's very "Pretty in Pink"... without being pink.
- » 12/15/2005 7:28 AM
- LadyBug commented:
Console yourself with the fact that probably? No one even noticed the polka dots. They were too distracted by the poofy hair.
- » 12/15/2005 8:51 AM
Thanks for the coughing fit brought on by my non-stop laughter! No seriously, back then you were so cute in that dress. Is that the year I doubled dated with your sister? If so, I had the big banges with my hair pulled back!! Yikes!
Doesn't Scott real your blog?
- » 12/15/2005 12:11 PM
- Nessa commented:
I TOTALLY had that DRESS!!!! I'm going to have to dig up those pictures...where to start????
- » 12/15/2005 4:33 PM
- Cat commented:
Hmmm... how did so many people have my dress? Where did all you people get that dress? That was a one-of-a-kind Jessica McClintock! Do you know how much that dress cost? Did you buy a knock-off? Some cheesy knock-off? Man, this is exactly what happens when you sign those free trade agreements...
(Sorry, channeling my inner Cordelia...)
- » 12/15/2005 5:17 PM
- Cat commented:
TGIM just said I looked FAT in my polka-dot dress! FAT! ME! IN MY DRESS!
TGIM is dead to me. DEAD. Just so you know.
- » 12/15/2005 5:53 PM