An old friend of mine from college just posted the above picture on Facebook. Ah yes, that's me, class of '86. My senior picture. I hate having my picture taken, and I usually delete pictures of myself that go up on the internet, if I can. What's weird about this, though, is I don't even recognize myself in that picture anymore.
The Joe-collage's-girlfriend-prep-look was never mine. But it always felt like a costume. I was assured that if I didn't go with that look, I would regret it later. They might be right. I liked wearing it to school afterwards, because it threw people for such a loop. People would say funny stuff like: "Did you just get back from a meeting with your probation officer?"
Silly people. I never had a probation officer. You had to be some sort of hoodlum super-achiever to even get really arrested back then. They'd put the cuffs on you, and haul you in and make your parents come and get you, but to actually get CHARGED with a crime and sent to court and put on probation? Nah. People didn't take kids seriously in the olden days.
I had friends that would say "I have a court date". To explain why they were leaving school later. I always suspected they were actually going to the dentist...but you know, maybe not.
Back to the picture...the beads and earrings are a bit much, aren't they?
The photographer kept telling me to unbutton that last button. I thought that was a little weird, as he was OLD. Like, he must have been at least THIRTY. I guess he was right, cause now that I try to picture it, having that last undone button done up would have looked pretty uptight, and it doesn't look nearly as slutty as it felt. It's just, next to a black sweatshirt with the arms and collar ripped off of it, that neck-line looks positively PLUNGING.
Years later, I saw that pose he had me in referred to as "the zit-popping pose".
The guy who took my senior pictures was the best in the area, though. You had to drive to a whole 'nother town to get to his studio, he was expensive, and it was kind of difficult to get an appointment.
I don't think I ever properly thanked my mom for going to such trouble and expense to get me the best photos possible. But in my defense, how could I have really been expected to understand it as a kid? It was pretty nice of her, though. I know now how hard she had to work for that money, and how long in advance she had to save it just for that...how far in advance she had to call for an appointment...how much less trouble she could have taken for perfectly adequate and much cheaper pictures to be taken in town.
But she went to the trouble to get a good photographer who would take the time to get her skittish, self-conscious, camera-shy daughter to relax in front of the camera and get some decent photos.
That it was that important to her kind of makes me feel pretty good.