Browsing Archives for Woeful Tales From A Western Kansas Girlhood

Box O’ Crap

July 20th, 2008


On a recent trip back to my hometown, I was met at the door to my parent’s home by my sister April who was in frothy frenzy.  She was attempting to re-organize my parent’s entire house in a few short days!   She insisted that I help her.  

I didn’t want to help her.
I wanted to watch nineteen solid hours of HGTV!
Because I don’t have HGTV.
So I feel it is my duty to catch up when I am at the folks.
But April would not let me.
Before I arrived, April had already sorted through MY old bedroom closet.  She had a box.  A box of stuff that she had found in that closet that she thought I needed to have.
I did not want the stuff in the box.
I left it at home.  
A few weeks later, my mom came for a visit and she had the box of stuff that April had found in my closet.
And SHE LEFT it at my HOUSE!
The box has been sitting in the study for several weeks.
I was tempted to pitch the entire thing in the trash, but on Saturday I sat down and went through it
Here is what I found in that box o’ crap.
Old Dance Pictures….

Why could not the photographer have said… 
Uh Miss…  Miss… you might want to pat down your hair… your hair… it looks like you have two horns…. just give it little pat…. maybe run your fingers through it… here I have a comb…. and a mirror…  Go ahead fix it… There!  That’s better!  
But no…
Instead I have horns.  

I really loved this particular ballet costume.  
I thought it was very wispy and elegant and princess like.   
I remember thinking that in this photo, I wanted to appear serious.  I wanted to be pale and waif-like and fragile and somber.  I wanted to look like an oil painting.  I wanted to look like something out of a fairy tale.  
I don’t think people in fairy tales EVER have feathered hair.  
But I succeeded in looking somber.
And slightly pissed off.

Now here is a study in contrast.
Note the lace buttoned collar and the austere sweater vest and the ZIT which is set off so nicely…

By the ROYAL BLUE EYELINER!!!

This appears to be some sort of photography project where I was to write about what was wrong with the photos.  I have been taking bad pictures for a very long time.  This is a skill I was just born with.  You can’t learn it.  You either have it or your don’t! 
Now let me tell you what is wrong with these photos.  
What is wrong with the first photo is that April took a picture of me jumping off my parents’ well proving once and for all that  I AM A GIGANTIC DOOFUS.
What is wrong with the second picture is that my sister looks like she is dressed for an episode of WKRP Cincinnati.

My High school graduation tassel was in the box o’ crap.  I don’t know how I got through the past twenty years without it.

And THANK GOD my sister placed this precious artifact in that box!

I found the last will and testament from my entire graduating class.  I willed my talent to look good after a football game to my High school boyfriend.  
I must have been referring to the blue eyeliner.

I found this assignment from Home Economics.

I got a C.
How do you get a C on a wardrobe inventory?
It appears I was supposed to write something about my attitudes and values towards clothing. I don’t know why I missed that part of the assignment.  But I can tell you now that my attitude towards clothi

ng when I was in High School was that CLOTHES WERE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD.  

There!
Can I have a better grade now?
Can I???

Then there was all this stuff.

and GEEAWWW…  all this stuff!!!!
And OH LORD this stuff!  
I am sorry to tell you this…
I was in a pageant once…
Yes, I was.  
It was hard times then.  
Small town…
Not much to do except stand around in corn fields and drink beer…
…and be in pageants. 
So I chose the pageant route.  
Sorry.
What is funny about this, is that as I was paging through the photos in the booklet, I was trying to remember which girl won…
I remembered which girl I wanted to win, but I knew she did not.  
I remember which girl I thought would win, but she didn’t win either.  
Then I found this picture…

I guess number 18 was the winner.

And judging from what I did to her mouth – I guess I was not too happy about it…

And this is my pink fluffy sister in a hoop skirt.
She is the one who made this box o’ crap possible.
Thank you April.
I am saving Donald Duck nightlight and the seashell just for you.   

The Past Still Haunts 2

October 1st, 2007

Yes, that’s right. This is the puppet team from my misspent youth. Misspent in that instead of drinking massive amounts of alcohol and getting in cars with boys and driving around town all night long. Instead of going out to the middle of some corn field with a bunch of kids my age and drinking misbegotten beer bought by some lonely desperate Vo-Tech guy.

Instead of doing anything NORMAL, I spent my formative years behind a puppet stage “doing puppets” with my mom and my sister and the other unfortunate people in this picture.

I found this picture on a recent trip to my parent’s house. I brought it home for the express purpose of setting it afire and destroying all evidence that I was ever involved in puppetry. But then I started looking at this picture…

This is my mom. Look how pretty she is. Even with that weird hat on, she is still very pretty. In fact, she is radiant! She is glowing! You know why? Because my mom loves puppets! They make her happy. They make her glow! They make her radiant.

Here we have April, my sister. The one with all the blue eye shadow. Note her facial expression. She does not seem unhappy. In fact, she seems pretty content. She has the grandma puppet. April was very funny with the grandma puppet. She was very good at creating all sorts of voices and characters. Go ahead – next time you see her – shove a puppet on her hand – and watch what happens.

Here’s April and I. Do you see a difference in the two of us? Can you see how one of us seems very satisfied, at ease, comfortable with her surroundings… and the other one of us seems…

Like she wants to CURL UP AND DIE RIGHT NOW PLEASE!!!! Do you see how I also seem to be THE ONLY ONE IN THIS PICTURE ABLE TO DETECT THE IRONY!!! The rest of the people in this picture are just ACCEPTING THIS CRAZY SITUATION. Like it is perfectly OKAY to have a professional studio portrait taken of yourself with a PUPPET ON YOUR ARM!!! I am the ONLY SANE PERSON in this picture! THE ONLY ONE! I just felt that should be stated. Even when I was fourteen, fifteen??? I knew that some things were just weird. I had an advanced understanding of what is truly bizarre. I could see beyond the “harmless puppet team publicity pic” into the realm of “Holy Crap! people are going to SEE this picture!”

I have been trying to recover from this particular picture and many moments just like it for the past 25 years.

Clearly, I still have a lot of work to do.