Wednesday, November 4, 2015

School Pictures

School picture day was always a fun but kind of stressful day  that rolled around every fall.  In the really early grades, I don't remember caring much about how I looked but it was always fun to wear a favorite outfit or fun necklace that day.  As we got older and entered the later elementary school grades I remember being stressed about my hair.  It was hard not to be with the precision skill that was required to fix the many ways we wore our bangs in the 90's!  If you were having one of those bad bang days and your stiff sky high wave or poodle curls were acting up or looking off kilter your picture day was ruined!  Sometimes there wasn't enough hairspray in the world...

In middle school and high school of course there was the dreaded acne to deal with.  I never had very bad skin but even one blemish was a problem.  Also, I am prone to red marks on my neck and chest if I scratch an itch or have any other minor contact with those areas so I was always worried about that.  And of course, every girl insisted with modesty that they looked terrible and would probably need retakes.  When the proofs came back every girl insisted she was getting retakes but no one ever got retakes!  Regarding boys, I don't remember any of them giving a crap or doing anything to go above and beyond in the grooming department for picture day.  Must be nice. 

I wish I had some school pics scanned of myself but of course I don't.  I have plenty of my parents and grandparents but none from my childhood!  I love to look at them though.  This custom is one that could, I suppose, become obsolete since we all have cameras in our pockets that are with us everywhere we go and digital photography makes it easy to take nice pictures of our kids whenever we want.  There is something special about these simple portraits though.  It's fun to see people at that age, trying to look their best in whatever fashions were popular at the time and see their hair and features as they change or stay the same through the years.

This one is quite special.

This is my grandma on my dad's side in 1st grade and the reason it is special is because it is the first known picture of her taken as a child.  She was 6th out of 7 kids, although I don't know if any of them had baby pictures taken, and like most families they didn't own a camera and couldn't afford a photographer in 1937.  So this was it!  It is so different now.  It makes us all seem downright vain.
This is my dad in some year of middle school so probably 1971 or 1972.  That shirt is very subdued compared to the huge collars, crazy prints and ridiculous bow ties that would fill the year book by the time he graduated in 1976 but it stands out to me because his hair is still straight. 

 My brother and sister and I all had straight hair until right around this age...sometime in late elementary school.  Around 6th grade is when my hair started flipping out in all directions at the end and by 7th it was fully curled.  The following newspaper clip shows my dad as a senior in high school in the fall of 1975. 
Whoa, right?  This was found in my great grandma's scrapbook recently.  That's not a perm. I wonder what happens in those years?  You could say hormones, but I would think then it would be different for girls and boys.  Also, it didn't happen to my aunt and uncle.  It was a strange recessive gene surfacing from the ancestry.  See, look...this is me in 5th grade...

And when I was 19...

It's crazy.  I wonder if it will happen to my kids?  I don't know if it would be lucky or not?  Now that my hair is straightening again (this HAS to be because of pregnancy and hormones) I kind of miss that wild mess that I used to have. 
My mom's dad was a high school teacher for 40 years so he had his photo taken on picture day sometimes.  I remember how most of my teachers would only sit every once and awhile for pictures so their photo in the yearbook would be the same for several years.  There were always those (always male) teachers who would use the same picture for, like, 20 years.  In the 90's their old portraits from 1978 were still being used!  It was funny.   

This is my grandpa's portrait which is clearly from the 1960's since it has some elegance to it and lacks polyester and crazy prints and the suit is not pastel blue or brown. I like the glasses.  It reminds me of my mom's favorite school picture day trauma where she had just started wearing glasses and was horrified by the sight of her pictures when they came back.  I wish I had that one scanned but I don't!
What all this reminiscing is leading to is the arrival of Ben's first school portraits this morning!  It is kind of strange how we are supposed to order them.  There are sheets in various sizes already printed and we can buy what we want and send the rest back in the envelope and order extras online if we want. 

They are pretty cute, I think, even if his smile is not the most natural!  I can't believe he took direction and put his hands in his pockets like that!  Although this is far from the first image of him on film (or memory card or whatever you would call it these days) it will still be one to treasure!

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