My mom has decided to start a massive clean-out of our house, and when I went home last weekend I decided to help her. My room is in pretty good shape since I did a lot of work on it when I was unemployed last year; I got rid of a lot of old junk and am now left with a closet full of old “treasures.” And, for some reason, Al’s blender and toaster oven. So my version of helping my mom was to move junktreasures from one location (her house) to another (my apartment) and decide what to do with it from there. So far the answer seems to be “leave it in piles in the living room.” I imagine this is how hoarders get started. At least the toaster oven and blender were returned (approximately five years after I “borrowed” them, which makes me feel like a total ass for being on her case about not returning some DVDs for a couple months), so I guess that’s a step forward.
I decided this would be the opportune time to ask my mom for any old pictures she didn’t want; I didn’t keep photo albums until high school and I’m pretty sure I existed before then, but I require photographic proof. This resulted in a bizarre field trip around the house, as there seemed to be precious family photos stuffed in every room (“there’s the box from dad’s spare dresser…and the envelope from under the basement stairs…and the grocery bag from behind the futon…”). So I’ve spent the past week literally putting my life in order, photograph-wise — the photos are undated, so I’m guessing ages based on haircut, location, and level of adorableness. The higher the adorable factor, the younger I am; I peaked early. It’s best to just acknowledge that and move on to the less cute but far more interesting Awkward Phases, running circa 1992 – present. I must credit my mother for capturing every amazing moment of high fashion from my youth. There’s the she-mullet, the giant bangs, the curly-sue perm, the waist-length hippie hair, and the pixie cut; the huge glasses, the braces, the failed attempts at makeup, and any outfit that involved polka-dots, flowered shorts, or vests. Rest assured the infamous Daisy Years, in which every item of clothing I owned had to have daisies on it (including one spectacular pair if acid-washed jeans), are present and accounted for; there also appears to have been an entire summer in which I wore nothing but neon bathing suits and red rollerskates.
I’d like to say I grew out of it, but I know I’m just going through another Awkward Phase. The Liz Lemon Era, maybe, or the Proud Resurgence of the Jean Shorts. This is why I take pictures; to give my future awkward self something to laugh at.