1. I used to hate my hair, but I've recently come to appreciate it.
I really disliked everything about it -- the color, the curl, the length (which was mainly long because my mother liked it that way and finger curled it every time I washed it). This is how I always remember it -- half curly, frizzy, floating around my face.
It didn't help that if I wore it in a braid (usually the low-tech one that starts at the nape), my sisters would tease me that it looked like "a turd." That's kid speak, and it cut to the quick. Both my sisters had shiny, straight hair that seemed (to me) effortless and sleek.
Since I became a grown up, I've been fascinated with the concept of good hair versus bad hair. My memories of my hair definitely fell on the bad side of the category. In fact, I remember successfully using afro-sheen on it one winter when the frizz was out of control.
All I can say is thank the heavens for frizz creme. Where was that stuff in the 80s? But, like I said, I've come to appreciate my hair. Not only the texture but also the color (which I hid under lots of red or black hair dye start around age 14 and lasting until not that long ago). And I've realized that my hair wasn't that bad at all. See?
2. See those teeth in that picture? Yeah. Blame that on the one with the bowl cut. Homegirl pushed me off the top of a slide when I was 4ish and she was 5ish. Apparently I wasn't moving fast enough so she just pushed me off altogether. I hit the ground with my face, damaging the root of my front tooth. After the baby tooth fell out, nothing grew back in its spot so people assumed I had a bucked tooth gap. I didn't. The adult tooth was growing upside down under the gum. I had surgery to put it back where it belongs, but it's still all wonky and not where it should be. (Yes, mom, I know I should've worn my retainer.)
3. They thought I had a bucked tooth gap because I sucked my thumb until I was 12. My mother says I was pulled from the womb with my thumb in my mouth. Eventually I broke the habit thanks to the suggestion of my orthodontist who said I should keep my arms under my pillow at night (since I'd wake up sucking my thumb despite going all day without it). It worked.
4. See how I'm wearing that white "frock"? Yeah. I didn't own a pair of jeans until sixth grade. SIXTH GRADE. I went the previous five grades and kindergarten in slacks, sweat pants, skirts, and dresses. I think I stopped wearing them (after spending the preschool years in overalls) because my mom had a hard time finding them to fit my chub. Then when I'd try to wear them, they made the skin on my legs all rough and patchy. I started wearing them in the sixth grade after an asshat named Chad called me a tomato in my red sweatpants. How do any of us survive childhood?
5. This picture was taken on the front porch of my godparents' house back in 1986. We loved spending time with them (who we called Aunt Doris and Uncle Ronnie, or rather, Aunt Ronnie and Uncle Doris because he had long hair and a long beard and she had long hair and no makeup). My father skipped out shortly after Ashley was born in 1980, so my Uncle Ronnie and my Uncle Donnie (no relation) were my father figures -- and they were amazing.
Going to spend time with either uncle (or aunt) was such a treat for us. I would give anything for one more day with either one. My Uncle Ronnie passed away a few years ago from complications from Hep C. My Uncle Donnie died when I was a teenager from a massive heartache. Seeing the joy on my face in that picture reminds me of them, how I felt about them, and how lucky I was to have them in my life.
Okay. I think five is enough for now. What a trip down memory lane!