Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The 1980's High School Geek: A Schemata

The topic of the high school reunion has been broached.

Thus, it is endemic upon me to SHARE with you WHY exactly these years are so very painful to reminisce about. And, words just cannot do justice to the pain of the high school geek.

You must see the painful reality for yourself.

What, you don't want to? You're frightened? TOO BAD.

Sadly, though, I have very little in the way of high school memorabilia in my house in Austin. Whatever I have left in the way of high school stuff is still at my parents' house. And I'll be damned if I'm going to schlep it all back here, as, you know, more STUFF crammed into my small house is not exactly high on my list of priorities.

So, this is what I have:

First, a casual shot, of a typical daily Mags look, circa 1987:

1. You will notice the hair, straight off the curling iron; no need to brush those suckers out! Just let 'em sit there like blonde sausages!

2) Oversized hand-me-down (from my sister) dyed pink paisley shirt, buttoned all the way to the collar, accessorized by flea market rhinestone earrings and brooch.

I wore this shirt or my Iggy Pop t-shirt (also courtesy of my sister) every week during my senior year. And I always wore rhinestones.

3) Highlights/hair color courtesy of one friend or another...it was something you used a brush to paint on? What was that crap called? I can't remember.

Next, the Formal Senior Portrait:

1) I've worked on this hair...it is poufier and shellacky!
There's clearly a lot of product in it. I might have been sophisticated enough by that point to have been using Paul Mitchell (awapuhi! awapuhi!) but this was in the dark, pre-Aveda days. It's uncharacteristically brown. Must not have had friends around willing to paint my hair that summer.

But no, look closer! It's really a NEW WAVE hairdo, in disguise! See? It's spiked up on the right side and flipped over to the left! I WAS SO VERY ALTERNATIVE!

2) I, for some reason, must have decided to PREP UP for this day! When, exactly, did I wear fuschia shirts with erect collars and black button earrings? Um...that day! (Someone must have dressed me. This outfit does not smack of something that I could have come up with on my own.)

3) I bet, if you looked closely, that eye shadow might have been purple and sparkly.

4) I used to think that this was a good picture of me, but now I can see that I'm totally gritting my teeth in it. I was probably asphyxiating from the hairspray.

Oh, wait, here's one more, of me and Jimmy, BFFs before BFFs were cool:

I'm so snarly! Aren't I punk?
Anyways, internets, I never got the hang of the "Forenza sweater with an add-a-bead necklace and Guess jeans" thing that everyone else seemed to be able to do. The hair was never feathered when it was supposed to be feathered, or poufed to the nth degree when it was supposed to be large.

Of course, this is all good now. Clearly, it is with the geeks and outsiders that I stand, now and forever. As it turns out, they're nice, kind, smart, and funny.

In fact, now that I think about it, perhaps I'm being too hard on high school me.

Mags from the past: I take it back. You're all right by me. You go on and let your freak paisley shirt flag fly.

(With that in mind, maybe I just will wear my cowboy boots to the reunion.)


Bill Shirley said...

There's a frightening gnome over your shoulder in the first pic.

Karla said...

Honestly, though, you haven't changed much IN THE FACE. Still very youthful. You look just the same....with WAY better hair.

I had a Paisley Shirt too. (They must always be capitalized). My Paisley Shirt was by an Interesting Foreign Company and I thought it was So Cool. And I too wore it buttoned to my neck with a broach.With my Girbaud jeans ( my ass was too big for Guess) and I never ever deigned to wear Add a Bead necklaces, I was Too Bohemain for that.
You and I would have been good friends, I can tell. We both had unbrushed curls that needed some flipping and winging, but I bet we were both really too bad at hair to make it so.

Anonymous said...

I had a long sleeve pink paisley version of that same shirt that an aunt gave me. It also had the most enormous shoulder pads EVER! I couldn't believe how big they were. I had a twisty bead necklace too which I liked but felt it was just too cute to wear. Hmmm...where is that necklace? Somewhere in the boxes of stuff my Mom wants me to go through at home. I know the shirt became a rag... Mich...