Thursday, May 22, 2008

We cannot afford to forget any experience, not even the most painful. ~ Dag Hammarskjold

Tom and I were cleaning the garage last weekend after the garage sale. Actually, Tom was cleaning and organizing the garage. I was just kibitzing. Our (my) goal was to get rid of all the stuff left over from the garage sale and anything else we could find that we didn't use routinely. The only stuff we (I) wanted in the attic was camping and Christmas stuff.

As he pulled stuff off of shelves, Tom came across a pink plastic storage box full of paper: hand-made cards from an elementary class I used to work with; cards from Tom for all occasions; cards from Mike and Chris for birthdays, Mother's Day and even a get well card (and I don't remember being ill). Tom also found a cardboard box that we packed when we moved to this house a year and a half ago, but never unpacked. It contained photos taken from the walls in the den, other miscellaneous framed items and metal box that used to be my mother's.

Before she passed away five years ago, my mother kept metal boxes, like the kind used for Christmas cookies, for storing little things like photos, letters, cards, ribbon and other odds and ends. I don't remember seeing this box when she moved in with us and I hadn't seen the contents in years: my father's original birth certificate, photos of my mother's parents (my grandparents), miscellaneous family photos and this baby book about me.

According to my mother's entries, my birth weight was 6 pounds 5 ounces (a far, far, far cry from my current fighting weight), my eyes were blue, my complexion "light" and the color of my hair was light auburn. This book was a baby gift from my Aunt Sally. I was apparently a screamer early on and crawled at 6 months. My Aunt Sally cut my hair and gave me bangs when I was 17 months, and my mother notes "...and was I mad!" Maybe that explains my penchant for short hair.

Sadly, it appears I used the rest of the book as a pretend menu. At the time, I don't think I was contemplating being a restaurant owner as a career. I think I was just playing waitress. I had real lofty goals when I was a kid.

I am so sure I got in big trouble for that.

As I looked through all the miscellaneous photos, I came across these.

All of them are of me, but at different ages and different stages of my life. The first photo (top left) was probably taken when I was in second or third grade. Note the lovely 40's-ish hair style and, by God, those bangs have grown out. In the second photo (top right) I was in fifth or sixth grade and outfitted in my dazzling girl scout uniform, but note the hair. At this point, the whole short hair thing is starting to take hold, but my mother is still making her point by not allowing bangs. The third photo (bottom left) was taken during my freshman or sophomore year in high school during my surfer-girl period, and everyone knows that a surfer-girl has to have long hair, but now I am starting to think on my own a little more and I've cut my own bangs with a pair of fabric scissors while locked in the bathroom. I wanted those dreaded bangs! And, finally the last photo taken during my senior year. You will note the hair is now short. Back in the day, this was called a "bubble." I know, you are probably too young to remember that.

Though I had subsequent reversals back to growing my hair long, mostly when I was in my early 20's during my hippie-dippie period, short hair has been my basic look, my basic cut ever since my senior year. Oh, not because I am trying to create my own look or my own style or my own persona. It's nothing as independent or forward thinking as that. The fact of the matter is, I'm just plain lazy.

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