Birthday Party Pictures You Wish Belonged to You

2 09 2011

Back in the olden days of New Wave and sixteen channels available on cable and when we had to walk seven miles uphill in the snow* to the drugstore to have our photos developed on film which cost money so you’d only take like three photos at any given birthday party and hope for the best and not find out until several months later that they came out like, well, like these. Despite the length of that sentence I don’t think I ever finished it. But I ran out of breath. So: Back in those days you never knew what you were going to get.

(Fun thing to try at home: take out a toy or vintage camera and take photos of kids with it and then try to explain to them why you can’t show them the photo right away. Hint: It’s more fun if there are other adults around to laugh at how very old you are for understanding that there was Life before Digital.)

Anyway. These are some of mine.

Second grade:

The most horrific part of this birthday was clearly the cake. No. The most horrific part was my reaction to the cake:
i loved this cake so much it was creepy

I’m gazing upon it with such adoration you’d think rainbow fluffy bunnies** were about to hop forth from it’s creepy ruffly frosting loins. And this isn’t to say that my mom didn’t do a rocking job, because she totally did. But, as with so much of what we tragically considered awesome in the 80’s, the time for doll dress cakes has come, thankfully, to a happy end.

birthday with notes

This year’s photo was great. We all stood and smiled, Julia even waved. But wait. What’s Gina doing down there in the corner? Being awesome. I love her face so much I want to make that into some sort of icon and plaster it all over everything. I told her to make it her Facebook profile picture but if she doesn’t I might just use it myself. I am jealous so hard that it isn’t me being that awesomely… well, awesome.

But my first grade birthday party picture caused my mother distress. I imagine that around May, or whenever the roll of film was finished and returned, she opened it, expecting to see a photographic delight of six sweet girls all smiling just like we would if we were fictional kids on a soap opera. And, instead she saw this. And where I see so very many opportunities to laugh, she felt only frustration at our collective failure to be Perfect. And yet, I am pretty sure this picture wins some sort of prize for Best Birthday Party Photo in the Whole Damn Universe.*** I present to you… First Grade:

best birthday picture ever. with notes.

*Well, snow for you. It hasn’t snowed in my town since 1968. True story.
**Not possessed by demons.
***This prize is given out at the same time as the award for Most Gratuitous Use of the Word Belgium




6 responses

3 09 2011

What about the poor child trying to see around your head?

3 09 2011

Yeah, there was something very “So Long, Farewell” about that pose, but I either ran out of room or steam or both.

3 09 2011

You’ve got it all wrong in the second grade party. Clearly the most horrific part of the birthday was serving the children “Lite” beer. I mean come on. At least regular Bud.

3 09 2011

The beer was totally weird, Mainly because my family was always secret about the drinking. We NEVER had drinking at family functions. Unless you count sneaking into the sewing room and taking a chug from an unlabeled jar hidden behind stacks of buttons and fabric. Probably that beer was a birthday gift from a friend.

3 09 2011

“lite” beer is not a gift. not from a real friend. I hope you are taking notes. A nice oatmeal stout now, that’s a different story.

3 09 2011

Don’t worry. I am not in contact with most of those people now. Give me lite beer and lose my friendship. That’s my motto. Since I was 8, apparently.

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