Education Memoir Relationships

Lessons From School Picture Day

A few weeks back Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom), Clay Morgan (EduClaytion) and Keenie Beanie came up with a brilliant horrifying idea. To go digging back through old school yearbooks and encourage other bloggers to post pictures of ourselves on our pages, along with a little write-up. They would call it:

I wanted to participate in Leanne’s, Clay’s and Keanie Beanie’s brain fart child, but I was saddened to realized I had actually scribbled all over my face in nearly every picture. Think I’m kidding? I’m not. This is my Senior picture.

Worst. Picture. Ever.

I was really into the Grateful Dead at the time. Please note my fancy spelling of the Dead, my little rose at the top of my picture, and my penned in peace-sign earrings.

I did find one picture in that same yearbook that stood out to me.

It was the picture taken for Senior Superlatives, a tradition at my high school. Members of the Senior class voted for their choice of male and female representatives in 12 different categories like Best Looking, Best Dressed, Most Friendly, Most Artistic, Most Athletic, Most Musical… you get the idea. (I wonder if they still do that.)

Scroll down to see what I got.

Monsieur Flirt and I were on-again, off-again friends during high school. During this picture, I think we were off. Yeah, definitely off. The week prior he had intentionally backed into my tan Plymouth Volaré as we waited at a red light. Honestly, he just lightly tapped the front bumper of my car with his rear bumper. Problem was my mother was also in the front seat of the car, and she did not think the whole “bumper cars” thing was very funny. She was pretty pissed.

She also has no recall of this incident at all.

Anyway, the day for photos came and Monsieur Flirt and I weren’t really friendly. I think he might have punched me that week. Or maybe he was mean to one of my friends. I don’t know. All I know is that the student photographer kept saying, “Get into a more flirtatious pose!” And neither one of us could muster it. I mean, we just couldn’t. Could there be stronger body language that says: I do not want to be in a picture with this person? But our relentless, young photographer was on assignment and kept making suggestions like, “Why don’t you dip her?” and “Why don’t you pretend to kiss?” Horrifying.

Finally, Monsieur Flirt and I decided to go with the back-to-back thing. Actually, I don’t think it was really a decision. As you can see from Monsieur Flirt’s face, if Photo Dude wanted a picture, that was what he was going to get.

When the yearbook came out days before graduation, I stared at that photograph for a long time. I thought about the words: Class Flirt. I did not think of myself as a person who “made advances.” I did not consider myself a vamp or a vixen or a seductress. But it made me realize that a lot of other people saw me that way. I mean, they voted for me. The idea made me squirmy.

I didn’t like it very much.

The idea stayed with me as I headed off to college. So did I completely reinvent myself? No. I am still a little coquette. I still bat my eyelashes and wear high-heeled shoes. I still chat it up with the boys. But I’m not interested in giving anyone a “come hither” look nor am I interested in stringing anyone along. That is not a sport in which I like to dabble.

These days, I’ve got Hubby. And Monkey is my photographer. He calls the shots. He holds the camera and tells me to be myself. And so I am. In pictures and in life. I still enjoy a fabulous double entendre, which is probably why I have a thing for The Bard. But there is so much more to me. There always was.

Photo taken by Monkey at age 11.

If you want to participate in School Picture Day, it’s not too late! Read the instructions here. Then post a picture, write a little somethin’-somethin’ (or just leave a caption) and go check out the school photos of some other bloggers like Clay Morgan and IronicMom and KeenieBeanie. If you posted a photo on your blog, please include a link in the comment section. I promise to visit. Even if you don’t do it today. I figure you have the rest of the week. For the purposes of my blog, it is School Picture Week! 😉

56 thoughts on “Lessons From School Picture Day

  1. Okay, I’m glad you didn’t destroy every photo. That’s definitely a strange habit you had there. Not so much destruction as a Tron makeover. I’m glad you participated. As for me, I was voted class clown and most likely to die young.

    1. Sooooo ugly. For some reason I opted for a brush cut in the spring of my Junior year (long story), and it took FOREVER to grow out. You should see the pictures of my Junior Prom. Awful. I have a blog I’m working on about that, but I have to get the SLIDES transferred over. Glurg!

      Of course you were class clown. Duh! 😉

  2. I’m just jealous that you won your school superlative! I was nominated along with my best friend for Most Academic (I know…dorky…what a shocker 😉 ) and I was so conflicted! I wanted to vote for myself, obviously, but then I felt like I was betraying my best friend. So I didn’t vote. Not that mine was the deciding vote – she would have won anyway, but I every once in a while, I still smack myself in the head because I don’t think anyone else had any problems voting for themselves.

    Anyway, on to the business of exposing myself:

    1. Limr:
      I love your story and your photos. Thank you for sharing your link. More in depth stuff on your page! 😉 My biggest question is, however, if you were going to do it again, would you have voted for yourself? Hmmm?

  3. Hahaha! I voted for you! I remember! Not so much cause you were a “flirt,” but because you were SO friendly with everyone! I don’t remember who else was on the list with you but obviously you were the best candidate! Be proud! I know Monsieur was 😀 I’m still sad that I lost to Jennifer for most artistic! Who’s painting for a living now, Jen! Lol!

    1. Holy shizzle sticks, Mary! How do you remember that you voted for me? And there was a “Most Friendly.” I didn’t get that one. That went to one of my BBF’s. I got the equivalent of The Floozy Prize. Seriously. 😉

      And you are an amazing artist! No lie. I’m coming to pilfer something – soon. You’d better do some inventory. 😉

    1. AAAAAGH! I remember that hair! I had it, too, only in permanent spiral curls. I took to calling that hairstyle the “poodle-doo” – poof on top (bangs) and curls , like poodle ears. Ah yes…..the 1980s….

  4. LOL. That’s priceless! Voted as the school flirts. I think that’s the coolest picture ever. Monsieur with you looks like AC Slater from Saved by the Bell, and you could be Jessie. I heart school picture day on my fave. blogs!

  5. This is too funny. Renee, your senior picture makes me sad. You were (and are) adorable. But they didn’t have a superlative for Most Adorable. Didn’t Monsieur have that relationship with everyone at our school?

    Two more thoughts: I remember the 1983 class flirt well because of that picture, in which I’m pretty sure he is grabbing someone’s butt. Talk about a pose that would not make it past the censors today…

    And I always felt meh about my superlative: Most Musical. I tested my kids on what they thought I should have been, and that was the last one they came up with. I suppose I should just be happy I had one.

  6. I am so not surprised you got class flirt. The bumper story is hilarious. And your pic is gorgeous, except for those blue scribbles which would make a psychotherapist’s eyes light up.

    And double entendre woman: “on and off friends”? (iykwim)

  7. Well, if you ever want to correct the problem of the destroyed pictures… I know where you need to go. You might know too.

    Actually, Class Flirt is a fun category. Although it might mean that nobody took you too seriously. Luckily that has changed right?

    1. Not interested in fixing these photos, but I have some slides that need to be turned into photos…

      By the way, I do think you have hit the nail on the proverbial head! No one took me seriously. People thought I was kind of stoooopid! But they MADE me wear those uber-short skirts three times a week for cheerleading.

      Who could take anyone seriously with all those ribbons in her hair? I mean, seriously! 😉

      1. You were taken seriously with ribbons and fluffy balls. As you and your similarly skirted compatriots exhorted folks to cheer or the players to score. I seem to recall there were cheers perhaps even a few points were scored?

        I never thought you were stoopid.

  8. Scribbled all over your picture, huh. Yearbooks were a hefty $14 then and to get your book back from someone from whom you wanted a signature marked up like this was justifiable homicide. How could they consider such a cruel act funny? It was the time of Race, Space
    and War. A time of apotheosis for my generation and we wanted to cherish (graduation song) memories as we entered the Brave (scary) New World (uncertainty) all to be contaminated by the pens of jerks.

    1. Piper:
      I saw you and Holmes. Great writing, per usual. Interesting that you selected a picture of yourself with tons of buddies. You have always been a people person, I suppose. Always a connector. I adore you, Piper. 😉

  9. Renee – Thanks for playing and for the link love. Somehow, it doesn’t surprise me that you were labelled the class flirt. (I’ve seen you dance, remember.) The redux of the “love story” between you and Monsiuer Flirt was hilarious… but that picture that Monkey took in the daffodil field is so touching. It’s like you glow with love for him and the life you have now that you’ve left your flirting days behind you.

    1. Well, not totally behind. I have been known to dance with someone else’s spouse, but I am no longer interested in making out with anyone behind the BINGO board at temple.

      So that’s improvement, right? 😉

  10. Renee, I loved your post! Wow, that’s awesome that you colored your pictures. I didn’t like many of my school photos, but I wouldn’t have dared color them because my mom would’ve been really upset – and of course, I did everything I could to stay out of trouble. The years have been good to you, and I love the pic of you among the daffodils. Thanks for stopping by my page and commenting!

  11. Renee-
    This is not how I remember it. We were friends in a HS way. If we could both do it again I am sure it would I’ve been more cordial- I highly doubt I punched any of your friends. I was not as bad as you made it out to be- perhaps it was you that was bad….. Hmmmm.

    Hope you are well. Looks like your psychiatrist did you well. 😉


    1. Phillip: I agree we were friends in a HS kind of way. And I didn’t say you punched one of my friends. I said you punched *me*. Are you going to deny that you punched me in high school. Because I have witnesses. 😉

      I didn’t mean to make you sound dastardly. You were the cool guy that everyone crushed over and how did I get to be class flirt? I just remember this picture day. We did not want to be near each other. At all.

      All is right in my corner of the world. Wherever are you hiding? I tried to find you before I posted this! I hope you are okay with my putting this out there. If not, say the word and I’ll delete it. Love you for being a good sport. 😉

  12. I loved this blog. I related to to so much of what you said. I can see class flirt, but it is interesting and telling to see what other people think of you. IME, it’s usually not very nice…or, at least, not what you expected.

    I also loved your crossed through picture. Totally relatable.

    1. I tried several times to post a response to your blog, Zechariah, but got caught in an endless loop of sign-in with eblogger. It happened to me on my *own* blog – irritating. Anyway – you were rockin’ with that mullet, and I get the girls loved that curly hair. You were a trend setter and didn’t even know it! Didn’t every little boy have that bowl haircut at one time? You can check out my bad haircut (mom used scotch tape) here:

    1. I love love love your writing and your picture – and I left comments on your bloggie. What fun! 😉 I think I’ll try to find a mood ring today. I know they are still around. You’ve put me “in the mood.”

      Ha ha ha ha. I crack myself up. 😉

  13. Johnny Cool is literally scratching his leg. Genius. It works for crickets, it works for people. No wonder you’re blushing gray.

  14. Hey Hot Mama.

    I graduated in 1986 so I’m digging that sweater in the Biggest Flirt shot.

    Not to mention the fit of the pants.

    You are totally rad.


    1. Hottest. Sweater. Ever. And thank you for noticing my pants. They were from Lerners. Do you remember Lerners? It’s something else now. But those pants fit everyone. Shortly after this style, they moved into stirrup pants which, I’m proud to say, I never wore. Ever. 😉

  15. I like how you provided the background story to the cool ’80s pose. It looks like an album cover.

    I was voted Most Unique. I don’t have a picture on me, but in it I am sitting in a chair.

    1. Hi Mark:

      Let’s be honest. PMo looks great. I do not look like someone who could steal anyone’s lover away. For the love of Pete, who were they kidding? Now, if they meant “Best Fries To Go With That Shake,” well… they should have just said so. 😉

      I wish I had known you in high school. I would have been all over that Underground newspaper thing you had goin’ on. Or, according to my high school superlative, I would have just been all over you. You know, in that chair you were sittin’ on. 😉

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