My sweet friend Lyn wants to know:
What's your favorite memory from your teen years?
Do y'all remember the New Kids? I mean, surely you must. Even if you weren't in love with them, you can recall that they were like, a big deal, not that long ago.
No seriously, it wasn't that long ago.
I remember them. I even remember that move they did on The Right Stuff. You know, the one where you alternate jamming your elbows left and right at a 90º angle? I also remember Joe McIntyre being cuter. You know, less girly-lookin'.
Here they are (or were), hangin' tough.
There was so much about me that was wrong. Joe was only the beginning. Exhibit A: I was also tragically in love with bad fashion: splatter paint jeans, beaded socks, pleats, bangs.
A word on bangs: I still love them and think they're wonderful, but here's the thing with me and bangs. Bangs are bad, m'kay? I know this because I'm a stubborn mule who has tried and tried only to come to this grim realization: I am not the Katie Holmes of bangs. I wish! I'm closer to this guy. Equally bad. I promise. I would never exaggerate, not in a million trillion years.
One day, my Daddy came home with tickets to go see NKOTB, live, in the flesh. Not just on oversized buttons like the ones hanging from my bulletin board, aaannndddd, there would be a limo involved. Squeals ensued, I am sure.
All I had to do was decide what to wear. Seem simple enough? (See Exhibit A.)
I decided that from top to bottom, it should go like this:
bangs in a wave
large, brown tortoise shell glasses and braces (not so much a matter of choice, you see)
sleeveless light purple tank top with white ribbing at the neckline but not the armholes (fancy)
(tucked into) splatter paint jeans
(was there a belt? I'm not sure.)
white, multi-color beaded socks
generic Vans from WalMart (y'all remember them?)(mine were black like these, only cheaper, and with neon pink and lime green smallish polka dots)(and I loved 'em strong)
I was what my Mama liked to call "psychedelic".
I was what I liked to call "dressed to kill".
I don't know why the fanny pack wasn't included except that somebody probably talked me out of it.
Probably something about "sometimes less is more". I may have gotten a lecture on "understated style". I don't really recall.
I only wish I had a picture. I'd love to put that up on my fridge. I most certainly would.
I don't know why I love that memory so much. Maybe it was because my Daddy took the time to notice what I loved, that I felt seen by him, and that he wanted to bless me with it. I don't know if I processed it that way as it was happening, but looking back, I think that's the thing I love most about it, and even if I couldn't see it then, I see it now.
And it still counts.