May 10, 2013

WTF Is Going On With My Hands?

The other day, rummaging in Places I Probably Shouldn't Rummage, I came across this photo.

I am 16 and wearing pearls.
This picture was taken in 1985, on my school Muck-Up night. I was 16 years old and dreadfully excited. I was also, I now appreciate, dreadfully dressed. Whereas some other 16 might go for a 'Good Girl Goes Bad' look to celebrate their high school graduation, I was geared more towards the 'Medical Receptionist meets Flower Child'. Perhaps it was deeply fashionable in some very niche circles, but I suspect the niche was made up solely of me.

I was terribly fond of my salmon pink shirt and its matching, calf-length white skirt. Sadly, the photograph does not do justice to the brocade-like print, or the high polyester count of the fabric. Happily, though, you can appreciate the string of pearls, so effortlessly (read: carefully) slung around my neck.

As for the smudge on my cheek, no, it was not a hideous birthmark that I have since had removed in a painful but ultimately rewarding surgical procedure. It was a flower, that I had begged my mother to paint on my face. Despite my profoundly conservative attire (and the fact that it was the 80's, and I was a decade too late), I fancied myself as a bit of a hippie. My lovely mother acquiesced, so it is she who is responsible for my completely idiotic appearance.

But all of that pales into significance next to my hands. Because... what the fuck is going on with my hands?


This is not the kind of gesture nice medical receptionists make
I got such a shock looking at this picture. I am making an obscene gesture with my hands! Presumably I wasn't aware of it, but still! I can't believe it! It is like listening to a Taylor Swift album backwards and hearing Satanic messages, or finding your sweet five year child old planning monstrous acts of evil (except that I do find my five year old planning monstrous acts of evil, but you get the idea).

So honestly, people, I have no idea who I am in this picture. A flower child? A medical receptionist? A naughty, naughty girl? Or just a confused 16 year old who paired a salmon shirt with a rude gesture and still passed it off as sweet?

Whoever I am, though, I am glad those days are over. For one thing, I don't wear polyester anymore.

And for another thing, if I'm going to make a rude gesture, I'm going to make damn sure I know I'm doing it.

42 comments:

  1. Oh haha!!!! Memorieeeeeees LOL

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  2. Oh yes, I can relate. In my hometown the only 'fashion' store we had was Sussan, so back in the 1980s I lived in pastels. It's probably why I'm never seen dead in pastel now.

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  3. The collar up, the pearls, the pastels- don't be too hard on yourself. It was the 80's.



    You're on your own with that obscene gesture though. No excuses!

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  4. I might not have been born when this photo was taken, but the fact that you don't know what your hands are doing in photos means that we may have been separated at birth!

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  5. What I want to know is where are your Madonna bracelets?! That outfit is not complete without at least two hundred pieces of rubber up your arm!

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  6. Oh Kerri - you know that ensemble was the height of 1985 style!? I have to say that as I embraced that look like a good girl Madonna possessed.

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  7. Definitely a case of good girl gone bad. Psychologists would analyze this as one of the first 'clues'. ;)

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  8. Your hands are subconciously making the universal sign for 'having it off' which is in stark contrast to your outfit. It's art and you were indeed ahead of your time, also, not enough people say 'having it off' these days..
    Xx

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  9. Lana (Sharpest Pencil)May 10, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Can't comment - laughing too much.

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  10. PMSL. but you do look lovely in salmon.

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  11. There's a problem with wearing polyester?? Oh, and rude hand gestures?

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  12. Speaking of unspeakable acts of evil and small children, my 4 year old preschool girl and her two sweet little friends were planning on digging under the school to get a better position for their bomb.


    I blame the parents. Or Wild E Coyote and that international arms dealer, Acme.

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  13. HA! That's nothing! I wore bright yellow jeans and brown fake leather boots with blonde rubber treads, a frilly white pirate shirt and slashes of some sort of make up across my nose and cheeks (a la Adam Ant) and topped off with a strip of shiny material across the forehead - and mullet of course. I destroyed the photo!

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  14. Shiny material across the forehead? Ok that WINS!

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  15. Hey, I've seen you dressed up as Olivia Newton John...

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  16. LOL. Oh I LOVE that interpretation...

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  17. Okay, that had been on the floor laughing...

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  18. You were BORN to dress as Madonna. BORN.

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  19. I think I got them the following season. I was always just behind the trends.... *sobs*

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  20. Bad ones or good ones? (Thanks okay. Don't answer)

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  21. Arh, the 80's!
    No-one knows who they are when they are 16. They think they do until they get to 36 and realise they had no fricking idea!

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  22. Kerri, that gesture is only rude to those who are not pure of mind. We your faithful readers are, of course...

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  23. I laughed all the way through (with you and at you) - that outfit - so unflattering it's practically Amish! I can't help but contrast it with my own 16 year old's 'painted on' skimpy clothes and conclude that you were a very wholesome girl indeed :) Don't think the hand gesture is a Freudian indication of a wanton hussy, more an embarrassed teenager not quite knowing what to do with her hands...hilarious!

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  24. Oh wow, the 'Medical Receptionist meets Flower Child' comment made me laugh so hard. There is a beautiful photo of me at the same age, it was the early 90's...(but I look like I was transported from the 80's), the shoulder pads were dire and I had a fringe that stood up like a cockatoo. I must have used half a tin of hairspray on it. I believe I have the only copy of said photo. Thank god.

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  25. Michelle BarracloughMay 13, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Please tell me you completed the outfit with a pair of low-heeled court shoes and leg warmers?! Well, that's what I'm going to imagine anyway, as it's certainly the kind of outfit I would have thought the height of sophistication as well. What WERE we thinking in the 80s???

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  26. SO true. I don't even know WHAT I was thinking!

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  27. Oh YES. The cockatoo fringe! I remember it well..... x

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  28. I had red sparkly leg warmers. I bloody LOVED them. x

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  29. Oh god, there's photos of me in almost that exact same outfit, but I have the big wide white belt with the V front. It also went very well with my grey boiler suit (WTF was with those?), and my white CFM's. Did you also have the super trendy head band that you wore on your forehead? OMG, I was such a glamour pus!

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  30. Kathy www.yinyangmother.comMay 17, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    I'm so late with this comment, but believe me Kerri - you could have been me as a 16 year old. Same year of high school, same curly hair, same daggy clothes. I can't remember doing anything 'rude' with my fingers but suspect that the hand gesture you display is just a hand sign of embarassment, because you (read we) looked so daggy, and your adult self secretly knows you are going to look back in OMG WTF or whatever disbelief!

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  31. YES!!! I had a big white belt! And a head band!

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  32. OH yes. Our daggy, daggy pasts come back to haunt us...

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