And Now I'm An Open Book


Last week I got an email from a man called David Burn. And it was such a nice email; it was entitled "Big Fan, Small Request" and it contained the proposal that I participate in one of these blog-game-things (as the kids all call them), in which I would reveal Five Things You Don't Know About Me.

And I wanted to do it because David Burn had asked so nicely---and also because he had written "I must say, you're quite gifted in the literary arts," which sounds like the sort of thing a very avuncular godfather might say to you at graduation before slipping you a Borders gift certificate---and yet, one problem remained: I had done a very similar assignment before, back when Amalah bestowed it upon me in April, and I was sure there couldn't possibly be anything else you didn't know about me. Or, in fact, really care very much about knowing. And that was a bummer. Because the last thing I wanted was to appear as though I was snubbing David Burn.

And so I thought, I know! I'll do it again! But this time, since I'm at home with all my teenage mementoes, I'll make it Five Things You Don't Know About Me---Now With Embarassing Pictures! Which, due to my perma-scowl during the 90s and my veritable minefield of unflattering photos (plus one cute one from the 80s), kind of turned into Four Things You Don't Know About How Bershon I Was (And One About Something Else Entirely.)

And so I present to you the following:

1. When I was two and we lived in Paris, I threw some gravel into an escalator at the Metro station and stopped the whole thing in its tracks for many hours. Also, don't my parents sort of look like they're living in a television commercial?


We used to go and meet my dad off the train in the evenings, back when it was just my mum and me, before I had all these brothers and sisters and had to vie for her attention. On the evening this photo was taken, I'd just incited the wrath of thousands of French commuters by throwing a handful of stones into the escalator, which made it grind to a standstill. Then I went and had an Orangina. Man, I was some kind of cheeky monkey.

2. I had an ugly phase that started here, in 1990, and lasted until 2003.


No wonder my mother has such an enormous glass of wine in her hand. As for me? I just wanted to go back to my room and listen to some Jason Donovan.

3. Oh, you thought I was kidding? You thought I was kidding about the ugly phase?


Have you seen Pee-Wee's Big Adventure? I'M TRYING TO USE THE PHONE!

Also, please note my boom box. And my matching duvet cover and curtains.

4. When I was 16, I did some work experience for Reuters (my dad worked for them at the time), and I got to spend a few days in the White House during the run-up to the 1996 presidential election. For some reason, I decided to wear an incredibly short skirt.


And pair it with nude hose.

5. I have a boyfriend who, only seven short years ago, used to look like this:


Look! Look at Sean! Look at his mushroom hair! Look at his man sandals! Look how I'm rolling my eyes at having my picture taken with him, because my platform Skechers and my large jeans and my overuse of the Sun-In were so cool.

(By the way, before you ask, I have no idea what I'm doing in that first picture right at the top, with the rollerskates and the weird stick thing, although I'd give my eye teeth to have that bobble hat back again. If you're ever in Paris, have a look in the Goodwill for me, would you? It could be that no-one's bought it yet.)

Dec 23, 2006

Funny stuff. Not sure how I stumbled onto you ... but here you is ... and I'm glad I did. It dawns on me that you might enjoy my latest entry ... my interview with a pelican. Go ahead ... click me ... you're curious, I know. (smile)

Have a nice day, funny girl.

Dec 23, 2006

heh, that is NOT "a Stick Thing", it's one of those toddler toys that you push around to help babies learn to walk. You know, because learning to walk is even better when you can annoy Mommy with its vile tinkles of "music."

Kyran, Notes to Self
Dec 23, 2006

Sean and the 'STANG are cracking me up.

You are so impossibly young and make me feel so decrepitly old. I'm doing the math and realizing not only could we not have been childhood friends, but that I could have been your drunken babysitter snogging her boyfriend downstairs whilst you wandered about sticking bits of gravel into electrical outlets.

Too bad. But for the timing we could have been bff. I also had a protracted ugly phase, which morphed into Bershon (see my John Taylor phase in last month's archives), which morphed into painted tartdom before it all settled down into a visage you might want to be seen with in public.

I haven't had the nerve to post any pictures from the ugly duckling time yet, but if you say the water's fine, maybe. :)

Dec 23, 2006

Ugly phase? You call that an ugly phase?

My ugly phase laughs at yours and raises you some awkwardly feathered hair and stirrup tights. Oh yeah. Although I'm pretty sure I had a red sweater like that too.

Your Paris Orangina picture does look like a TV commercial!

Dec 23, 2006

How do you expect me to shake the older-married-man crush I have on your father if you show me pictures like that?!

Dec 23, 2006

I had the clear phone too. Love the pics. Thanks David!

Dec 24, 2006

When you get your book deal, use the White House photo on the jacket.


David Burn
Dec 24, 2006


Thanks for not snubbing me!

Dec 24, 2006

Loved everything about this post! Your parents are GORGEOUS!
I agree, you have to use the White House picture when you get your book deal. I see someone else already explained about the toy in the first picture. I was in tears imagining the fun you were having. That particular pull toy (you actually push it) makes a clicking noise, a LOUD clicking noise as you walk along with it. Imagine how that sounded as you skated along on your little skates! Your mom must have really loved you. LOL Could this have belonged to one of you brothers or sisters? Thanks for the great photos!

Dec 24, 2006

All mentions of Skechers always make me giggle. I know if I start a shoe company, I'll name my shoes after a variation on "sketchy." And the look at the camera while on the phone? So bershon.

Dec 24, 2006

No, no, no - don't you go knocking the musical push-along thing on a stick! I loved mine ... which was probably my brother's first. Hmph. Damn firstborns.

Dec 24, 2006

Oh, this was excellent!

How did you father support four kids working for Reuters??? (Sorry...rude question...I`m just projecting a bit there, because I was an overseas wire reporter for many years and we have three kids, which is a little insane nowadays.....)

Dec 24, 2006

Hmm. I may have to dig out the old pictures. And I'm glad to know the word for the look on my face in most of them - way bershon. Great pictures! Thanks, David.

Dec 27, 2006

Glad I stumble upon your site ... your mentioning of Sun-In totally hit home!!

Dec 27, 2006

And here I thought I was the only one to go through that horrible ugly eighties phase. I blame it all on the 80's!! Girl, I could scare you so hard with my ugly girl pictures you'd pass out. And when you woke up, your clothes would be out of style!!! Hahahah! ;) (These crazy threats are to be blamed on the very bad head cold I am dealing with at the moment.)

Ever have huge plastic glasses that were blue along the top and rosy pink along the bottom? Or that big plastic ring that you pull your t-shirt through to cinch it? Or those thick squishy scrunchy socks? Two pairs at a time? Of alternating colors? Or the denim and rhinestone hair clip? Clipped at the top of a braided side ponytail? *shudder* It was baaaad. Very bad. And I never got to have one of those cotton twill Guess bags for my schoolbooks. *wail* In fact, I never got to have any Guess jeans at all, especially the ones with zippered ankles with bows at the top of the zipper. Nope. I had to have Jordache. Non-entity jeans. With no logo. And lots of hand-me-downs. Which is weird since I'm the eldest of 4 kids. Hand-me-downs? For the eldest? Oh, yeah, they were from a client of my mother's. Haha! Oi-vey. I could keep going. But maybe I should just save it for my own post? Later, dude!