Bad Decision Tuesdays: That Too Short Dress

One of my favorite things to do when I'm home in Singapore is to look through all the old family photos. The way I phrased that, you probably thought I meant I looked at them in albums, right? But no: my mother was apparently such a prolific photographer through the entire 1980s that only a very small percentage of our family photos actually fit into photo albums. Sure, there are maybe a dozen neatly-organized books that I browse through as a matter of principle whenever I'm home, but where I really hit the mother lode is in this large Korean chest my parents have in their living room.

In this large Korean chest, there are bags and bags and bags of old photographs, just bundled in there all loose and stuff, and they're not organized by time period or anything---or maybe they were at one point, but I've rifled through them so many times that they certainly aren't anymore---which means that anyone who sits down and looks at them is in for a fairly disjointed narrative.

Honestly, it's enough to give a girl an identity crisis: there you are in photo after photo, and it's 1982 and you're all dimpled and be-diapered and awww, how cute, and then WHOA, HOLD THE PHONE, the next thing you know it's 1998 and you're wearing a glittery bindhi like you think you're Gwen Stefani, and you've stuck a pair of chopsticks in your peroxide-blonde hair and wow, eighteen-year-old self, who pissed in your fat-free Special K with 1% milk? Who stole your Matchbox 20 cassette tape? What happened to that cute little baby from three seconds ago? I just saw her, I swear!

(I bet this is how parents of teenagers feel all the time, right?)

So anyway, the last time I was home in May, I spent an entire two afternoons sitting cross-legged in front of the enormous Korean chest, pawing my way through bag after bag of photographs, and by the end of the second afternoon, I had reached a highly scientific conclusion. Granted, my butt was hurting from sitting on the hardwood floor for so long, and my knees were a little stiff from being cross-legged all that time, but I had reached a highly scientific conclusion nonetheless, and the highly scientific conclusion was this: my god, I had made some pretty bad clothing decisions in my time.

Except you know what they say about clouds and silver linings, right? Well, in case you don't, they say this: if you happen to stumble upon a collection of particularly hideous pictures of yourself making continuously laughable fashion choices,  it is really only fair to pocket those pictures of yourself, force your boyfriend to scan them, and share the evidence with the Internet on a slow Tuesday morning. (No, really! I think it's an old Bulgarian proverb or something. Maybe Latvian)

And so in the spirit of sharing and catharsis and oh why the hell not, I present to you the first of what I hope will be a very long series of Bad Decision Tuesdays, in which we examine, collectively, the fashion faux pas of my youth. And then laugh about them together cruelly, while I secretly die of shame inside.

Well, well, well! Speak of the devil! What have we here? Why, I believe it's the inaugural Bad Decision Tuesday---the eponymous bad decision being that too-short dress with those too-pale tights (to say nothing, of course, of my ill-advised seating position, which has resulted in a very unfortunate display of approximately 80% too much thigh.) Please take a moment to marvel at my beautiful visage, while I gaze beatifically at the camera! Why hello, mother, I seem to be cooing sweetly, and a happy Christmas to you too! Of course you may take my photograph with your wondrous piece of machinery! I can certainly see why you'd want to capture THIS delightful period of my life on film!

Sep 15, 2008

Oooh, this is such a grand idea, Holly! The thought of doing it myself simultaneously thrills and horrifies me. Having said that, this photo is representative of every girl's Too! Short! Dress! photo. I think we all have one of those. Your facial expression really is worth 1,000 words.
House of Jules

Camels & Chocolate
Sep 15, 2008

Wow. Just wow. Were you also friends with Marilyn Manson during this dark period of your life?

Sep 16, 2008

Oh excellent. There should be a Flickr group for this. I myself went the opposite way of the Too Short Dressings and opted for the Way Too Big Shapeless Stuff. Which I ditched eventually for an eccentric Gypsy phase.

Liberal Banana
Sep 16, 2008

Oh, I've seen MUCH MUCH worse. (Example: me, when I was 13 and loved the show Blossom:

Who's in the photo with you?

Sep 16, 2008

I am positive that I have a few of those "too short dress" photo lurking about... I may need to post a few and cite you as my inspiration? :)

Sep 16, 2008

My 4 year old daughter is standing over my shoulder watching me read (Why, no! That isn't the least bit annoying! Why do you ask?) and she asked me which house of ours that photo was taken in. ?? Which house?

"Yes, Mommy, that picture of you and Uncle Tim. Which house did you live in when you were sitting there?"

She's so used to seeing photos of me as a 'tweener scowling at the camera, she just assumed it was me.

(and for the record, that particular brother is 6 years older than me. Just for the record.)

Sep 16, 2008

Bershon, now with more visible control-top!

Sep 16, 2008

We've all been there. I thought I was a Spice Girl at one time.

Sep 16, 2008

It's too late to go back now, but you could easily have passed this photo off as "me after ballet practice in my leotard and tights."

Sep 16, 2008

Oh, man. I've been there, taken the tour and have the souvenir photos as well. Currently my favorite is the family Christmas photo where I'm wearing a mans sweater that is so big and droopy it comes down to my knees, thus making me look vaguely pregnant and very bulky combined with a pissy smile because I clearly didn't want to have my photo taken.

It is one hot mess of a photo, I'm not brave enough to scan it- yet.

Sep 16, 2008

Holly - you are the bravest person that I know! My parents have some VERY embarrassing pictures of me but I could never bring myself to scan and show them on the internet.

I love the scowling face - every teenager everywhere has shared this face pretty much from 15-17 when their mother picks up the camera and says 'Smile'!

Sep 16, 2008

Tres Bershon. woah. Actually, that may have out-Bershoned any photos I've run across of my early teen self in a long time. v. nice! Happy Tuesday!!!

Sep 16, 2008

"(I bet this is how parents of teenagers feel all the time, right?)"

Yes, yes we do.

Love the Bad Decision Tuesdays concept, I would have enough filler to last a lifetime.

Wacky Mommy
Sep 16, 2008

Your bro, yes? He's all, She's surly, Ma, but I'm happy! We a few pix just like that, with me and my younger sis.

Sep 16, 2008

bad decision tuesday is officially my favorite day ever.

Brother Tom
Sep 16, 2008

Um, please do not take me down with you! The sweater I am wearing use to be my father's I think. he was a strapping 6'2 rugby player, I was a 5'0 11 year old, yet I I tried to pull it off year after year! And I love how the claret sweater brings out my chubby red apple cheeks...

Sep 16, 2008

Wow, you put the brrr in Bershon.

Sep 16, 2008

You are sporting the best sneer I've ever seen.

Sep 16, 2008

i look forward to many future tuesdays being a little less mundane now with this fine and entertaining new development! in agreement with wwcutie, we have indeed all had our moments of fashion victim glory. in fourth grade, in addition to my spice girl obsession i had an fetish for chunky six inch platforms and was dubbed "shorty spice."

Sep 16, 2008

Oh yeah, we would have been friends. I have a very similar grimace in a picture from the same time period. Except mine is a too-short skirt at a Hanukkah party...and I'm wearing 20-hole a family Hanukah party. Oy vey.

Anne & May
Sep 16, 2008

Gosh! I'm so relieved that someone else's mother did this too. We have a CLOSET full of jumbled pictures in shoeboxes.

This picture IS AMAZING. I would have wanted to be your friend, but I think you would have found me L7.

Sarah Brown
Sep 16, 2008

What I love most about this is the way your sweet pre-teen little brother is all snuggled up to you, oblivious or uninterested in your angst but very ready to mug for the camera in his early '90s hair and clothing and sweet little babyface. We have this exact photo in my family times a billion. Really, all you have to do is make his hair red.

Sep 16, 2008

Well, I didn't think it was possible to eclipse Secret Bachelor Tuesdays, but I think you just may have done it. Brilliant!

Operation Pink Herring
Sep 16, 2008

Best facial expression ever!

Sep 16, 2008

The contrast of your face with your brother's is priceless. I love it.

I predict Bad Decision Tuesdays will be a smash hit! It's brilliant!

Your blog is swiftly becoming one of my favorites!

Sep 16, 2008

That is actually not so bad. I much prefer it to mid-'80s big hair, poufy bangs, acid-washed denim and leg warmers.

And that is one baleful look on your face. De rigeur for teenage girls, I think.

Sep 16, 2008

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. The look on your face is just too awesome for words.

ms. spinach
Sep 16, 2008

this is so much fun!

and yep, i have one of those photos around myself. but for me, it gets much, MUCH worse... let's just say that some things are better left alone.

The Over-Thinker
Sep 16, 2008

Noooo! Not just one photo! I have to wait until next Tuesday??? I love how Tom's rosey-cheeked happiness really compliments your ire :)

Sep 16, 2008

sweet jesus. that doesn't even look like you! you look so angry in the photo...

Sep 16, 2008

You look like you are about to kick my ass. You are making me fear my kids' teenage years.

Sep 16, 2008

Oh my.
I was recently rifling through my closet when back home, and came across a top that I looooved to wear sophomore/junior year of high school. It was red, and basically just slightly more coverage than your average push up bra.

I died a little inside, stuffed it back in the closet, and vowed to never, ever tell or remind anyone about it ever again.... whoops.

Sep 16, 2008

Wow, Holly. That is a remarkable dress. No judging from me on the sullen teen expression, either. I am so excited that I now have something to fill the endless void Tuesday had become since "Secret Bachelor Tuesdays" went away. (!!!)

Sep 17, 2008

Oh sorry. Shouldn't be laughing at you I guess.
But really, that picture and your expression are PRICELESS.

Sep 17, 2008

Oh my. I'd hate to see what I'd find!

Sep 17, 2008

I love this idea! I love the teenage angst on your face.

And you are not alone. There was just some bad fashion trends in the 80s and 90s. I look back and wonder why anyone thought some of those trends were good ideas.

Sensibly Sassy
Sep 17, 2008

bahahha, your caption is too perfect!

Sep 17, 2008

I missed out on the middle name thing, but always love to play the "Guess my middle name game" with people. I am a female, but my middle name is William. I have two older sisters, and they both have "boy" middle names. My oldest sister's name is Shawna Ray (my mom's middle name is Rae, and my grandpa's first name was Ray). My middle sister's name is Abigail Roy, my dad's name is Roy and my other grandfather's name was Roy. My name is Hope William. My dad will tell you it's because I was a "suprise." The name Hope is because they "Hoped I'd be a boy, or Hoped I'd be the last one." The name William comes from my great uncle. My parents always tell me if I had an office I could be H. William Lastname. I can imagine the look of shock when people entered my office.