Hello! Can we talk about this picture? I would like to talk about this picture, and---more specifically---about how bad this picture is. I do not think there is a single redeeming thing about this picture, except, perhaps for my friend Lucie's very pretty backyard (in which I am standing) and my friend Lucie's very pretty mum (seen way on the left there) who I can assure you---thanks to the miracle that is Facebook---has not aged a day in the intervening eleven years since I saw her last. Good job, Lucie's mum! Now please tell the rest of us which eye cream you're using.
Before we get into my outfit, however, I think you need a little background on this picture. This picture, you see, was taken in the summer of 1997, in England, when I was seventeen years old and in my penultimate year of high school. Except we didn't call it high school, of course, we just called it "school," and that is because we were not in America, we were in England. I, however---consummate Americophile that I am---longed to be in America, and so I made everything around me as American as I could. I ate Poptarts and Skittles and had an enormous jar of Costco-purchased Skippy peanut butter that was the envy of every girl in my boarding house. I listened to American music and watched American TV shows, and this is how I came to suggest---in my second-to-last year of high school, remember, which was not even really high school but just school school---that we hold a prom.
Yes, a prom. At an all-girls boarding school in England. Take a second to wrap your head around that.
Together with my friend Felicity---on the left there in the very short flowered dress, which I have no doubt she would also dismiss as a Bad Decision---we set about organizing it. We badgered teachers for permission, we scouted locations, we raised funds, we hired caterers, we made posters, and we sold tickets: we were so desperate for a Real American Prom that we did it all. And, hilariously, the excitement grew and grew among our peers. Despite the fact that we were---as I have mentioned---captives of an all-girls school, we somehow managed to scrounge up enough boys to attend.
The fateful day arrived---after months and months and months of speculation---and everyone put on their carefully-selected dresses (believe it or not, mine was carefully selected, though I know it's hard to grasp that from the photograph) and had their parents drop them off at the function room in the entertainment complex we'd chosen in a town twenty minutes from our school. Beforehand, however, my little group of friends---one of whom, incidentally, was Victoria, whose wedding I'm attending next week! Circle of life etc. etc.---met at my friend Lucie's house for pre-prom drinks. (Yes, we totally called it that. I know.)
Aaaaaand, I think that about takes us to where we are in this picture.
So! Background out of the way, let us marvel at:
- My hair. So long! So straight! So obviously dry and damaged! So definitely treated with Sun-In! So not achieving anything by having that twee little flower barrette stuck in the side!
- My dress, which I vividly remember making my mother purchase for me at Topshop for twenty five pounds. What possessed me to choose a shapeless white shift at least three inches too short I cannot tell you, but there it is. In the photo albums. Forever and ever and ever.
- My white canvas espadrille wedges, the right one of which I seem to be having some sort of problem with. Both Felicity and Lucie's mum appear to be very concerned about my white canvas espadrille wedge, in fact, but I cannot for the life of me recall why that might be. I have a vague and distant memory of perhaps falling over? and getting a grass stain on it? (Lucie's mum was the cool kind of mum, who bought us Hooch Alcoholic Lemonade to drink in the garden), but I can't remember if that really happened or not. Presumably it didn't scar me for life if it did.
So Happy Bad Decision Tuesday! Now you have another real and tangible example of the sartorial horrors of my youth---white canvas espadrille wedges and all---and if you were having a bad day, I hope that perhaps manages to cheer you up and put a smile on your face.
As for the prom, in case you were wondering, it turned out to be a terrible night. My boyfriend Dan---whom I had just broken up with---started macking on one of my best friends all evening, which was doubly awkward because I was supposed to be staying the night at her house when prom was over. Also, the catering was kind of crappy. There was tons and tons and tons of cheesecake that nobody even ate.