Me at Three

Just in case you were wondering what I looked like back in my pre-school days:

I’m the one not in the dress, thank you very much. The one in the dress is my sister Heather, who just sent me the picture, and tells me it’s from Mother’s Day in 1972. I have no memory of the day in question, although oddly enough I remember that dress of my sister’s; I think it got hauled out for pictures quite a bit. I also believe that this picture marks the last time I wore a red button-down shirt, which I think is all to the good.

Note also my blond hair, which would not last much longer (it being blond, not having hair — that lasted until my 20s). Athena also had blonde hair when she was about this age, although it has since gone brown, just as mine did.

Perhaps surprisingly, I have few pictures of myself before the age of about 28, mostly because before that time I didn’t have a digital camera, and thus taking pictures (and viewing them, and showing them to others) was just a hassle. My mother, of course, has quite a few pictures of me from way back when, but I would imagine they’re all in storage, and in any event, since she’s most of a country away, I haven’t any access to them. So it’s always fun to see pictures from this time in my life. They’re almost always surprising to me.

26 Comments on “Me at Three”

  1. It’s nice to see that you’ve carried the ‘incredulous’ look throughout your entire life.

    Most of the pictures you’ve shared seem to say, “Formality. I hates it. Now go away, before I unleash hordes of flying evil monkeys upon you!”

    Okay, okay…I made up the “Formality” part. Where did you keep the flying evil monkeys anyway?

  2. Yeah, I recognize that stare. It’s strange how the look in our eyes stay with us, isn’t it?

    My dad is celebrating his 80th birthday this March. My family is trying to persuade me take a 30+ hour plane ride back to my country to take the first family photo since the one taken in the 70s. I’m trying to persuade them the wonders of photoshop. Surely pestiing my hed on some stand-in among the dozens of siblings wouldn’t make my dad love me less….right?

  3. I’ve got pictures like this where I’m positive I had the shortest half-life of cute ever. Every time mom/some relative pulls out a picture, it’s always “you were so cute then . . . ”

    The corollary to that now, is when I put on suit: “you sure look nice . . . today.” Yep, the suit makes the man, but just for today. Please ignore the ugly fleshy thing up top that is talking to you . . . .

  4. The resemblance between your past and current selves is pretty strong, I think, blond hair and red shirts aside. The expression on your face is what strikes me most.

    Awesome share. I’ve got some of my old baby pics up on teh intertubes, and also my highly embarrassing 8th grade pics. (There for the world to see, should they want to take the time to hunt it down. But because I also have vanity, I put up the 10th grade pic to balance out the hideosity of the 8th grade chicken neck.)

  5. I too started out as a blond and my hair slowly got darker… I miss my blond hair. I should count my blessings, I still have a very full head.

  6. You were such an ugly child that just as soon as it was old enough your hairline ran away to hide behind your ears.

    …I was the opposite- my hair is so fucked up that my eyebrows grew together like a border thicket to protect my face from it.

  7. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang in boots

    Cute picture.

    Man, I miss and don’t miss the outfits from then. I have one of me with a peppermint striped turtleneck, wide brown belt, and wide wale corduroys with me holding one of our cats slung over a shoulder. And my belly hanging out.

    Still wear the cords, still love cats, still got the belly. Oh, the more it changes…

  8. Just don’t start putting up pictures of you taking your first bath, or that obligatory dorky first date one that all mothers have secretly hidden away somewhere…

  9. Wow. You look a lot like my dad did around that age. He had blond hair that didn’t go brown until sometime in his 20s.

  10. In 1972 I was married with two children, and an Air Force officer freezing my butt off in Montana. Young whipper-snappers!

  11. I think that your mother and mine shopped at the same store, since unfortunately I have too many pictures of me as a child in a dress that looks identical to your sister’s. At least little boys’ clothes are fairly standard…it’s us women that really show which decade we were born in. At least we hadn’t quite reached the polyester stage yet (grade 7).

    You look a little stunned by the concept of having a picture taken.

  12. The garment worn by your sister bears a printed pattern consisting of the repeating device of a stylised boat anchor. I am baffled by the detail of this pattern, there being no obvious rhythm to the repetions of the inverted anchors, nor indeed to the inclusion of those that are red in colour. A larger sample of the cloth might reveal the pattern of course. Are you sure that the image has not been manipulated in some way? is there anything about your sister that has ever struck you as odd or inconsistent? The inclusion in such an apparently innocent picture of an encoded message, a palimpsest within the seemingly banal, could have undreamed-of significance.

    Why, only the other night I was driving along a quiet country road when a bright . . . . erk!

  13. My little brother had profuse snowy white hair when he was a kid, rendering him uber-cute and even more annoying than he would have been anyway. I was kind of mousey.

    40 years later though he has NO HAIR AT ALL and I, five years his senior still have every last silky strand of mine. Bwa Ha Ha Ha Ha . . . .

  14. There are some socio-biologists who believe that the popularity of dying one’s hair blond is an effort to give a ‘youthfulness’ cue, in that many people of general European ancestry are blond as children and become brunette anywhere from late childhood through early adulthood. Many of my siblings followed this arc.

    As a side note, there have been a spate of articles lately stating that DNA evidence indicates that blue eyes and/or blond hair may have come from a mutation coming about between 6 and 10 thousand years ago. Blond hair pops up in non-European populations (Australian Aborigine most commonly), but apparently, all people with blue eyes have the original mutant as a common ancestor.

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