Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Portraits of the author as a young girl

Okay, so I apologize in advance for the narcissism, but I was psyched to unexpectedly come across these photos over the weekend. I didn't realize I had them here! Plus, I thought you might be interested to see the face behind the chapter books. I mean, before that face had braces and was topped with triangle hair.

First there are a few pictures of me dorking out with a book.

That's me circa first or second grade with my copy of E.T.A. Hoffman's The Nutcracker, awesomely illustrated by Maurice Sendak. It currently resides on my living room bookshelf.

If you check out the wall in the background, you may notice some extremely large paper dolls. Yes, one is nearly life-sized and has what appear to be movable arms! And also, a scary giant mouth. And eyes on her forehead. But I digress. My sister and I were entrepreneurial youngsters who were always hatching a money-making scheme of some sort. In this venture, we would draw pictures (almost exclusively of girls) and then try to sell them to anyone unfortunate enough to visit our home. So, mostly our relatives.

Here's me in third grade at my grandparents' house chillin' with the March sisters. This same copy of Little Women is on the bookshelf in my bedroom. I told you I'm a pack rat.

This one is probably also from second grade, and I've included it mostly for "WTF is with that outfit?" value. Let's discuss: First off, we have the gray beret. (I had another beret that I liked to consider my "raspberry beret," which was in actuality more of a maroon. However, my mom almost certainly found it at a secondhand store.) Then I'm wearing my mom's tank top, upon which is depicted a cartoon critter (a gopher? woodchuck?) saying "Howdy Partner" (that part you can't see, but I well remember), layered over a pink T-shirt. Attached to the front of the tank top is a fancy gold hair clip. Yes, a HAIR CLIP. On my shirt. Over my beribboned jean skirt I am proudly displaying a homemade brown and white gingham apron.

Do you remember when I thought one of my fourth grade club activities should be "making clothes"? Yeah, I was thinking less along the lines of sewing and more like what you see here: cutting fabric out in the shape of clothing. Voilà! An apron! Not quite sure where the glue came in...

This next outfit is so '80s it's almost painful. Let me describe it for any blind readers... or anyone who just has to look away. This is the kind of outfit I thought was cool, COMPLETELY COOL. A white tank top with multicolored polka dots, paired with pink stretch pants (leggings? nay, they were stretch pants) with flowy flower-and-butterfly-print shorts layered on top. That's right, shorts AND pants. Together. This is precisely why I can't get behind the '80s fashion revival. And my shoes? Good God, I loved those shoes. They're white leather (or more likely, pleather) with tiny cutouts in flower patterns. Highly impractical for the Cleveland winter, but these were all the rage in third grade.

Just how cool did I think this outfit was? So cool that I made my mom take a picture of it.

This one is low on fashion (and, er, clothing in general), but I've included it because for many years I thought it was just the sexxiest photo of me ever taken. Because seriously, what's hotter than a pants-less third grader with knobby knees? The answer: a pants-less third grader with knobby knees AND a pink sweatshirt!

First, a disclaimer: NOT MY GLASSES. Though as you can see, I was a huge fan of that pink sweatshirt. This is me at the end of fourth grade, with my disastrous Worst Cut (also known as the reason I'm hesitant to experiment with bangs ever again), my braces, and my friend Maggie's enormous pink glasses. For a while I had this photo in a frame in my bedroom, and I would try to trick people into believing it was my cousin. Yeah, I was an asshat of sorts.

And one other relic before we graduate and move on to fifth grade: a random About the Author section that I whipped up for one of my many books.

Sada is 10 going on 11. She enjoys reading, writing, drawing, talking on the telephone, playing with her friends, and her rabbit, Bun-Bun.

NEXT TIME: We will get our Gossip on. I mean it.

Until then, check out reader tctill's new blog Lisa and the Angels Rock!!!, in which she too is publishing her childhood canon. Her first novel, Carrie's Search for a Friend, is about a tween who is a pop star AND an orphan AND an abused child. It's like Jem and the Holograms meets Pollyanna meets an Afterschool Special. So far the story has featured twelve pop songs, seven random adopted siblings, six black-and-white tape cover outfits, five Big Bird iron-ons, three horses with no name, and one beating with a plastic belt. Have I mentioned it's amazing?


Linley Dolby said...

That first picture is you! Only littler! Aw!

btdubs, I think I had the same glasses as Maggie.

Sada said...

I look so innocent, it's hard to believe I was dreaming up potential hooker wear. Well, maybe the no-pants photo gives a hint.

carey said...

aww, cuteness! i had that sendak nutcracker, too.

Bridget Locke said...

Oh dear...pics of ourselves in the 80's. Scary. There's one of me and my brother (I think I was around 10). I'm proud to say it's the butchest looking picture out there. I'm totally hetero, but you could never tell it from my pics way back when. 99% of the time I looked like a boy in a skirt. It was just horrid. *icky shiver* LOL!

I'll have to find some. Show how I went from an adorable toddler to the boy-girl I was during puberty to the scary hair I sported in high school. Eep!

NoseInANovel said...

The pictures of you reading as a little girl are too cute :) And I'm with you on the big perm an braces train...third grade was hell.

zanne said...

Fun pictures! Makes me want to look through the old photo albums. I wore some pretty crazy stuff in the 80s and of course I thought I looked SO cool! ha

halle said...

sada, my most favorite outfit you dreamt up was in preschool. the white turtle neck layered with a sleeveless flowered undershirt worn vest-like over the turtleneck. then comes the plaid "twirly skirt" that flares out when you twirl. the socks were white nylon knee socks rolled down like an old woman and red patent leather Maryjane type shoes. for accessories -silver napkin rings as braclets.-mom

Colie said...

Haha these were so cute (and funny!). I find it hilarious that you had a 'sexy' picture of yourself from the 3rd Grade.

Anonymous said...

I love your grandma's house! She looks like she lives in a beautiful neighbourhood.
I'm gonna look through some old photographs now.

tctill said...

I'm so surprised my sister and I didn't try to sell giant paper dolls.

Fun post!