Me in the 1980’s

Miami Vice Tux (by gnosis / john r)

Recently Tara Cain got crazy with a scanner and posted photos of herself from the 1980’s. Foolishly, I mentioned to her on Twitter that I had a prom photo from the 80’s. Why I did that I will never know ;-)

I was not a fan of the decade while I was living through it. I like the 80’s more now as looking back things seemed gentler, although that may just be me getting older and thinking, “back in my day …”. I didn’t like the music, hair, clothes, politics, etc … I thought I had been born too late.

Anyway, I located the photo and scanned it in. I also scanned in some other photos from around the same time to demonstrate that I was not as much a product of the 80’s as the prom photo would lead you to believe.

You can’t see it very well but please note the HUGE bow on the right side of the dress. You also can’t tell that there are shiny little sparkly things all over the dress.

There are a couple of things wrong with this photo/memory.

Problem #1

I can not remember the last name of the guy that I went to the prom with. I remember that his first name was Wesley and that he was really sweet. He was also in my computer class and I marched with him at graduation so it really really bothers me that I can’t remember – I actually think it was something really common like Johnson or Smith, which is why it hasn’t stuck in my mind. Wesley wasn’t my boyfriend. He was a friend of mine that I met in my computer class. (I hated that class – the teacher’s name was Dick Dann (that I remember) and I swore I would never use a computer again – LOL). I had no intention of going to the prom. It wasn’t something that I had ever thought about, dreamed about or wanted to do – not at all. But when Wesley asked me I was kind of flattered and said sure. But I was also really dense and didn’t realize that this meant he liked me more than a friend. I still feel like I disappointed him in some way.

So I bought the silly dress, which at the time I really liked. I thought it was amazing. I let my Mom take me to get my hair done and even let her put make-up on me. I think other than my wedding that it’s the only time I’ve worn make-up unless I was trying to make egyptian looking eyes during my weirdo pseudo-hippie days.

This leads to the second problem with this photo.

Problem #2

This wasn’t me. Like I mentioned, I wasn’t the type of person who wanted to go to the prom. I was an excellent student but had a terrible attitude. I would walk in to class, slam my books down, stretch out my legs, and just stare at the teacher as if daring him/her to teach me something I didn’t already know. My classmates, less certain of their own individuality, were always surprised to discover that if they bothered to speak to me that I was actually nice and that I had one of the top grades in the class.

But I wasn’t certain of who I was yet either. Here are two photos of around the same time period. Did I want to be more new-wavey punky or did I want to be a hippie? Both photos are much more accurate representations of me in the 80’s than the prom photo.

I love the look of disinterest on my face. This photo is probably the most accurate of me then and now.

Where are my shoes? LOL Yep, I used to wish I had been around in the 60’s rather than being born at the end of them. I loved the Grateful Dead and spent a lot of time planning when I would see them again and how to get more bootlegs. This look/phase last through most of college and almost until I moved to Philadelphia in 1994.

Are you done yet?

Ok, I rambled on here almost as if I needed to prove that I wasn’t an 80’s chick because of the prom photo. But that’s not it at all – I am more than happy to laugh at myself. I think the photos made me think about identity, individuality and learning who we are. Oh, and that I am a much kinder person now with a much healthier and happier attitude.

But, darn it. I wish I could remember Wesley’s last name – I would definitely look him up.

photo credit: gnosis / john r

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  1. says

    Kim, I adore that last pic of you; a typical flower child. I too, was not a fan of fancy clothes, bows, sparkles and makeup. The makeup came out more in college though. Wesley does look like a nice chap.
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..The Ride of Your Life =-.

      • says

        Hi Ari – I’m not familiar with that term but it sounds kind of icky. I tried looking it up but only found a band and a movie with that name.

        Looking back it has occurred to me that interracial couples were much less common in the 80’s than they are now. But, at the time, it didn’t even occur to me that anything was out of the ordinary. I guess it just didn’t matter – cause it doesn’t.

    • says

      Hi Davina – Thanks! I was born 20 years too late.

      My daughter doesn’t believe that I’ve ever worn a skirt even though she’s seen them in photos.

      I’ve got some facebook friends from the same high school helping me dig up some info on Wesley :-)

  2. says

    Kim what a wonderful post. So revealing and it so takes me back to the 80s!
    Like Davina said, that last photo of you is just gorgeous and am betting that it was you all over. However I do love your prom photo and all I can say is thank you so much for doing this, I really do think it was worth it.

  3. Jim says

    Awesome post!

    You really haven’t changed much.

    I actually saw your Facebook profile thumbnail and was like “What did Kim do to her hair this time?” ;-)

    • says

      Hi Jim – Yeah, you’re the only person who has seen me live so you can see the resemblance.

      And what do you mean “what has she done to her hair this time”? LOL I don’t think I’ve done anything since I’ve known you except alternate between it being super short and being a wild unmanageable mess ;-)

  4. says

    Kim, great post. I think many young people in high school don’t always do what they would like to do, but go with the flow or act as expected. For some of us it takes years to figure out who we are. I learned a long time ago to never say never. Every time you do, somewhere down the line, the never is being done.

    Just remember change and growing are good things.
    .-= Pat Alexander´s last blog ..Insurance Ecosystem Blog Launch =-.

    • says

      Thanks Pat – That’s very true. The downside of being independent at that age was that I didn’t have many friends because I didn’t fit in with any of the groups. But the friends I had were real ones that I still know today.

      Yeah – I’ll never use computers was a good one. So was saying I wanted 5 kids ;-)

    • says

      Hi Stratos – I like that one the best too because I think it most resembles me. All I know is that I was sitting around the table with my family but I have no idea what were taking about. Couldn’t have been that interesting ;-)

    • says

      Hi Ajith – Thanks! I’m glad you liked the article. I wrote it last week and even last night I was unsure about whether I should publish it or not – I’m glad I did …

  5. says

    Hi Kim,

    Oh what a fun post. As I was looking at your photos it reminded me what fun it is to go down memory lane. All those “remember whens….”.

    I especially like the third photo. You look like a true flower child.
    .-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..Don’t Shoot Me =-.

    • says

      Hi Dot – I kinda do look like different people – the same but different.

      Too bad I wasn’t actually dressed like that in the 60’s – didn’t makes as much sense in the 80’s – LOL

  6. says

    I just LOVED seeing these photos, Kim! You are still as cute as you were back then. The Grateful Dead time looked good on you.

    I’m much happier now too in life. Would not go back to the olde days for anything. Yet, I had to go through them to get here and appreciate where I am.
    .-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..A Beautiful Jumble =-.

  7. says


    Yay! I love this post. It is so cool to get a little more of a glimpse into who you are and how you got there. And yes, the last pic of you is awesome. You look happy, peaceful, relaxed.

    Thanks for sharing this side of yourself with us!

    .-= George Angus´s last blog ..Smashwords Means Ebooks Galore! =-.

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