Monday, January 24, 2011

confession: fake glasses.

{me in all of my bespeckled glory}

I wore fake glasses my senior year of high school.

I was telling this to someone the other day, someone who didn’t know me back then, and the reaction I was given made me realize: My old self is disappearing.

Gosh, is this what happens?

That at 25, the old you, the you from high school and middle school and elementary school, starts to slowly wind its way out of your life, like water through a drain? That only a handful of people even really know the you that used to be?

I thought I was so awesome my senior year of high school. Not awesome in the head cheerleader kind of a way, but awesome in the look-how-fun-and-different-I-am-without-being-completely-strange-like-a-Goth kind of way.

My brother, by far the more “punk” of the Butterworth siblings (I think even my usage of the term punk here denotes my utter squaredom), makes fun of the old me, the me who wore dog tags and Converse tennis shoes and a military-style bag that I covered with lyrics from the Mary Tyler Moore show theme song. (I am in tears just typing this.) The me who listened to Relient K and thought that classified as some kind of rebellion.

In a fit of silliness, a friend and I decided to buy fake glasses at the mall one day. I wanted to look older, yes (apparently I thought glasses would erase the fact that I weighed about 90 pounds and had the build of a 12 year old boy), but more importantly, I wanted to look like a journalist. You know, Walter Kronkite. Tom Brokaw. Barbara Walters. The greats.

(I just Googled all of those names and none of them wore glasses, so I’m not sure where I got this idea, but you get the point. Also, I don’t think Katie Couric ever wore glasses until she scored the nightly news gig — a far more serious venture than the shenanigans going on over at Today. So I don’t think my high school logic was entirely flawed.)

Two girls on a mission, my friend and I refused to buy our fake lenses at Claire’s — even goofy teenage girls have their standards — and instead found some at one of those carts you used to see in the mall. It’s still not clear to me why a cart specializing in faux frames and lenses even existed, but it did, and we were its lone, proud supporters.

It took us no time at all to whip our new specs out of their packaging and don them for a viewing of Tuck Everlasting at the local “artsy” theatre. (Looking back, why on earth was Tuck Everlasting even at that theatre? It stars Rory Gilmore for crying out loud.) By the end of the film, our heads ached from the frames, which I’m assuming were probably too tight. My friend had the good sense to never wear hers again.

Not me.

Nope, there I am in my high school yearbook, with a pair of glasses on my face that I advertised as necessary.

And I thought I was so cool.

I stopped wearing my fake glasses long enough to need real ones, and now I forget to wear my prescription lenses more than I actually wear them. How’s that for irony?

This is the me that I don’t want to forget.

I know I was dumb and goofy and did stupid teenage things, and I’m grateful I’m about to turn 25 and have just the right amount of goof combined with maturity (I hope). I’m grateful that those years are behind me, that I don’t live in the past, and that most people don’t even know all the truly nerdy things I did.

But there’s a part of me that thinks that girl was pretty cool, and that the world is missing out by not knowing her in all of her fake glasses glory.

So I’m letting her out of the box for today. I figure she deserves a little air every now and then.

(And now, please, do share: What is the weirdest thing you did in high school?)


Staley Mc said...

Oh my gosh, I did the same thing! I wore fake glasses in high school, I thought it was so cool haha!

Kari said...

This is hilarious.

Okay, so. When I was in high school, despite being the goody two-shoes Christian valedictorian, I wanted people to know that I was ANGRY. About NOT FITTING IN. So I would do things like wear all black on spirit day. BECAUSE THAT WILL SHOW THEM. My favorite outfit was all black with purple tights. Did anyone notice? Of course not.

What can I say? It was the 90s. Grunge. Kurt Cobain. Flannel. Angst.

Brooke Bailey said...

oh my word. i giggled a lot reading this. I cut off the top of a CAMP WIREGRASS baseball tee to make it slouch off the shoulders and be-jeweled it..... i also wore it with those awful clear tennis shoes, i forget what they were called.... it was bad.

Jessica said...

Well, it's not quite high school, but in 6th grade I became obsessed with a white t-shirt and a pair of faded out jeans. I came home and washed them every day and wore it again the next day for a while. Why would I do that? I don't know. Silly girl!

Still middle school...All my friends had braces and I wanted them so bad so I would come home from school and put aluminum foil on my teeth so I could pretend I had them!

AbbieBabble said...

What DIDN'T I do in high school that was peculiar?

But here's to liking who you were. Even if I was the strangest teenager you'd ever met (and seriously, I think I was), I was enthusiastic and passionate, and those are amazing things. Thanks for reminding us to look back on who we were, Annie.

monster cakes said...

Let me first say that we would have gotten along well in high school. Very well in fact. Now on to the weird...

My friend and I, who hated high school in all it's ridiculous drama and cruelty, would perch ourselves on the benches during breaks and watch the cheerleaders and the football players flirt and mingle. It was so predictable. It was so nauseating. SO... we started adding commentary while we watched in an Australian accent as if it was a nature discovery show. ie: "Watch as the slutty gazelle slowly stalks her pray, the bruiting gorilla..." Yeah we recorded this. We thought we were so clever. haha

the friendliest flower said...

that is so funny! last year i begged my mom to get glasses, and actually ended up needing them but now i always forget to wear them. however one time i got to attend an event where a former senator was speaking at my college and the majority of attendees were grad students and me being a lowly undergrad deemed it best i wore my glasses to look more mature.

in highschool my friends and i used to ding dong ditch some of our favorite teachers and leave cookies at their houses even if they werent home, we thought it was the funniest thing ever.

Mallory Camille said...

Annie- Just found your blog and I LOVE it. I totally bought fake glasses from Claire's (my standards were low) with a cute pink case because naturally fake glasses need to be protected. It is hilarious to think about my junior high/high school self, she was a little desperate sometimes.

Laken said...

This seriously made me laugh. Mainly because I did the exact same thing and felt the exact same way about it. It for was the sake of responsible journalism!

What a happy post for a Monday :)

chet said...

Your brother has always been punk and will always be punk because punk is a state of mind. Which, I suppose makes you punk too, despite however many rotations Relient K got in your black Nissan.

So here's to my punk sister who rebelled social norms and "proper" journalism etiquette at her evangelical high school and college respectively.


Anonymous said...

Probably the weirdest thing I did was become the ringleader of a group my friends and I comprised, called MSNKC, for our initials. The cherry on top was when we ordered sweatshirts in our school colors with "MSNKC: that's just how we do" on the front with our nicknames on the back, like we were a sports team or something. And like a nerd, I still have the sweatshirt.

But, hey, at least it's warm.

Kim Humes said...

Oh my god that is hilarious! I have had to wear real glasses since age 9 and had to be dragged into wearing them kicking and screaming so I can't imagine someone wanting to wear them that didn't need them! I used to wear and do and love lots of dorky things, but one of the things I just don't get is that I cut off my lovely below the shoulders hair in eighth grade in favour of a short boy haircut. I hated it then too and waited with baited breath until my hair grew out. I don't get it - did I want to look like a boy?! I have had long hair ever since (except for a chin-length bob stint about 2 years ago)