Looking at my family’s photo albums from the nineties is always a happy hour or two spent each time I visit my parents. So, of course, my Christmas vacation has to start the same way. On one of my first nights home, I curl up with an over-stuffed album, and there’s no turning back.
After seeing dozens of photographs of myself, my parents, my cousins, and my brother, I begin to wonder: Are these trips down Memory Lane a search for nostalgia of a relatively peaceful childhood in a yellow-brick bungalow? Maybe. For memories of events that happened when I was too little to keep track? Perhaps. Or, for my dress phase (which seems to be returning, more than a decade and a half later), the Halloween costumes my mom made for my brother every year, and my multiple multi-coloured-bear-patterned outfits? That sounds more like it.
My fashion choices as a child, or the choices my mother made for me, never cease to amaze me. They fill me with a desire to throw out all that I own now and start fresh, with adult-sized replicas of everything I wore before I hit ten.
Instead, to maintain my bank account and some semblance of sanity, I’ll settle for swooning over these photographs – again, and again, and again…
Here I am, sitting pretty with my grandparents’ stuffed cat on their
“spinny chair,” both of which are still in their house. Look at the dress.
Gorgeous, right? I’m not biased. It’s not me that makes the photo cute…
Here’s me again, on my third birthday, according to the candles on the cake.
Again, I’m wearing a frilly, puffy, little-girl equivalent of a ball gown.
Until recently, I would look at these photos and think nothing of the dresses. Now, I want to know exactly what’s up with the heaps of photos of me in beautiful, fancy dresses. How many formal occasions did I attend at age three? Not many. According to my mom, these designer dresses – handed down by one of her friends’ daughters – were all I would put on for at least a couple years of my life.