My mom was obsessed with making sure all her boys looked presentable at all times, thus the 70s presented a real challenge for her. Mostly, she just waited to pick her battles on how my brothers and I should look at certain times. My oldest brother was the real rebel and being the youngest, I benefited from it. In other words, by the time I became a teenager, she was tired of fighting. The battle she won every time, however, was our graduation photos.
I went through high school in the 70s with long hair, just like most boys at the time. I kept it clean and combed, so it wasn’t like it was nasty or anything, just long and straight. I liked it. It helped me fit in. My mom, however, disliked it until one day when my Aunt made a disparaging comment about it. That turned the tables for my mom because she refused to let my Aunt criticize me. My life became easier after that and I thought it would stay that way. It didn’t.
When it came time for my graduation photo, she said, “cut it.” Of course, my dad backed her up. He was also good at picking his battles, especially when it came to my mom. So I cut it…not as short as she liked, but short enough. Now my hair looked like Eric Foreman’s on “That 70s Show.” I heard he wore a wig for that hairstyle…lucky guy.
The day came for my photos and true to form, I developed a couple zits to add to my shame. My mom made me wear a suit and tie and off I went, praying that nobody would see me. Fortunately, graduation photos were taken at a studio and not at school so I got my wish…nobody saw me except a couple kids I didn’t really know and they looked as ridiculous as I did, so I knew they wouldn’t talk. Of course, all of this would unravel as soon as the yearbook came out, but until then, I was safe from ridicule.
Then came the dreaded day. I got my yearbook and immediately flipped the pages to where my photo would be…it wasn’t there. I flipped around to see if they put me in another class or alphabetically by my first name instead of my last…it still wasn’t there. I went to the index and saw my name and the page number corresponded with the first place I looked so I looked again…nope, it didn’t suddenly appear. They accidentally skipped my picture in the yearbook! This was both wonderful and horrible at the same time. I paid for that stupid yearbook!
This became a running joke whenever someone signed my yearbook and then it became a new joke when somebody identified the back of my head in a photo of the lunchroom. I laughed right along with every joke. I knew it could’ve been worse…my picture could’ve been in there. Besides, now I had free reign to make fun of everybody else’s photos and there were some doozies!
I still laugh a little when I see my yearbook, even though it’s been years since that event. After the photo, I grew my hair back and things went back to normal for me. At least until I joined the army…who’d of thought they would be more strict about hair than my mom?