Behind The Awkwardness
“This is my stepdad, Simon, doing a handstand on a trash bin while wearing leopard-print Speedos. I have a friend in England who collects pictures of people in/on trash bins and so we took this for him. The speedo & handstand were Simon’s ideas.”
“Simon doing a faceplant on a trash bin, shortly after doing the handstand.”
(submitted by Heather)
It is me, Little Lord Fauntleroy. I told my cousin (who posted this picture) I would respond if it passed 100 comments. True to my word I am here to set the record straight. Its pretty interesting to have a photo essay about oneself and I can honestly say it is a first for such a humbled person (no the family picture did not cause me to be socially introverted). Surprisingly some of you were very observant and your comments were spot on. The picture if you dont know the background would seem pretty “out there” and when you know the background story perhaps the picture (and all the wonderful comments) wont hold much interest.. Sorry to dissappoint.
As my cousin points out, the family is not British, Scottish or Egyptian.. Basically Italian American. My father was not a man of the cloth. Those of you that picked Nehru jacket, you nailed it. It was 1970 and as most of you point out this was considered fashion (a period I hope never comes back). The medallion is just that and not a religious relic. In fact my mother sewed all our clothes and this photo is no exception. My “costume” Dad’s formal wear and Mom’s – sister’s clothes were all designed and sewn by my mother. Mom’s hair… thats real folks.. it was the style.. Dad’s hair.. quite frankly this one had me confused as to your comments and I had to look closely and I does appear from this scan as a combover, but my father had all his hair. Again, that was the hair style.. yep.. 1970′s..
My sisters arms (and fingers) are unusually long.. she could snatch me up and hit me from way across the room as I was running away.. At least thats the way I remember it..
Me… Well you are correct. It was my halloween costume for that year.. sisters shoes are a left over remnant of her Pilgram outfit (Halloween was 1-2 weeks before this family shoot). My outfit is made from left over curtain material from our living room, which of course mom also made.. (this was before Carol Burnett did her famous Scarlet O’Hare skit with the curtain rod still attached)..
The setting is my grandparents 50th anniversary party. They had 8 children and all were asked to come and have family/group photo’s. Well mom thought I looked so adorable in my Halloween outfit that I was FORCED to wear it for the shoot.. Yes, I was both horrified and pissed as my cousins were giving me sh*t about having to wear my costume, but Mom.. she didnt care.. and when my mother made up her mind.. well as youngster (I am seven in this photo) you did what you were told. To add injury to insult, there is a photo of the entire extended family (grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins and grandkids) and yep, there I am looking like “Where’s Waldo” in the middle of the picture.. and yes.. with the Burger King Hat on this time..
This photo hung on our stairs going to the second floor for years and I had a constant reminder of the embarrassment I suffered that day. In fact not this last year I discussed with my mother my lingering agitation at having to suffer such humilitation.. she still smiles and says “but you were such an adorable prince”..
However seeing what joy, confusion, consternation, etc. it brought you all I can say.. it has helped me to laugh at this long gone horrific event.
P.S. The following year my dad helped make my custome and it was the most kick@ss pirate garb complete with wooden peg leg.. Sorry no family portraits with this costume.
I know you all were probably expecting something so totally off the wall and I was half tempted to humor you but figured since you had done so well… you deserved the truth.
OK, Ive made my peace.. I kind of like this picture now..
Your Humbled Lord,
(submitted by Amber)
“I’m the cute little kid in the back. I was about 4 years old and for some reason me and my identical twin brother got the bright idea that it would be fun to go outside and take a whiz on the street. When we came back inside the house, my mom asked us where we went, and we told her. Then my dad got a brighter idea, went and grabbed the camera, and made us go stand in front of our puddles.”
(submitted by Juanster)
Help Bill recapture the awkwardness of his youth:
“My parents cursed me with this hat (and wardrobe, and throwing skills). It stayed with me through a good part of my awkward years, but I’m happy to report I did end up with a wife and kids so the damage wasn’t permanent. I feel it is my duty to submit this photo, and confess that I have grown nostalgic for the hat. I’ve looked over the years, and Cosmic Caps apparently is long out of business, and ebay is a bust (why anyone would keep one I have no idea). My goal is to find one and send it to my dad who bought the cap for me such that he “could find me in a crowd.” Then maybe I could pass one on to my poor son. Anyway – if you have any idea where I can find one, please let me know.”
(submitted by Bill)
“I don’t know whether it was due to the above ground nuclear tests of that era, or what, but a lot of family photos from the 60’s looked like stills from bad late night sci-fi movies.I am only four years old here, and already irreconcilably weird.”
(submitted by Leigh)
“This is a photo my my two oldest sisters at a theme park in California posing for a pic with a actor who had just performed in a stage show. Apparently, he likes how my sister’s sweater fits.”
(submitted by Deborah)
“I was 3 yrs old. My mom said I was fascinated with the Big Bad Wolf. I loved pretending to be Little Red Riding Hood and singing that song ‘Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?’ So she took me to see him. She says I peed on him because I was so scared he would eat me. Note the boy pointing. He was laughing at me. All the other girls have pictures with Snow White and Cinderella. This is my happy picture to remember our trip. My question is: why was this freak walking around at Disneyland?”
(submitted by April)
“This here epic photograph was taken about twenty years ago in England when my aunt and uncle were married. The photographer was trying to take a photograph of the happy newlyweds when my sister walked in front of them. She soon realized her error – as she was in the way of the photographer – so she decided to dive to the ground in an effort to not ‘get in the way.’ As you can see, she failed at her attempt to remain unseen and the awkwardness prevails.”
(submitted by Jessi)