Mistakes My Parents Made: A Look at Childhood in the Eighties

There’s good news and there’s bad news.

The bad news is that it’s been a really long time since my last post, which pretty much destroyed my naive newborn-blog goal of posting once a week. (Two months ago, by the way, I was all, “One post a week? Hogwash! I’ll write a post every single day!” Oh, to be young again.)

The good news, faithful reader, is that during my absence I traveled many miles, to a faraway land only spoken about in the low tones of legends. This place is known as “Florida.” You may have heard of it in such mythical bedtime stories as “Naked Florida Man Killed By Police After Eating Part of Teen’s Face,” or “Florida Man Arrested For Calling 911 After His Cat Was Denied Entry Into A Strip Club,” or even “Topless Woman in a Thong Ransacks Florida McDonald’s, Then Eats Ice Cream,” which, judging by the happy ending, is almost certainly going to be turned into an animated feature by Disney.

If you’re thinking this place sounds too good to be true, you’re wrong. I know, because there reside the two people who made me who received me by Stork Delivery: my parents.

Before the days of Facebook and Instagram and selfies in the bathroom, my mother kept photographic proof that I existed with – wait for it – actual photographs. On paper. She put these photographs in photo albums, which used to be three-dimensional books rather than a link on MySpace. (Surely someone still has a MySpace, right? Cool, good reference on my part.)

During my vacation, I scoured these cracked, yellowing volumes in search of evidence that, lovely as they are, my parents are to blame for the person I am today (crazy, out-of-touch with reality, inexplicably confident, unashamed to laugh openly at my own jokes when no one else is laughing or even present…)

And oh, what evidence did I find.

And so, without further ado, I bring you: Mistakes My Parents Made.

That time that they looked on as their youngest child developed an obvious case of childhood obesity:

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Yes, my older sister did and does have giant feet.

That time they waterboarded my sister and thought it was so hilarious they took this picture of it:

My beautiful pictureWhen I showed this to my mom and waited for her to apologize for this clear abuse of power, she said, “It looks like she’s having fun!”

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Yeah she’s totally into it.

Clearly I knew I was next (notice the look of terror as I arm myself with weaponry):

My beautiful pictureThat time they mistook me for a Cabbage Patch Doll and tried to sell me in a garage sale:

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That didn’t really happen.

That time they got me wasted:

Someone cover up that whoring doll.

Someone cover up that whoring doll.

This mullet:

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Seriously, all my dolls are sluts.

Let’s just take a minute to check this out, okay? The girl in this picture is clearly a sociopath and is like someone you’d see on Killer Kids or Hoarders.

I mean, the ears. The hair. The expression.

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Don’t turn out the lights.

This excellent example of a positive role model for girls (although, to be fair, we can probably blame this one on the eighties):

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I still stand that way in pictures.

This hairstyle:

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So it’s straight on the bottom and teased on the top? No no, don’t change a thing. You. Look. Awesome.

This leiderhosen outfit:

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Why haven’t we brought back the side pony?

These outfit choices:

Seriously though, those are some big feet.

That is a lot of coordinated cheetah.

As well as these outfit choices:

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Is it still a vest if it has sleeves?

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Obviously I wore this while I taught P.E.

That Christmas when I was allowed to believe that this was how to smile for pictures:

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This is the smile of a child who’s about to eat your face off, à la Florida Man.

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My dad definitely still gets underwear every Christmas.

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That’s a pretty cool watch though.

These. Haircuts. (I almost can’t even make this one public. Don’t blame my parents…we just didn’t know about hair back then.)

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We clearly never had a chance.

That time we needed props for school pictures (again, not so much my parents’ fault as the eighties in general). Seriously, what the hell am I supposed to be coloring?

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Your punishment is COLORING UNTIL THESE CRAYONS ARE ALL USED UP!!!

Speaking of school pictures, that time my parents allowed me to wear the following shirt on the ONE day of the school year that you’re supposed to set the bar high:

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Let’s immortalize this one forever.

I could go on, but I’ve become too ashamed. Basically, everything everyone did from like 1978 to around 1994 was just a huge, glaring mistake.

Take a look through your parents’ photos and you’ll see what I mean.

May as well start looking for a good therapist while you’re at it. You’re gonna need it.

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