A Pictorial
Saturday, December 5, 2009

I usually don't blog on Saturdays. Saturdays are devoted to my other writing, our frequent visits to the land of sweaty, foreign tourists who don't understand the concept of personal space, otherwise known as Disney World, yelling at the dung beetles to clean up their dung rooms and just in general having a bucketload of fun. 

But, like I said before, my sister and I spent Thanksgiving weekend going through family slides and since I have you captive I thought I'd share a bit of my family history in pictures. That way you don't have to tax your brain with a lot of reading and such. After all, it IS Saturday. 

And so Behold, I bring you a snapshot of my sordid family past: 

This is the backyard of my childhood home. It was an incredibly sweet place for kid fun. Our backyard hills were the go-to place in town for sledding.

And here's my mom and two of my sisters in the front yard. Nothing significant about this picture. I just love the blue light of that crisp, late afternoon wintery day. I can feel the chill and the crunch of the snow in that picture.

Here's my Dad, so handsome with his suit and skinny tie with a woman who is not my mother, slipping her hand inside his jacket. I'm not sure what that's about, but in every, single picture of the grownups from those days, they're all partying and carrying on, like, "YES! The Catholics have been set free from our freakin' packs of kids for a few hours. Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!" I guess we didn't scan any pics of all the pregnant women with their smokes in one hand and cocktails in the other, but let me just say, there's a ton of proof out there to why my math skills are abysmally poor. And yes, I know the slide is backward, but I'm too lazy to fix it. OK?

My mom. Wow. At this moment in her life she had 5 kids under the age of 7. Can you believe it? I think my parents might have been lying to us all these years. My mom must have been an illicit child bride of 12 when they married.

This is my mom and I. I just wanted to show off what a fashionista she was even with 5 kids and 2 more down the road. I really wish she'd hung onto those sunglasses. I would so steal them from her if they were still around.

Now, there are two recurring themes in the pictorial history of my life. One: I was surrounded by boys for the longest time. It was me and one other girl cousin teamed up against an army of wild, roughhousing boys. And the black eyes on those boys were plentiful.

My cousin Dave:

My brother Tom. Bats and toy weapons were an integral part of these wild boys' life, thus the black eyes.

My cousin Jim. My brother John is crying on my dad's shoulder. I'm not sure if this is because of the black eye or the fact that he is losing the beer drinking game the little boys seem to be playing with their dads.

My brother Dennis with my cousin Mike who seems to be very proud of the sock-in-the-eye he just gave my brother. And I'm thinking, these black eyes must have been very commonplace for someone to make them pose for a photo op before getting the ice pack and such. I'm just sayin'.

The other recurring theme is the fact that helicopter parents were non-existent in those days. In fact, I'm certain, my parents' generation finds today's smothering parenting, laughable.

Here's my brother in the Atlantic Ocean. Let's think about that for a second...The Atlantic Ocean with huge blustering waves. We were on vacation from Chicago. I'm not even sure if he knew how to swim. My parents were obviously unconcerned since they were too busy photographing their son's drowning.

Here we are on the same vacation. I'm pretty sure my sister and I are drunk -- swimming.

Same vacation. It's always a better idea to drag the chair up to the balcony for optimal viewing.

Here are my brother and I having a nutritious lunch. Note the generic sodas with the lids completely cut off. Better to gulp it down that way.

I have a feeling this was in our backyard, a giant cage to house us in. My brother and I.

An armed poker game at my grandparents' house. Evidently the stakes were high.

My siblings and I, on the side of the road on a vacation in Colorado. I don't know who thought it was a good idea to dig up a cactus to take home as a souvenir. My parents were all for it, pulling over, so that we could get thousands upon thousands of tiny little prickly things under our skin for a pleasurable, lengthy journey in the station wagon back to Illinois. Utter misery.

My ten-year-old sister, seeming to enjoy an afternoon beer. I can't even begin to explain this one. I have no idea.

And lastly, some fashion blasts from the past. Here are two of my sisters. They were going for the blinding, disco ball look and the teenaged pregnancy look in corduroy. (For the record, she was not. She just liked the look, I guess.)

This next one, my sister and I lingered on for the longest time while slide-viewing. This picture of my parents and my brother is quite simply, astounding. I think our family fashion statement was, "Close your eyes when picking out a look, that way you scream, 'I'm a Clash Queen and proud of it, Beyatch!'" Seriously, what the hell? Can one get any more patterns and colors in one outfit?

And lastly, but certainly, not least, I give you something to keep a little smile playing about your lips all weekend, my friends.
I give you my personal spin on how to class up the public swimming pool:

I am a goddess.

Today's Do It Download: Christmas tunes, Yippeeee! I LOVE this Christmas song. I'm not a big fan of Mariah Carey and her aerobic vocals, but I do so love her take on, "All I Want For Christmas is You." This is just such a joyous, frolicky tune. And mainly, because it reminds me of one of my favorite movies, "Love, Actually." Oh man, such a spectacular, feel good Christmas movie. Every year, I reserve one night where I wrap presents and watch this movie. It gets me in the Christmas spirit every time. Ho-Ho-Freakin' Ho.


ProudSister said...

HYSTERICAL!! It looks like one of those compliation e-mails that go around that are funny, but these are all really our family pictures. Nicely done. Seriously, how did all of us survive our childhoods? And silly me, babyproofing the entire house!

Lisa C said...

I absolutely loved looking at these along with your commentary! Amazing how all Cleveland kids look alike :) Love it! And Love Actually is a good film. Happy Holidays Joanne!

Anonymous said...

You were all so daring in your fashion choices. I'm inspired. We HAVE TO make prints of these precious moments.

You're so funnny :]


Anonymous said...

OH, that chair by the balcony thing has me all antsy.

Love the lounging poolside with a beer pic.

Going to google helicopter parent. Have a feeling I may see my picture?

Anonymous said...

Okay, not a helicopter parent. (PHEW) Pass me a beer.

Anonymous said...

haha wow this is so neat
dad was even loling to all the black eyes that they had and the pic of his bday!!!
<3 sammy

Anonymous said...

Susan showed me this blog (because I have no idea how to be techy) and it cracked me up. Tell Dennis to watch his back!!! We are reading this as the next generation (Matt) is downstairs in a cast after breaking his wrist today. Mike

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