Lately I seem to be posting a lot more pictures of me than I really feel comfortable with, but in skimming my ancient photos for a Sunday Snapshot memory, this one jumped out at me with it’s very own subject line. Betrayal and commitment.
I was ten years old, and as you can see it was picture day at school. The day before, during our boys against the girls softball game at school, we girls were so taken with how sporty we looked in our caps that when we swaggered back to classes when the game was finished, we conspired to wear them to school next day to have our pictures taken for the school annual.
At the end of the day, as we were piling out of our classrooms to catch the buses home, the teachers reminded all of us to dress up in our best clothes tomorrow so we would look our best for picture day. My friends and I sorta winked at one another because we knew we were going to look just a little different that year.
As evidenced here by this school photograph, by damn when I made a commitment, it was a commitment! There I was in a terrycloth t-shirt styled top, yellow with a green palm tree and Pepto Bismol pink flamingo, and my bibbed cap was RED. We weren’t allowed to wear jeans in school, so I suspect I was wearing a dark green hand-me-down A-line skirt with buttons down the front. I had on whatever shoes I owned at the time whether or not they fit, had a hold in the sole or even if my toes were poking out the end. New ones were never forthcoming until the beginning of the new school year and had to last all year long regardless of fashion or what went best with what outfit.
I’m sure you’ve guessed what happened. Everyone except me showed up dressed in their best Sunday school or Easter dresses from earlier in the year. Annette had on a satiny pink concoction and Helen June was smiling pretty in a shiny wine and green plaid and had a bow pinned in her hair and you could tell she had slept in bobby pin curls the night before. Apparently their mothers had vetoed the casual softball look.
I could tell Mrs. Guthrie was disappointed by my getup, too, because I remember her urging me to take the cap off when it was my turn to sit on the photographer’s chair set up behind the heavy velvet drapes on the auditorium stage with a simple backdrop to block out all the junky props. I don’t remember being all that stubborn, but the evidence shows quite the contrary.
I felt terribly betrayed and I’m sure I let them know it, as I was not nearly as diplomatic as I would learn to be later in life. But strangely enough, now as I look back and think about it, I’m kinda proud of this picture. A commitment is a commitment is a commitment, by durn!