14 December 2013

Now and Then - The 30 Year Edition

As the year draws down, unbelievably, I find myself looking forward to 2014 and what it portends. It's going to be a big year for one of the residents of the Den. Of course, I speak of The Boy and the fact that he will graduate high school in June and then is on to bigger and better things. Things that are still TBD, but that's neither here nor there.

The Boy will graduate exactly 30 years after I graduated from high school. It hardly seems possible that it's been that long, but it's true. The Boy has had a great experience in two high schools, schools which could not be more opposite (e.g. his Chicago high school - nearly 4,000 students; his high school here in this little corner of Connecticutistan - nearly 500 ((not a typo)) students). One thing is the same though - the shenanigans that lead up to graduation. We just got through one of them - senior pictures.

Senior pictures today, or here in the Now, are a lot different than what they were 30 years ago. With the proliferation of digital photography, cheaper high-performance cameras, and an overabundance of people who fancy themselves professional photographers now, it's pretty easy to to score some really good photos without the classic dreaded Olan Mills (if you remember Olan Mills, who are still inexplicably in business, I know how old you are) experience. I'd say the experience today is far better. Here's the results for The Boy:
The Now
Senior pictures in the olden days, or the Then, were significantly different. In the summer before senior year commenced, you were mailed, yes mailed, a packet from the photographer your high school had sold their soul to, and you were given all manner of instructions for the upcoming personal photography session. Our designated photographer was Duke Photography, who to this day are still serving the tragic needs of Phoenix-area seniors. Who knew? Anyway, back in the day, they took three different types of photos:

  • The Yearbook Photo - in my case, we were supposed to be in coat and tie
  • The Casual Shot - we were encouraged to wear a favorite 'look' - mine involved a plaid Polo shirt and I'm fairly certain a heavy dose of Polo cologne just to bring the mood - don't hate. It was the 80's.
  • The Active Shot - we were encouraged to be photographed in our favorite hobby, activity or the like. I was a big water skier back then. I give you the result:

Where do I begin? Seriously. Words fail me. The shorts, and let's emphasize short here, well at least they were plaid. The shirt? Yeah, the tie dye effect was on purpose. I loved that shirt and it had a bleach tragedy, but I continued to wear it. The helmet hair. Yikes. The 'Blue Steel' - Zoolander stare. At least I was ahead of my time there. On the bright side, I was as skinny as my ski. And believe it or not, I had a steady girlfriend at the time. No lie. I did. Who wouldn't have wanted that train wreck?

Suffice to say, times have changed. Mercifully. In looking at my children's senior pictures, they did way better then their dad. But then, the bar was pretty low. I'm glad it's been raised. The sick thing, though, is that I wish I still had that stupid shirt.

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