Things to Do - Tag Old Photos on Facebook


A few weeks ago, a Facebook acquaintance from my college days tagged me in a group picture, circa 1998 or so. At first, the image was so foreign I assumed my inclusion had been accidental. The other people pictured were all friends of my college boyfriend, who I hadn't seen or talked with in over 15 years. But sure enough, upon close inspection the image included a young, sort of blah looking me.

I spent the rest of the day trying to piece together who these people were, when the image was taken, etc. Isn't it funny how memory works? At noon that day, I couldn't have told you a singe thing about the photo, but, almost as if I'd gone into an attic and taken a box off the shelf, by 5 pm the entire weekend (Spring Break in Denver, my senior year of college) came back to me - down to the detail of what we had to drink (strawberry lemonade, because everyone was tired and hung over) and the fact that my facebook acquaintance's mother had treated us all to the meal (Mexican food). She was a judge, which seemed so incredibly worldly at that point in my life - the first judge I had ever met.

The odd thing about aging is that you picture yourself in younger years as looking a certain way, or more exactly, as being a certain way. As you get older, you keep the good photographs and throw away the bad ones. You hold onto the memories of a fun, exciting "you" and let go of the other stuff. You become, basically, a little more glamorous.

But in this group photo I didn't radiate glamour at all. Rather, I was underdressed and ghostly pale, with pulled back hair and no makeup except for the bright pink lipstick that I wore everywhere in those days. I can hazily remember the conversation I had with my boyfriend prior to the dinner, stating that I was too tired/lazy to look nice. Probably some sort of request for downtime or to do our own thing - my anti-social introvert tendencies causing an almost fight.

And I realized how little I've truly changed. That I can blame my sweatpant wearing ways on my children or on my lack of a "real" job, but that I've always been rather slouchy. And that a whole weekend surrounded by other people has always overwhelmed me, that this will be an issue in all my relationships (thank you, Dan, for dealing with me:). That maybe I was never that glamorous.

Anyone reading this who knows me probably isn't surprised by anything I've said. But I'm still a little boggled by it all - that suddenly the past can surface like that, become almost real for a moment, an open door. And it's not good or bad. It just is. And so are you.

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