Begging for commentary

“Bershon is pretty much how you feel when you’re 13 and your parents make you wear a Christmas sweatshirt and then pose for a family picture, and you could not possibly summon one more ounce of disgust, but you’re also way too cool to really even DEAL with it, so you just make this face like you smelled something bad and sort of roll your eyes and seethe in a put-out manner.” (quote from Sarah Brown, who can be seen feeling bershon here.)

Every photo of me from high school can be summed up in that one word, and I always have this look on my face that says I would so rather be studying for a test right now, and if I miss a question about the structure of a cell membrane and as a result don’t get that full scholarship to college, you’ll have to go to sleep every night knowing that you ruined my life with that stupid camera. Before you do that, though, let me move all 40 pounds of my hair around so that it’s sitting in front of my left shoulder because it will definitely look better that way.

And also? The Second Coming? How awesome will it be?

  • Wonked

    Dooce, we are about the same age. In the 80s I suspect we were a lot alike. I was also a smartass, with a heavier emphasis on the latter part of the word. I wore clothing from Chess King, played in the band, and at one point thought Dokken was actually good.

    Please circle the things I said above you found cool. I think I might have a crush on you. If you don’t circle anything, I don’t really have a crush on you. In fact, I think you are kind of a hoser.

  • Elle

    Are you ready for Leta’s teenage disdain? It’s the curse all mothers place on their teenage girls, that someday they will have a daughter just like them. Mine arrives in November.

  • Angy

    Hi heather

    I read you blog everyday and I must say I love it. Especially your letters to Leta. I admire your boldness to post those pictures my mom was addicted to taking pictures while we were growing up, she never cared what we were doing.

  • NuttyDutty

    Your photos make me want to get mine out for a good laugh! I can tell you what grade I am in by the hair style:

    7th & 8th….perfectly sculpted bangs that only hurican force winds could ruin. Spirl permed hair that is just past my shoulder blades.

    9th…no more bangs, and now my sprial perm looks wet while it hangs over one eye and one shoulder. Hair is so long you can’t see the end in the photo

    10th…actually a very good picture! The lack of bangs has not turned into a poof, ,and I actually look cheery.

    11th Grade…again, not so bad other than the fact that I’m wearing the same shirt my brother wore the previous year for his senior picture! I’ve perfected the poof as well.

    Senior Photo: Forced to wear the poof (I had been wearing it split down the side and perfectly straight), and I got a hold of the hot rollers!

    I’ve always hated my smile, but I think I look evil when I don’t……….so hopefully the bad hair experiences hide that fact!

  • NuttyDutty

    Why are the 80′s coming back??? Leggings are coming back! Does this mean big hair will to?

    I can only imagine what your shower drain looked like growing up!

  • Amber

    Holy square-shouldered blazer, Batman!

  • Erik

    wow, i think we had the same amount of hair! well, except yours was much longer. my high school pictures are terrible. my hair never grew longer, it just grew bigger.

  • Jennifer

    Damn you. You had the hair I desperately have always wanted! But seriously, there is so much of it. I’m surprised you didn’t fall over from the weight of it.

  • Mom O Matic

    That’s a lotta hair.

  • barbie2be

    damn! that’s a lot of hair.

  • Kukka-Maria

    I see the shoulder pads have been addressed (as if I didn’t sport them myself) and I’d thought I’d be clever and comment on the big bang trend that you seem to have avoided, but that’s already been hit, too.

    I’m pretty sure, in my 30′s, I still pose with a face like that in extended-family photos!

  • ali

    oh my god, that’s like, every single picture from my childhood.

    my daughter pouts like Paris Hilton in all her pictures…i can’t figure out which is worse :)

  • Sherry

    I’m so relieved to know I’m not the only one who had that look of exasperation and disgust in photos as a teenager.

    The scary thing it that my almost-four-year-old looks like that in pictures sometimes which makes me wonder if I should back off with the camera just a little.

  • Momish

    Hee Hee Hee. I have several shoe boxes full of pics like this, not to mention discarded shoulder pads. Joan Collins would be so jealous. Thanks for giving me yet another new vocabulary word. I love it! I have lived it! I will forever use it!

  • Piglet

    Loving it and laughing, remembering all my big hair days…..

  • jenmarya

    I’m wondering if Jon regrets never having had the chance to use those reins. I mean hair! Hair!

  • smoness

    In that first picture, the Avon World Sales Leader looks as though through the powers of osmosis she will get you off the sauce. Does that pearly-pink lip gloss have LSD in it??

  • DanS

    What is going on with that statue on the left? I agree that it does look like someone having sex. The second coming perhaps?

  • Cosmic Girl

    I had to be removed from the floor appearing as though having a seizure when really laughing so hard – that hair! JC – I thought my 80′s perm mistake and pale lips were bad, but that attachment on your shoulder takes the BERSHON biscuit.And that triangular cut jacket.

  • monkey

    I went through a stage in my early teens where I refused to be photographed. Actually…I may still be in that stage. But when I was, I had that look.
    Your hair is making my head hurt. As someone who had long hair for a good percentage of her life, I can feel the headaches and the extra weight just by looking at the pics. Which reminds me…I need a haircut.

  • HalfwayCrucified

    Mom should have pinched your ass just before the shutter fell.

  • Suzanne Eller

    I’m amazed at a blog that receives 600 comments. Wow. I too am impressed with the hair. : )

  • CrankMama

    That hair could feed a family of 10!

  • Pattie

    So that’s where my old shoulderpads ended up!

    Impressive hair, too–I’ve never been patient enough to grow it nearly that long. Love the facial expressions (lack thereof).

  • Sapphireblue

    Okay, the blow job statue. Until I looked at the larger-size picture, I was sure it was going to be a statue of Jesus washing a random apostle’s feet. (I think that happened at the Last Supper? Hopefully after dinner so as not to break bread with dirty-feet-hands.) There is this Christian bookstore near my house with a lifesize footwashing statue out front, which looks VERY m4m-oral-pr0n, especially as you drive up kind of behind the statue.

    However—having zoomed in—it actually looks like Jesus washing a random apostle’s knees. So… I got nuthin’.

    Word on the big-hair love. If I were a shampoo-commercial talent scout I’d be making travel plans to Utah as we speak.

  • Pioneer Woman

    Dang, you were morose. Where was the joy of the Holy Spirit?

    I’ve never seen that much hair on a human head before. It’s gawgeous. I had long hair, too, but I always split it in two and swept a big chunk on either side of my head. That way there was an ugly empty space on the back of my shirt with a few straggly hairs hanging down.

  • Laura S

    It’s the look on your face that made me laugh. I have teenagers and that’s the same look they get when they have to pose for a picture. Some things never change. ;)

  • 6degrees

    Looks like you are in need of a good bonking!(

  • tracy.e

    The old lattice background…was that a formal church dinner? With an area in the corner where you could get your picture taken, like you’re at the prom…

  • monkeyaker

    Bershon =
    annoyed + cool + gigantic furry mustache-like eyebrows

    And for me, add unibrow + slight mustache + small-boob-rage.

  • Pam Bumbaca

    whoa! that is some serious hair! yep, the faces in both photos are priceless too! tfs!

    Oh and I just got caught up on the comments post, those people are just jealous!

  • la_scene_01

    I have to say…”Looking Good!” – Love the 80s look.

    I’ve been meaning to ask. What is the workday involved with being a full-time blogger businesswoman. I’d love for my wife to be able to do that so I can become a househusband. (This isn’t meant to knock this, I think its an awesome arrangement!)

  • Nat W.

    Holy mother, that is a lot of hair.

  • Pepius

    SO MUCH nicer:
    Thanks for the laugh!

  • Mainline Mom

    What a nicely dressed little Mormon girl you were :) I had fourty pounds of hair back then too, but unfortunately for me it was all curls, which added three feet to my personal space.

  • Michael

    Dear god.

  • FishyGirl

    I was big time into 80s hair bands (I’m a bit older than you, I think) and I would have KILLED to get my ultrafine hair to fill out like that. Blow drying upside down and a full can of Aquanet after getting a spiral perm never never did the trick right. Awesome hair.

  • Mish

    wow – i am from miami and you have the SAME look as the valedictorian from my school. You guys and your beauty, thinness, and odd fashion sense. In 88 I used to wear a (shame) side-ways on top of my head pony tail. Cringe – might be in a year book picture – at least the super thick socks dont show in the pic.

    Please write more!

  • C W

    Few people know of the anicent Mormon ritual of covering up at least one of your breasts with hair in order for your shame to be somewhat lessened during the naked part of the rapture. If you’re a mermaid, you use hair to cover both breasts. Mermaids are traditionally Protestant.

  • Teetotaled

    Your mom seems to be utilizing some sort of clip in her hair, the famous banana clip perhaps? With all of the 80′s trends that keep coming back I am a little bitter that no one has reintroduced the banana clip. Bring it back!
    Awesome shoulder pads by the way.

  • bobbarama

    It’s a wonder your head isn’t listing to the side with all that hair. Titanic ‘do?

    Nice run-on sentence. Love your blog. I didn’t realize until the other day that YOU are the ‘inspiration’ behind the definition for dooce. I finally put two and two together … and for one of the few times in my life it actually added up to four. Sometimes I’m a little late to the party.

    Oh, hey, I thought you might enjoy this link to my journal entry about you, less for me and more for the comments. You’re a hit. D’uh … no surprise.

    Keep doing your thing, Heather. You make me feel normal. (joking) Lots of hugs.

  • Cosmic Girl

    What happened to your hands in the 2nd pic? Is it some kind of Mormon ritual to remove them for photo opportunities…they get funnier the longer you look.

  • shiveringwarmth

    I love your mom’s body language in that first photo. It’s like she’s clutching you so you don’t get the outlandish idea to saunter out of the frame before the flash goes off.

    My dad was the master of the “forced bershon” – at family gatherings, he’d sneak up behind you with the camera, repeatedly bleat your name over and over, and then take a perfect picture of your nostril-flaring, eye-rolling, exasperated, “can’t believe I’m here with YOU” expression.

  • Deb_LA

    Holy 1989! Is that Zinc Pink?

  • http://Broad Broad

    I think all us bloggers should unite and have a massive posting where we all lose our inhibitions and post our best bershon moments.

    I’ve already got mine in mind, if I can just find the picture.

  • lorie

    I used to have that exact hair in high school, except mine was kind of frizzy unless I spent an hour putting it in hot rollers. I thought that hair was beautiful and I swore I’d never cut it off.

    Then I went to college and saw a girl with that hair, and when I asked someone what her name was, I was told it was “Prom Hair.”

    I cut my own prom hair a few months later, and didn’t learn Prom Hair’s actual name for three more years.

  • Jilly Willy

    Your hair is awsome! It must be all that Avon shampoo.

  • Shelley Bonnechance

    How strange adulthood is….

    I used to think of “bershon” as finding a way to deal with my annoying parents without saying something that would get me grounded for a month. Exhibiting bershon was a form of mercy and tolerance.

    Now I think of bershonists as boresome little brats who need to get over themselves. :>)

    I used to have Really Big Hair, too. I look at pictures of myself from high school and I just c-r-i-n-g-e.

  • DM Strong

    The shoulder pads are classic.

    ummm… what is that statue on the mantle near your head? not the jesus one. the other one looks kind of… well… odd.

  • Laughin’Lu

    Bershon sounded yiddish to me, and I found something close – bertshen, to grumble.

    I was never bershon in my pictures, but they’re still bad. I went through a looong awkward phase. Plus, so unphotogenic that when I was on the yearbook staff, they gave all the senoirs picture of themselves . Except me. Oh, they had taken plenty, but none of them were good enough. I found that reassuring; I really *didn’t* look like my picture.