the smell of my desperation has become a stench

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?

208 Comments
  • JeniG

    2006/08/22 at 1:52 pm

    As much as I love the hair, I think the frosted pink lipstick is my absolute favorite part.

    Incredible.

  • Bekah

    2006/08/22 at 1:54 pm

    I can’t imagine how strong your neck muscles must be from carrying all that hair around.

  • JeniG

    2006/08/22 at 1:55 pm

    That and the awesome Mantle O’ Jesus in the 2nd picture.

    Dude, your hair is TOTALLY getting you into heaven.

  • Wendell77

    2006/08/22 at 1:55 pm

    Wow, ’tis a mane indeed! Isn’t it nice that we can look back at the past and laugh? Well, at least about our fashion choices? Once again, love your site! Wendell

  • san

    2006/08/22 at 1:57 pm

    wow. i am so jealous. i wish the hair that you had back then 🙂

  • beckyz

    2006/08/22 at 1:59 pm

    Thank you, thank you for “Bershon”!!

    We all have photos like yours, shoulder pads and all. Now I finally can put a word to my crappy teenage attitude. Well, also put a word to my crappy 35 year-old attitude. 🙂

  • kerri

    2006/08/22 at 2:01 pm

    How did you wash! that hair? I groan and grumble when I have to spend anymore than ten minutes washing my hair.

    And I love how business-savvy you look in that second shot. Like “Don’t bother me, I’m on my way to an important business meeting. Or you know, to meet Jesus.”

  • jon deal

    2006/08/22 at 2:01 pm

    Speaking as an old balding, fat guy….

    That’s a lot of hair. On a skinny person.

    And my 16 year old daughter makes that EXACT same face all the time. Cool.

  • rivetergirl

    2006/08/22 at 2:03 pm

    Damn sistah, did you ever worry that there was going to be a mutiny and your hair would overthrow the rest of your body?

    I totally see the second-coming enthusiasm in your left eye, right behind the contempt for those who don’t know that Mormons rock.

  • staceymay

    2006/08/22 at 2:07 pm

    These pictures are priceless! All that hair totally explains why you like to keep it short now. Now can you show us your yearbook photos?

  • jes

    2006/08/22 at 2:09 pm

    Your hair is so long and gorgeous. Definitely protecting your chastity.

    And that pink blazer? I have a feeling that the Avon World Sales Leader picked that out JUST FOR YOU.

  • Urs

    2006/08/22 at 2:11 pm

    omg- you had the most gorgeous hair!!!

  • Sally

    2006/08/22 at 2:11 pm

    Remember in gym class, in the locker room, when they had us bend forward so they could examine our spines for scoliosis? (They probably don’t do that now.) Well, the reason we HAD scoliosis was because of all that big hair.

  • bellabugs_mom

    2006/08/22 at 2:11 pm

    At least you didn’t have the tall “bangs” that touched the roof of the car on the way to school each morning.

    If my house ever catches fire, I hope it takes those pics first…

  • Molicious

    2006/08/22 at 2:12 pm

    Damn you and your beautiful, shiny hair.

  • Kate

    2006/08/22 at 2:12 pm

    In the second picture, the book end to the left really looks like a guy getting a blow job. I really cannot figure out what it is. But nice shoulder pads.

  • snooker11

    2006/08/22 at 2:12 pm

    your mom looks like Blanche form the Golden Girls. wow.

  • Y

    2006/08/22 at 2:12 pm

    I want to comment on the hair, I REALLY DO, but I can’t get past the figurine in the left hand corner. WHAT IS GOING ON OVER THERE?

  • Broch

    2006/08/22 at 2:15 pm

    Hair looks great now, we’ve all had our bad hair days!

  • Girl con queso

    2006/08/22 at 2:17 pm

    Bershon + Hair = Almost as awesome as the second coming. Almost.

  • whiterockgirl

    2006/08/22 at 2:18 pm

    It was all about the space your hair occupied, wasn’t it? You either spiked your hair to the ceiling or you grew it as long as you could. Did you use hair combs to keep it to the one side? And I bet your hair looked wicked in a banana clip too.

  • dancingnancy

    2006/08/22 at 2:20 pm

    Almost as awesome as the pink lipstick. The wavy hair, pink lipstick….did anyone honestly think that would come back to haunt us?

  • biscuitninja

    2006/08/22 at 2:26 pm

    oh man, i remember shoulder pads like that. who’s design idea was that are were they blugeoned for it? i think that was a really odd fashion period. everything had shoulder pads.. even tshirts!!

  • doctor tongue

    2006/08/22 at 2:28 pm

    Yikes, that’s a lot of hair! Maintained with the finest Avon products, no doubt.

  • Caleb Holt

    2006/08/22 at 2:32 pm

    You’re killing me… seriously. I mean it. I’m laughing at work and my boss is going to come in and fire me. Then I’ll be jobless and penniless and will have to scratch out a meager existance on the streets before hypothermia eventually strikes me down late one drizzly december evening.

    Do you want that on your hands?

    Also, new masthead nominee: “I’m got a degree in English”

  • surivalmode.scribbler

    2006/08/22 at 2:32 pm

    [Meryl Streep] + x = [Carrie Moss]

    Solve for x?

    What’s your dad look like? (Sorry, just being curious.)

  • hg

    2006/08/22 at 2:33 pm

    Wow. That is some serious hair. And yes, the frosted pink lipstick completes the Avon look. Very nice.

  • Wendy

    2006/08/22 at 2:33 pm

    dude, that hair had to hurt. i’m surprised you don’t have permanent damage from all that weight on one side.

    i mean, uh… FIRST!!!!!11111ONETHOUSANDELEVENTYBILLION!

  • la_florecita

    2006/08/22 at 2:34 pm

    If that lipstick IS Avon, I think I had the same one.

    Nice.

  • moose

    2006/08/22 at 2:36 pm

    I never thought I would applaud a large pastel blazer, but in a decade when most teenage girls are wearing baby t-shirts that show a good six inches of tummy, plus the two inches below the belly button where the jeans should be, but aren’t (and did you get a bikini wax to wear those pants? because I didn’t even know what a bikini wax was when I was your age), I say bring on the large pastel blazers!

    I also say hooray for run-on sentences.

  • Logan

    2006/08/22 at 2:39 pm

    I know five gay men off the top of my head who’d sell their young (if they had young to sell) for just one wig of that hair.

    It’s a miracle you made it to the short-hair days without being attacked and scalped. Grow that shit back out, it’s fabulous.

  • thisgirlremembers

    2006/08/22 at 2:43 pm

    You know, I think the very best part of the first photo is the cardboard rose bouquets stapled up on the screens. Really adds that extra bit of class.

  • Olivia

    2006/08/22 at 2:47 pm

    I can only imagine how long that hair took to wash. You’d need one of those forked garden tool things (because I’ve forgotten what to call them) to brush it.

  • cauloccoli

    2006/08/22 at 2:50 pm

    Heather, your mom is H.O.T. Now we know where you got it.

  • Star Shine

    2006/08/22 at 2:52 pm

    Totally bershom. And AMAZING tresses!

  • QASteph

    2006/08/22 at 2:53 pm

    Ok. Yes, there was a lot of it for such a small you. But the hair is actually very, very pretty. *My* eighth grade pictures show me with what can only be described as a poodle do. Permed and short and really just horrible all around. I’d destroy all of the pictures of that phase of my life except my friends have some of them…

  • Workman

    2006/08/22 at 2:54 pm

    Now that I see it, I think you had that facial expression for most of your freshman year at BYU, too.

  • HollyRhea.com

    2006/08/22 at 2:55 pm

    the shoulderpads!….ack, god…the shouldderpaaaadddds.

  • Pascha

    2006/08/22 at 2:56 pm

    Um, you know that bookend on the left? It looks a little sexual to me.

  • HDC

    2006/08/22 at 2:56 pm

    I’ll refrain from comment since I have no better pictures of myself from the same period in my life. Gads, who doesn’t have them?

    If it makes you feel any better Heather, you are an absolute hottie now. Why do you think Jon can’t help but grope you even when he’s deathly ill?

  • Littlehoney

    2006/08/22 at 2:56 pm

    OMG I had that hair! I wish I still did. I think all my pictures around that time were Bershon. really.

    I’m assuming that is the Avon World Sale’s Leader – and she looks like a young Emily Gilmore in that photo. Pretty!

  • PixieMegh

    2006/08/22 at 3:02 pm

    Totally awesome hair! Now I have a mental picture of what the Avon World Sales Leader should look like. Were you Laurel class president too?

  • katester

    2006/08/22 at 3:03 pm

    I am joining that Flickr group right this very minute! Pure awesomeness.

  • stacylk

    2006/08/22 at 3:04 pm

    I think you look high in the first picture. Love that!

  • wifethereof

    2006/08/22 at 3:15 pm

    Yeah for shoulder pads! I’m still finding tubes of that frosted pink lipstick( that was soooo cool!) when I clean out cupboards.
    Let me guess-in the frame of the second picture is a cross stitch that says “Families can be together forever” Scary thought huh?

  • Crystal

    2006/08/22 at 3:18 pm

    Is the figure on the left getting a blow job or just a lap dance?

  • emmak

    2006/08/22 at 3:22 pm

    Your expression is so, “I wish you would all just fuck off.” I absolutely love it. I don’t really understand how you don’t look gross – my photos of me as a teen in the eighties feature neon pink outfits, bright blue eyeliner and home hair dye jobs which rendered my hair orange. Whereas you look quite stylish … for the eighties.

  • bleeuw

    2006/08/22 at 3:39 pm

    You thought you looked so hot at the time. That’s the best part.

  • Alana

    2006/08/22 at 3:41 pm

    That was so me! I don’t miss having to get up hours before school, just so my hair would be dry, make-up would be perfect, and outfit would be great. Life’s so much easier now that I don’t care about those things!

    We also took the required photos in front of the fireplace for every occasion, sans the strange figurines.

  • Trisha

    2006/08/22 at 3:42 pm

    When I was in highschool, I think a bunch of us had hair like that!

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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