Life + Health

Seven random things.

I’ve been tagged a bunch of times for the “Seven Random Things” meme that’s been going around for a while now, and it’s high time I came up with a list to share. Rather than just do it straight, though, I think I’m going to base all seven random things about myself on this photo:

Yes, that’s me in my bedroom in the fall of 1992. My senior year in high school. Rhinebeck, New York. Sixteen years ago.

What can we learn from this photo? Let’s see…

1. I used to be a slob. This photo actually makes my room look sort of clean. Believe me, it wasn’t. I remember having to clear a path to get to my bed. It wasn’t food-and-waste dirty, mind you, but there were clothes, magazines, art supplies, records, tapes, posters, shoes, everything, EVERYWHERE. I am now a reformed slob, so I try to clean everything up before I go to bed. Or at least shove it in a box and hide it.

2. I look weird without bangs. For some reason, I decided to grow my bangs out in 1992. It didn’t last—by the fall of 1993, they were back (and they meant business).

3. The Cure will always be my favorite band. Yeah. Putting aside the fact that they haven’t made an album I’ve liked since the year this photo was taken, they were still a really important part of my life for a really long time. And they still are. I don’t like to talk about it much because I get very defensive. There are categories of fandom, and I fell into the obsessive column throughout the formative years of my life. I breathed the Cure. I celebrated Smithmas.

4. Chuck Taylors are the only sneakers I wear. I’ve owned a couple of pairs of “real” sneakers over the years, but they never feel right. I’m just not a sneaker person unless we’re talking Converse. Low-tops. Black and white. WITH LACES, not those weird elastic ones they make now.

5. I’ve always been particular about my surroundings. Note the purple walls, the black satin sheets, and the zebra print bedding. This is not stuff that happens by accident! I can remember having a “vision” for my bedroom going back to a very young age. I can also remember having to paint over all of that purple (and the black marker and the Fun-Tak residue, ugh) when I moved the following summer. My tastes may have, um, matured since then, but I can’t say I wouldn’t still feel totally at home in this room.

6. I used to have lots of penpals. I wish I could make out who the letter on the bed is from! My friend Nicole and I used to find penpals through Other Voices, a Cure fanzine (later, I also met people through the classic Morri’zine), and through friendship books (I love that there’s a Wiki page for FBs!). This was pre-internet (at least in its current form), and this was how I connected with people like me. I made some very real, very deep connections with people from all over the place, and I’m still friends with a lot of them all these years later. I truly miss the luxury of writing and reading letters on paper; of making a fancy envelope with glitter and magazine clippings and clear packing tape; of stuffing a package to the gills with tea and incense and mix tapes; and, most of all, arriving home after to school to find that it was a “good mail day”.

7. I didn’t wear pants for over a decade. No, really. I think between the years of 1991–2002, I probably wore pants/jeans a grand total of 5 or 6 times. I wore tights with skirts or dresses virtually every day (very occasionally I would go bare-legged, and then spend the day feeling self-conscious about my legs), usually with boots or heels. It wasn’t until I met Evan that I started wearing jeans. Nowadays, I wear jeans roughly 360 days out of the year. I still don’t own a single pair of non-denim pants, though!

And yeah, I still almost always wear black. It hides the coffee I’m constantly spilling on myself.

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  • Reply December 23, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    so much fun, i’m way too self conscious to show any pictures of me from high school.

  • Reply Micaela December 23, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I can SOOO relate to number 6! 🙂 I loved all my pen pals and wish I could have kept all my letters… Friendship Books!!!! ahhh i remember them 🙂 I miss snail mail. Magazine envelopes… did you do those too? awww I used to swap for Robbie Williams pics cos no one knew who this British lad i was in love with was in Texas.

  • Reply Chelsea December 23, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    that’s HILARIOUS! haha I love that you were able to sum yourself up in a picture that’s over a decade old. Very cute.

  • Reply suzanne December 23, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Awesome. I can relate to most of this, I had a stuffed double decker bus named Bogner Regis.

  • Reply Jen December 23, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Ahahahaa – we coulda been penpals. I had lots of penpals from Starhits magazine (when it was good)… Robert Smith on my wall along with photos of surrealist icons and their work… and fashion mag pics. I had the lowtops and the lack of pants. Friends who knew me back then still sort of flinch when they see me in pants. I don’t know how many times I have said “Dude, I have been totally wearing pants for years now.” And they blink a few times and say, “Oh yeah.” My room was also scattered with art supplies, magazines… and yep, black bedding! You can always tell when you meet someone who has a little black heart in them.

  • Reply sweet fine day December 23, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    lol, I enjoyed this. Particularly because I too was a huge Cure fan in my high school days and my room was plastered with black wallpaper and I also had a black satin comforter. My carpet was a dusky purply gray. Wish I had a photo of that room.

  • Reply Sarah December 23, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Striped tights, Doc Martins, cut off jean shorts or plaid skirts and a Smiths or Cure t-shirt was my uniform back then. I also graduated high school in 93, just across the river. Ever make trips to Rhino in New Paltz for imports and zines and posters? My favorite pair of 8 hole oxblood Docs came from New Paltz outfitters right next door.

  • Reply paisley penguin December 23, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Love your post from an old photo! Love (and still love) the Cure and Converse! 92 I was in college – graduated in 89. The most hideous thing I remember from high school was NEON. Wake me up before you go go!

  • Reply Anna at D16 December 23, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Sarah, I spent half of my life at Rhino in New Paltz when I was in High School! That’s where I bought the poster above my dining room mantle. 🙂

  • Reply Amy December 23, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Anna! We would have been BFF at 16/17 yr. old if we had lived in the same city…really, I need to email you a picture of myself in my bedroom from 16 years ago. Lots of Robert Smith, every inch of every wall covered no less, I had satin sheets too (!!)… and I had the only-skirts/dresses-always-with-tights-thing happening too (I remember how weird it felt to actually start wearing jeans, when I started wearing them…and now, it’s all I wear). 🙂

  • Reply theonly December 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Ha ha, I used to celebrate “X-Moz.”

  • Reply carla December 24, 2008 at 2:31 am

    i have never commented on your blog before, but i LOVE your sense of style! thank you for sharing this younger version of yourself with us. i wish i had your sense of individuality at 16/17, but i took a subtle path of “i’m into cool stuff, but just don’t label me.” in the end, i wish i was more of a purple-colored walls, striped tights kind of girl. that you were a self-confessed slob also delights me, as i see now you have morphed into a creative yet very organized – even pared down, might i say? – kinda chick. anyway, don’t know what i want to say here, other than i enjoy your blog so much, and it is nice getting to see parts of the person that got you to where you are today. have a lovely holiday!

  • Reply Christine December 24, 2008 at 7:46 am

    I used to have tons of penpals too. I now have four if you count a friend who lives 2 hours north of me. We write rather than call etc. Once the internet started they all disappeared online and once in awhile I’ll find someone I used to write to. It just isn’t the same though.

    I still like to glitz up the letters I do send. Remember FBs and slams? I also work now for USPS so it is fun to see the glitzed up letters that still are out there here and there.

  • Reply lesley December 24, 2008 at 8:13 am

    I never wear jeans now… for no particular reason… but in early high school (c. 1984) they had to be levi’s, red-tab, button-fly, tapered JUST SO.

    JUST. SO.

  • Reply lisa December 24, 2008 at 9:47 am

    I graduated High School in ’83 and college in ’89 (art & psych) and I do identify with so much here. I loved what Carla wrote! I remember too wearing mens overcoats and saftey pinning oversized sweaters listening to Joy Division & 4AD. I love your photo D16…

  • Reply Adam December 24, 2008 at 9:57 am

    You never wore pants the whole time I lived with you. That sounds slightly risque now that I’ve typed it. 😉

  • Reply Jessica Gonzalez December 24, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    OMG. This is an awesome picture and I could shed a tear because my bedroom was very similar. The only difference was that Siouxsie dominated the room with some hints of R.Smith and a Cocteau Twins poster. Very Nice!!

  • Reply nicole December 28, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    there’s so much i could say about this post, but i think you’ll understand me when i say that seeing this photo and reading your reflections just felt like HOME to me … sure, a home that i haven’t been to in quite a while, but one that reminds me who i am and where i came from.

    as an aside – my parents are still trying to deal with all of the sticky tape residue left on my walls (and, yes, the ceiling, too) from all of that cure stuff.

  • Reply Elizabeth December 30, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Ah! The days of letters. I miss those days of handwritten, patchouli sprayed, sticker overload, letters. There is just something so heartwarming about opening the mailbox and finding a letter from a friend somewhere on the other side of the country.

  • Reply Tamstyles December 30, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    I love that picture. Family..what other word is there! Great.

  • Reply puck December 31, 2008 at 10:47 am

    FYI… The Cure “Bloodflowers” is AMAZING. A masterpiece. And the new one, 4:13 Dream, is good, too!

    I just finished a portrait of Robert Smith for my desk in my office… maybe I will post a pic for you, if you like.

    my tastes have “grown up” too. it is bound to happeen to all of us. and i am currently stripping the upstairs floor. ugh. this sucks!!!! see my blog for pics!

  • Reply Anna at D16 December 31, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Puck, I applaud you for appreciating Bloodflowers, but I am just not a fan. I still buy every album (in every format, as well as every single, etc…I am a completist), but I can honestly say I haven’t listened to Bloodflowers for at least 8 years!

  • Reply girlysmack December 31, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    OMG I totally had that Cure poster when I was a teenager–the one with Robert Smith wearing the flowered blouse. So funny…

  • Reply puck January 1, 2009 at 11:33 pm


    I am a big collector, too. Steven and I have a ton of vinyl . In fact, our living room will eventually have record shelves and one of those cool sliding library ladders. I thought I was the only one who still bought vinyl.

    Although I am a Cure fan, I can’t say I am a fanatic. Actually, I am really digging Kings of Leon right now. 🙂

  • Reply Danielle January 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Hey there-I stumbled onto your blog by pure accident actually. I was reading a friend of a friend’s blog who had a link for Apartment Therapy on it, and well, anyhow, just found your blog, heh. You remind me a lot of myself from that time era.. .except I was more a Mike Patton (Bungle) fan than a Cure fan. I think I am 4 yrs younger than you though, if you graduated hs in 92. I wrote to people in the ‘pen-pal’ section of Thrasher, Kerrang, Metal Edge (scoping out any Bungle or FNM fans….
    Anyhow, just wanted to drop in and say your blog is very cool and I’ll be checking it now in my down-time at work, which is basically all the time! 🙂

  • Reply Harpa January 2, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Oh gosh, I’m used to pants meaning underpants! Or whatever it’s called in the states 😀

  • Reply V Morsse January 3, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Wow. You just took me back to the days I used to spend hours writing letters to penpals. I remember carefully crafting new slambooks and, of course, creating awesome envelopes with magazine pages. *Memories*

  • Reply Katherine January 3, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Friendship books! I, too, was way into them. And I had about 50 penpals at the height of my obsession with letter writing, slams and making “trades” via the mail. I am still surprised I haven’t come across more people who were part of this niche community in the 1990’s — I didn’t know about the Wiki site and am excited to go check it out. Hilarious! Thanks for bringing back the memories — I loved this post.

  • Reply puck January 4, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    OK… I will bite… FNM and Bungle fan here. 🙂

    And… if you have a moment, please click the link here for my blog so you can see the funky watercolor I did of Robert Smith. 🙂

  • Reply Jairus January 4, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Have you listened to the new Cure album? It’s like Wish part two. Very good.

  • Reply trupeach January 5, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    #3 was like reading your and hearing my own thoughts at the same time. yes, yes, yes! the cure.
    #4 too, i think some of my friends think i own just one pair of shoes, my dark brown chucks.

  • Reply hallie January 18, 2009 at 12:59 am

    We could have been twins in highschool. Seriously.
    Love the picture! Love Robert Smith.

  • Reply nioeseia January 23, 2009 at 4:51 am

    The part about “the cure”? as trupeach said it felt like I heard my thoughts! Such a pity they don’t make good albums anymore..

  • Reply alyssa January 27, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    i just found your post randomly while doing a google search for FBs! seriously, did we used to write to each other? your photo looks so familiar! it also may be that we could’ve been twins, both in dress as well as wall decoration. but i also had penpals from the morri’zine so…maybe?

    anyway, i just started a silly facebook group for friendship books–you should join! here’s the link:

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