Family Historian

My mom gave me a box of old family photos and said, “This is from my fat era. Look through them, take what you want, and throw the rest away. I don’t want to see them again.” She is like that: tossing aside decades from her past (from MY past!) because she thought she was too heavy or had a bad haircut.

I browsed through stacks of truthfully very incriminating photos from the early 90s and found this older one, pre-fat era. Pre-divorce, pre-sister-gone-rogue, pre-remarriages, pre-everything. We look like a happy family, a cohesive unit, and that’s how I remember us when I think about my childhood. I propped it up beneath my brass lamp and look at it every night before I turn out the lights.

Maybe it’s a little sad, to revere the past like that, but I’ve always been an overly-nostalgic person. As a teenager, crippled with an anxiety disorder and bad complexion, I was nostalgic for childhood. As a child, freaked out by my increasing autonomy and personhood, I was nostalgic for babyhood. As a baby, I was probably nostalgic for the warm, small place I’d previously occupied in my mother’s belly.

And I realized, looking at this standard-issue Olan Mills-circa-1987 family portrait (am I wrong? don’t we all have photos exactly like this, same poses, same autumnal woodland backgrounds?), that I have become the family historian. My mom no longer loves my dad, my dad no longer loves my mom, my sister no longer loves my parents. I am the common denominator, the only one who still loves them all. It is my job to remember.

*

Separate thought: to aide in the digital excavation efforts of future anthropologists, I realized I should link to my other blog, the one I just quit upon realizing I was too square for a Tumblr.

http://thatawfulvelocipedestrienne.tumblr.com/

You’re welcome, future peoples, and also sorry about the Ozone Layer.

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4 thoughts on “Family Historian

  1. 1. Not a link, bad blogger. (jk, I painted my bedroom the wrong color, it happens) 2. My brother and I are also the family historians. After my dad died my grandma wants to throw out everything that reminds her of him, and she says she doesn’t know what to do with all their beautiful, old pictures. Bro really wants to archive it and get the stories. It’s so much work, but I can’t let all that history be thrown away. If there’s no proof, our children won’t know it happened, and then the world will go to heck.

  2. Hey, Justanother: I’d say more like circa, 1984, as you are barely in the “walking” stage♥

  3. “My mom no longer loves my dad, my dad no longer loves my mom, my sister no longer loves my parents. I am the common denominator, the only one who still loves them all. It is my job to remember.”

    This is the best line. I want to quote it on my Facebook page, but I’ll refrain.

  4. Between the ages of 18 and 25, there are no pictures of me. At the time, I hated taking a “life time-out” to stop and pose, to ruin the moment that had organically arrived without need of documentation. Now I wish I had something to look back on. I probably looked drunk.

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