Vanity...Thy Name is Rachel


If you are loyal follower of julieanewell.com, then you've had the pleasure of reading at least a few entries of Sister Rachel's blog (Notes From a Native Daughter), since I kindly stole her material to supplement my own efforts.

Hey, it's a family affair!

Well, as you read in my last posting, a 30-year-old picture was unearthed through the help of some fellow archeologists.

AND, if you will recall, I said that Rachel would be mortified if she knew I had posted that picture.

Well...Rachel "has done found out", and I know you will enjoy her critique, posted earlier today. (Since after a while, the postings "get lost" on her site, I have reproduced her blog entry below...for posterity!)

You're going to enjoy this one...


Notes From a Native Daughter
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Here Comes The Sun....

I can't lie.....Seasonal Affective Disorder arrived a bit early for me this year.

The kind of psychic gloom that usually settles in during the cold, slate-gray days from January through March has held me hostage the past week or so. It was just so freakin' dark and chilly here in Nairobi, and my poor system was really raggin' on me. First it was the hot flashes, and once they calmed down, the mental fog moved in.

It didn't help when my brother-in-law Ron alerted me to a 30-year-old picture of myself that was posted on the Cairo High School Alum website. One of my former classmates had snapped me and my sister Julie on the night of the Junior/Senior Prom in 1978.

Now, I've heard all the psychobabble about taking a picture of yourself from childhood and cooing at it lovingly. You're supposed to embrace the inner child, and pour out love and forgiveness for the girl you were, flaws and all.

Well, somebody get me a net before I try to get anywhere near that po' fugly thang!! (For those of you who don't know, "fugly" is an amalgamation of the words "f---ing" and "ugly," and it's definitely appropriate for this discussion.) I don't know what could have been going on in my tortured brain at that moment, but I looked like some feral creature poised to attack. I was wearing one of those polyesther, 70's lime-colored prom creations, with some sort of tie around my skinny little throat, and my teeth were bared...

WTF??? I mean, I know I wasn't the happiest teenaged girl in the world (I adopted Janis Ian's "At 17" as my theme song), or the most popular, or the most attractive, but what wuz up with the snarl? And I was so skeletally thin back then. In that picture, I look like Ichabod Crane as a pissed-off, African American transvestite.

But I'll stop being so hard on myself. If I'd seen that photo on a bright, sunny day like today, I'd have just laughed it off instead of cringing. Today is a beautiful day in Nairobi, no question. It's got me ready to plan a long weekend in Mombasa, perhaps at a bed and breakfast near the beach, where I will lie on a beach chair and stare out at the Indian Ocean. Or doing something cool like that somehwere in Kenya. And I will, in the next few weeks.

Oh, there's one more thing about that 30 year old picture. My sister Julie was absolutely the loveliest woman I ever knew. I guess that's part of what made me so crazy about her when I was a little girl...she was so durned pretty, like the Barbie doll I desperately wanted but never got. And the funny thing is, I don't think she ever really knew just HOW beautiful she was, inside and out. In my experience, beautiful people who don't know they're beautiful are the coolest people ever, because they don't waste a lot of time worrying about how to maintain that beauty, or whether somebody else is MORE beautiful. That's the way Julie was.

I'll never be as pretty as she was, I guess, but I'll at least try to never again look like I did in that picture from 30 years ago. That was some scary shit, y'all.

Posted by Princess Rachella at 5:15 AM