It was hidden between a bunch of dusty oldies records and some books, my mother’s eighth grade year book, clearly she had no intention on it ever being found. But leave it to a nosy ten-year old girl to find it. I looked through this year book, I felt I was in a time
warm warp of the fifties, black and white photos, girls with very old hair styles, wearing cat eyed glasses, and the boys wearing big rimmed glasses, looking at these kids photos I feel like I’m watching some of those old movies my mother make me watch.
Then I search for my mother’s picture, she wasn’t wearing glasses, she looked like a little girl, not a girl who was thirteen or fourteen. Her hair was curled and slightly pushed back with a headband. This too was a popular style with the girls in this yearbook. I know I was looking for something, but finding this yearbook changed my focus. I grabbed the book and ran upstairs from the basement, my mother was in the kitchen getting ready to cook dinner.
“Look what I found” I showed her the yearbook. She looked “enthused.”
“Oh where did you find this, I thought I left it behind somewhere?”
She probably wished she did.
“I found it between some old records and books.” “Were you trying to hide it?”
“Oh no, I just packed it with some books, it’s been so long that I almost forgot I had this.”
Deep inside I knew she was lying, I did not think she had anything to be ashamed of.
“Why were you looking at old books and records?”
“I wasn’t really looking at the books, I was looking at the records, I wanted to listen to them, I just started to look at the books too.”
So we began to look at the yearbook together, she told me the name of the hairstyles in the fifties, mainly older girls were allowed to wear this style and not one girl wore pants. The dress code was pretty strict during those times, girls use to try to get away with wearing “mini” dresses but was sent home and put on detention. I asked her if she was ashamed of the way she looked. She told me she did not like the way she looked, she did not like the school although she did have quite of number of friends. I told her I did not see anything wrong with the way she looked, she did not look like a teenager to me, she looked like a little girl with curls and a head band. I guess my mother was ashamed that her teeth was not straight, her family did not have a lot of money and what I gathered with her sharing stories of her middle school and judging from the pictures of those kids who also attended the same school, their families did not have a lot of money.
I asked her if she wanted me to put the yearbook in her room. She still wanted me to put her yearbook back in the basement among the dusty books. I did as she requested and continued to look through old albums to see which one I would like to hear, I did spend some time listening to old albums after I was finished I went back into that old stack of books, took out my mother’s yearbook and sneaked it into my room. I would often look through my mother’s yearbook, until the time I had a yearbook of my own. I found myself doing the same thing my mother did, hiding the yearbook in a closet or a box, it’s still hidden, somewhere, maybe my eighth grade yearbook will be found by someone, or if I find it I may burn it.
Keeping up with the challenges of writing 101 This for Day Thirteen: Tell us about the time you retrieved your favorite t-shirt from your ex. Or when you accidentally stumbled upon your fifth-grade journal in your parents’ attic. Or how about the moment you found out the truth about a person whose history or real nature you thought you’d figured out. Interpret this theme of “finding something” however you see fit.