Sunday, July 13, 2008

"We're Still Cooler Than You"

Starting tomorrow, me, my 3 siblings, their spouses & kids, and my mom will meet in the Berkshires for a family reunion. Our last reunion was 3 years ago at a beach house in Oxnard and my mom had these very cute beachy T-shirts made for us all. Of course we had to reimburse her, even if your shirt didn't fit or made you look fat because of the boxy cut. I'm just saying.

My sister Angela & clan arrived earlier this week and I told her I wanted to do a wacky T-shirt. I showed her the above image and she said it was fine, except for that part about our family being "fun." And our Mom would DIE if I publicly said we were dysfunctional. Everybody thinks our family is perfect and we need to work very very hard to make sure they keep thinking that. It was very thoughtless of me to imply otherwise even if it was a joke. So I scrapped that design and moved on to the one below:

I liked this one because it was so white trash and groovy. Angela pointed out that this pic is both atypical and typical of our family. First it's atypical because we are on vacation, something our family rarely did. Vacations cost money. Why not just pile all the kids into the stationwagon and drive 12 hours to Provo and stay in Aunt Donna's basment? Every few years we'd go to a non-Utah relative destination. 1971 was one of those years. Now, the typical part is that if we go on vacation, you have to find someone to freeload off of. Why pay for a condo when you can borrow a friend's trailer? The Scotch thriftiness is in our blood and the few reunions we've had as adults we've managed to sponge off our friends. Ange's buddy Karen loaned us the beach house, and my friend Mags is lending us her Berkshire place. So when we plan stuff, it's a real challenge. It's not "Where do we want to go for the reunion" but "Who has a place we can free-load in a cool location..." And just so you know, if I DID have a great cabin/beach house/condo, I would oh so happily lend it out to all of my friends.
Anyhow, we decided that the above picture was ultimately misleading our kids into thinking that their kin were the vacationing kind, and that falsehood is not exactly "keeping it real." Angela liked the picture below best and so we added some Star Wars font to enhance the 70s vibe. This was a very Bickmore thing, taking pictures on the doorstep the first day of school. Vacations were low on the priority list, but school along with Church & Family were the top 3, and usually in that order. Please note that I am 3 in the picture and not headed off to any school but had to be part of things and grabbed the "Flipper" lunch box for authenticity. We all look so goofy and are each in our own way trying to be "cool:" Lee & Danny in their Hang Ten shirts, Ange in the Heidi-esque dress w/ knee highs, and me just desperately trying to be one of the big kids.
So I'm eager to go enjoy someone else's vacation home with my mom who is wonderful (even if she makes me crazy), and my 3 wonderful siblings. Thankfully, we are all very comfortable in our own skin, which to me, is the very definition of cool.


ellen said...

I had a dress almost exactly like your sisters and there was no shortage of Hang Ten t-shirts in our home. Gotta love the Valley!

Rachel said...

I think your sister might belong to the Brady's.

SLP said...

Sweet pics - soo jealous! Have a great time!!!