Kids, many years before selfie became the word of the year and got added to the Oxford dictionary1, before smart phones, before cell phones with cameras, almost before cell phones themselves, if we “old folks” wanted to take a photo of ourselves (a self-portrait, if you will) we had to turn the camera toward us and hope that our aim didn’t cut off part of our head or look blurry or angle too sharply because there was no way to “delete” the photo. Once you took it, you had to develop it, and you had to wait at least a couple of days to find out the result — unless you were fortunate enough to have Polaroid.
The idea of the selfie never occurred to me until I saw this movie:
It was May 1985, and for my 13th birthday, my mother let me invite four friends over for a sleepover.
Not pictured: My lime green lace socks. Also, apologies to the innocents I’m dragging along with me in this photo…
To get five giggling 13-year-olds away from my father for a couple of hours, she took us to see Desperately Seeking Susan. Madonna mania was in full swing. I had her first, self-titled cassette as well as her second, Like a Virgin. I knew all of her songs by heart. While not pictured in the above photo, I owned the lace gloves, rubber bracelets, even a scarf/belt-looking thing that I tied vertically around my head to create a big, floppy bow on top of my hair.
Two years ago, we went to North Myrtle (Beach, for those uninitiated with South Carolina cities) to see one of The Husband’s all-time favorite bands. We also ended up seeing the southern side of Hurricane Irene as she headed up to the Outer Banks. But on that Sunday morning (the day we were leaving, of course), the weather was gorgeous, and I actually set the alarm so I could see the sun rise over the Atlantic.
So I caught my all-time favorite beach photo. Missed sleep well spent.