devil in blue pants

[title inspired by Mitch Ryder]

[Yes, ninety-nine percent of my life can be enhanced with a song lyric or an episode of The Cosby Show.]

Alternatively, this post could be titled ‘Why Katie’s father is not a kind man.’

A week ago, Rylie received a package from her grandparents in Tejas.  It was full of loverly things a child dreams of… Milk Duds, Whoppers, a bug box, mardi gras beads, a hand-drawn picture.  She is very loved.

There was also a sealed manila envelope with the chicken-scratch ‘for Curtis James’ on it.  I was lucky to marry a boy my family adores.  He can fix his own car, do his own taxes, and load his own gun.  The boy often talks to my family without my prodding and they pass papers back and forth without me playing the middle man.  I figured the envelope contained some kind of Boy Message…  maybe a clipping of a cabin for sale or life insurance information.  Who knows.  I left it unopened.  Later that day when I talked to my father I asked, “What’s in the envelope, Pop?”  And he said, “Well… it’s kind of hard to explain.  Curt would do a better job.”  This instantly made me lose all interest as I assumed it had something to do with next year’s hunting permits or the chassis on a ’56 Chevy.  I forgot all about it.

The next morning, I noticed the envelope… now opened… on the counter.  I circled it once or twice, checked my ‘other person’s mail’ etiquette book, and removed the contents of the envelope.  This is what I found:

turning 2

Katie… turning 2.  If there was ever any doubt that Rylie is my child, please note the scowl on my face.  It is atom for atom Rylie.  Also, please note that I ROCK the polyester quilted robe.  My hair is all static-y right now just thinking about it.

first grade

Katie… first grade.  Here we move into the ‘I will not smile with my teeth’ phase which lasted about 7 years.  I’m pretty sure my bangs started at the back of my head.   This also began my stress-induced cold sore stage which, as of this year, has not ended yet.  And the dress… oh, how I loved that dress.I would have chosen the red/blue plaid backdrop for this photo, but I WAS WEARING IT.

6th grade

Katie… 6th grade and exactly 10 years after the first photo.  I don’t even know where to start with this one.  The perm?  The feathered bangs that I cut myself?  The JC Penney knit sweater over a printed turtleneck?  THE BEAR PIN? 


I just don’t understand what I ever did to that man to make him do this to me.



About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

21 responses to “devil in blue pants

  • Jami

    AHHHHH!!! You were an ADORABLE first grader!! If I would have known you back then, I would have been so jealous of your hair. My ma kept my hair in a very tidy bowl cut because I would not allow her to brush my hair.

    And that face, that 2 year old face, goodness gracious is that ever your child. 🙂

  • Cathy

    Ahh, that’s cute! I have quite a collection of pictures myself, the pics that came in Christmas cards. Loved the comment about, “checked my ‘other person’s mail’ etiquette book”…

  • Cathy

    I meant pics of you and Danny.

  • Cortney

    It is purely by the grace of God that I have never had MY 6th grade picture posted. Or my 9th grad picture, for that matter, when I thought the best way to wear my hair with my giant curling iron bangs would be to sleep with it, wet, in braids, to get that crimped wave effect without the use of any hot tools. And I wore my pretty vest made of shiny floral upholstery fabric from someone’s grandmother’s couch. And I hadn’t figured out how to smile big enough to not look like I’m sneering. Or to stick out my chin to minimize any doubling of it. *sigh* Yes, so far, no one I know is that mean. But I’m sure the day is coming.

  • Shanna Riggsbee

    oh my, that was good stuff!! i also had the bangs that began at the back of my head. it was not a pretty thing and every year they grew further and further back. in retrospect, it did make growing them out a little more manageable since it was the same length.

  • janna

    i had to look at this one twice before i saw the crown on your dad’s hat. suits you, sir.

    love these old pictures of you, kt. i feel like we all owe you some of our own…

  • Julie

    I had the bangs that began at the back of my head too! I have a really low forehead and thick hair which made for some seriously thick bangs. It was third grade when I started “feathering” them. I remember brushing them straight back when they were wet and then letting them dry. awful, I tell ya.

    cute post. Loved it!

  • Annie

    o you were so cute.

  • Becky

    This was so entertaining. I think we shopped at the same stores!

  • anna

    I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but in case I haven’t done it lately, I wanted to remind you that you are one of my favorite people ever.

  • Mandi

    I’m pretty sure you and I were twins at age 2. I think I had that same polyester robe, that same haircut and the very same scowl! Thanks for being brave enough to show us Katie Past!

  • Heather

    I had that same elephant! Where did we get it? I think my big brother gave it to me for Christmas one year…

  • Laura

    That expression on your face in the 6th grade picture is Classic Modern-Day Kate. Love it.

    In a show of solidarity, I would like to file a motion that we all send you the most embarrassing childhood picture of ourselves that we can find…you post them on your blog. Incriminate us with names, if you wish.

    BTW, this sounds EXACTLY like something my dad would do.

  • lisahudson

    He’s a proud Daddy, is all. God love ’em that they love us…even at our most awkward. You were adorable, by the way. Bear pin and all.

  • Rachel

    Love the pics- especially the one of your Dad with a tiara- awesome!

  • madjeepgirl

    your dad is hysterical!
    I think there is some mystical requirement that in 1st or 2nd grade all female children must for their pictures wear a shirt with some form of clown collar on it! (mine appeared in 2nd grade)
    I love that your dad and curt have this super cool relationship 🙂

  • Miss Laura

    I agree with Rie…I had The Collar in 1st grade. Complete with 80s-style squiggle graphics.

  • Thya Littell

    Good stuff, luv, good stuff! Did you ever have the blue eye shadow to go with your plaid?

  • Amy L

    You had my husband laughing with the plaid dress and headlong bangs comment. Good stuff, I’m not sure he’s seen all my pictures yet.

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