Here’s A Post That, in the End, Actually Has Nothing To Do With This Adorable Photo of Me at the Age of Fourteen, Except For One Little Thing.

I have a few favorite pictures of myself over the span of my forty-one many years on this earth. This is one of them:

I can tell you a few things about it. I was fourteen. I was wearing pajamas, because I was at a sleepover. One of the other girls took the picture shortly after the sun came up. I was exhausted, because we were up most of the night. And that blanket? It had snaps. It was sort of like a Snuggie without the arms, yet way more complex. (I was not using it how it was intended in the photo; don’t try to analyze.) The girls I was with were part of my CISV Interchange Group; we hosted German kids for one month in the summer of 1982, and the following summer we went to Germany for a month. This picture was taken in Maryville, Tennessee, at Minky’s house.


First, finding this picture and remembering where I was at the time reminds me that Minky went to the same school as John Cave Osborne*, and he might have known her. I found out a couple of months ago that John is from Knoxville and knows a few of the people that I knew well, as in my eighth grade boyfriend. So, he probably knew Minky. I’ll have to ask him.

Anyway, the thought of Minky reminds me of the 80’s revival of the Preppy trend. We were in the thick of it when that picture was taken, and I thought it was great. The fabulous thing about it was that you didn’t have to be a preparatory school attendee who played golf at the country club on the weekends to be a part of it. All you had to do was toss on a pink IZOD shirt, hang a monogrammed sweater over your shoulders, sport matching (perhaps pastel green, blue, and pink?) plaid shorts, put on a pair of sparkling white tennis shoes, and you were instantly a Preppy.

WHY would one want to be a Preppy? Who knows. We didn’t need a reason, youngun. It was just a style. Full disclosure: I was not all in** on the Preppy thing. I didn’t dress like that on a daily basis, though the purse that I carried at the time was one of those wooden handled things with the buttons and the interchangeable covers, and I totally admit to owning (and wearing) penny loafers. I also owned both The Official Preppy Handbook by Lisa Birnbach AND a puzzle called “How To Look Like a Preppy”, of which I actually possess a photo, but I’m too lazy to go into the closet and get it, scan it, and post it here so you’ll just have to believe me. I thought, at the time, it would be really cool to be a real Preppy. But there was one thing I didn’t have that would prevent that from happening, without a doubt:

Real Preppies had names like Biff, Skip, Buffy, Muffy, or Binky.

Or Minky. Which brings me full circle.

In the end, since I was just a poser, I went on to other trends like that whole rainbow craze, and eventually grew into the style I embody today, which is very little. Style, that is.

*Did you know that we have a Knoxville Crew within our little group? John, Tara and I all went to high school (different ones) in Knoxville, just a couple of years apart. Of course, my school was the best out of the three. Sorry, you two!
**I also, on occasion, wore neon-colored duds, which was another 80’s trend altogether.


©2010 Suburban Scrawl


  • i am the diva

    my favourite trend was Grunge in the early-mid 90s, i was the ninth grade in 1994, so all the hot older seniors all wore torn cord pants, old band tshirts under plaid lumberjack button downs, and had long generally unwashed hair… oh, and army boots. to this day, i find that look a little attractive… oh those older boys…

  • Mr. Man

    Ahhh…the '80s. I was big into the preppy fad as well. IZODs, Polo, and the penny loafers (with pennies) and no socks. That was early '80s. Late '80s I was wearing high-top sneakers, oxford shirts, and baggy denim jeans. This was long before kids started wearing their "pants on da ground". Thanks for taking me back.

  • WeaselMomma

    I loved the neon thing & wish I still had some to sport with matching socks, of course.

    When you wanted to get really wild and crazy, would you put dimes in your prnny loafers?

  • john cave osborne

    just tried to post this, but got a funny error message. hope i'm not posting this twice.

    first off, ktown is in full effect on this post. so glad i found tara through you. her photog? OTH. fo shiz. lovin' her pics and her writing. so BIG shout out to Tara.

    next, minky worden. her brother was in my highschool class. she's big time in the world of human rights with a concentration on china. she lives in manhattan.

    small world moment: pay close attention. minky's widowed dad is married to my wife's best friend's widowed mom. (whose sister's cousin's ex husband's brother's rabbi once made out with liza minelli)

  • Tara R.

    Gotta love the K-burg Crew!

    I love the big hair going on in that photo too. I was so ANTI preppy when I was in high school. You could not pay me enough to wear Izod anything. I even had a polo with a dead croc emblem on it.

    Minky, however, is the best name ever.

  • melissa

    my sister had the preppy handbook. it was always in our bathroom. i HATED preppy. i was more about punk. spiked bangs. tons of rubber bracelets up my arm. oh, who am i kidding. i was a poser.

  • Mama B

    You DO have a preppy name (I should know!) you could always have gone by Missy…it fits perfectly in the preppy phase. Which I too went through, but I won't tell you how old I was when I did 🙂

    Punk and grunge were much more fun for me, mostly because it made my mom so mad, and that's what high schools about anyways. Right?

  • Heather

    I was definitely a girl of the 90s, I'm a little too young for the 80s. *smirks*


    I was all over the place. I've always been an awesome dresser (everyone compliments me on it) but I like to pick stuff out that's funky and trendy and classic all at the same time!

    I think that's a great pic of you!

  • BeautifulWreck

    I wore a lot of black with black. Sometimes I would toss a purple or red t-shirt in just for fun. I wasn't trying to be a part of any crowd. I was popular in highschool for my big mouth and crazy stunts. And I dated the most popular boy in school.

  • Stephanie

    My first time reading your blog — pointed here by "As Cape Cod Turns." LOVE your blog name.

    Also a child of the 80's — this really takes me back. Those blanket things were called "Snug Sacks," and they had it all over today's Snuggies because of the snaps: You could make sleeves with the snaps (or not), close up the bottom (or not), and actually have the thing surround you instead of being open in the back. We didn't have such nice polyester fleece back then, though.

    I had preppy stuff as well as neon pink chinos, but you forgot one of the other fashion trends — or maybe you didn't get into the Gunne Sax/prairie/petticoats-peeking-out-under-your-skirts look.

    Glad your friend knows your other friend, and your big world has gotten smaller!