Yearbook picture week was not what you might call a breeze to get through. In reality, 90 percent of us probably looked at the school yearbook for a hot minute and then shoved it to the back of our closets, but it was still a great source of stress. There were rituals and steps many of us '90s kids had to take before every school picture day in order to make sure we looked our coolest. After all, a lot was riding on this. We'd get little trading cards of our photos we could pass out to our friends, our smile would forever be immortalized in the school's pages, and if we showed up to class looking extra fine, Adam or Matilda or whoever else from geometry just might notice us.
Stakes, people, stakes. And so we had a full day of agonizing over the smallest details: Should we go with boot-cut jeans, or Christina Aguilera-inspired flares? Should we put our hair up into crazy Lizzie McGuire twists, or just leave it down? Should we brave our sister's wrath and steal one of her shirts, or could we somehow make last season's wardrobe work? It was all enough to stress any kid out. Take a walk down memory lane with me and remember the anxiety of the 11 things you probably did before school picture day.
1. Three-Way Call Your Best Friends
There's no way you could make such a big decision like what to wear to picture day all on your own. No way. Remember the last time you did that? You ended up wearing a bucket hat, and it was a complete disaster. So what you were going to do was get on your hamburger phone, call up Lisa and Kelly, and draft a battle plan.
2. Beg Your Mom To Take You To The Mall, Immediately
Both Lisa and Kelly agreed that your wardrobe was crap and that you absolutely could not wear anything that you currently owned. You needed something with a little bit of pizzaz, you know? Something along the lines of a "99 Percent Angel" glitter shirt or a Hanson tee. So you ran downstairs to beg your mom to take you to Justice.
The conversation likely ended with you slamming your door. Typical.
3. Practice Hairstyles In The Mirror
Granted, you knew that they wouldn't turn out the same tomorrow morning (because apparently that's a law of the universe), but you were going to practice styling your hair before the big day anyway. You needed a dry-run so you didn't fall into a total panic the next morning, unsure of what to do with the contraption your sister was hiding in the bathroom that allegedly crimped your hair.
4. Practice Smiles In The Mirror
With braces, or without braces? You went back and forth between a toothy grin and a shy quirk of the lips. Or should you maybe try out a sultry stare? Nope, that was a mistake. Why not make a U-turn out of there and go back to the toothy grin?
5. Take Out Your Lip Smacker Options
Now onto the makeup portion of the evening: Would you feel like Dr. Pepper tomorrow, or were you feeling like more of a Strawberry Cheesecake type of gal? These were big decisions, and they needed to be agonized over properly.
6. Set Your Alarm Clock For 6 AM
Because it was going to take you a full two and a half hours to button your capris and get your glitter eyeshadow just right. A process like this could not be rushed. It took the utmost precision and focus.
7. The Grand Reveal: Lay Out Your Outfit
This was it. This was the big one. You'd finally made peace with what you were going to wear and you carefully laid it out for the next morning. The British flag shirt with the jelly bracelets was a stroke of genius, if I do say so myself.
8. Debate Whether You Should Wear A Bra
Like, you knew you didn't need, need one, but it would give you that "grown-up" feeling you were after. Especially if it was padded. Charlotte Hanson already had her boobs, and you didn't see why she was the only one who got to have all the fun.
9. Take A Bubble Bath To De-Stress
You'd pretty much ditched-out on finishing your history homework in order to plan the whole affair, and now you were exhausted and had a borderline ulcer from executing all these high-risk decisions. So what better way to unwind than to bring in your boombox into the bathroom, prop it on the toilet seat, let some Christina Aguilera blare, and pour half a bottle of pink bubble bath into the tub? Ah, bliss. You could just feel the stress melt away.
10. Dream About The "Hallway Moment"
That moment when everything turned slow-mo as you rounded the corner, and there was Billy Kazinski, standing at his locker only to look up and see you. Crimped hair on fleek, body glitter sparkling, and your cargo pants just the right amount of baggy. You'd lock eyes, and he'd drop his books, stuttering, "Is that — is that really you?"
And you'd just give a knowing smile, a flirty wink, and keep heading to English Lit. It was going to be glorious.
11. Stay Up Until 2 AM
And rethink every decision you'd made since you were old enough to buy your first Juicy lipgloss tube. Maybe cargo pants were so last year. Maybe you should've tried out the flares instead. Or maybe you should've gone with the butterfly clips rather than the fuzzy scrunchies. So many decisions.
But one thing is definitely for sure: By the time you sat down in front of that cheesy backdrop and gave your best smile, you felt on top of the world. *Hair flip*
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