The APS Epidemic

          In the spirit of Halloween, I’ve decided to post about a topic truly chilling, one that will leave your stomach churning and your skin crawling. Now, the things you will see and read in this blog are no laughing matter; In fact, 9 out of 10 scholars believe today’s topic could be the next universal epidemic (and by scholars, I mean my friends). Brace yourselves, loved ones, for the horror that is to be revealed. Shield the eyes of innocent children and steady the faint of heart, for the time has come for (ominous music chimes softly in the distance)…awkward childhood photos.

            We all have them. They’re the photos only Stevie Wonder could appreciate. Whether they are mounted not-so-proudly just above your fireplace or imprisoned in some air-tight storage bin in the garage, there’s no escaping them. Without invitation they slither out of their dusty slumber, devaluing years of meticulously-filtered Facebook photos. They strike without warning at the most inopportune times: family gatherings, birthday parties, throwback Thursdays, you name it. No occasion is safe.

            This past week I had the pleasure of reacquainting myself with a whole slew of childhood photos ranging from “Mullet Man Holding Cat” to “4×6 Acceptable” on the awkward photo scale. After close analysis and a pan of soul-searching brownies, the conclusion was clear. There is no cure to Awkward Photo Syndrome (APS). As long as cameras exist in this world, there will be an awkward child doing some awkward thing in some awkward way, and odds are, that child was you.

            “What do we do? How do we stop the madness?!” you cry desperately at your computer screen, having a meltdown that would embarrass even Bella Swan. Remember that time when your mom told you not to let that little boy from school bother you? You know, the one calling you “Gorilla Arms”? No? Huh, maybe that was just me… Though, really, is it my fault I was bestowed a snowy complexion with the arm-hair of an Italian mobster? Not that I’m still holding onto that. Obviously. Alright, back to the moral.

Cue Full House music.

            What I’m trying to say is, the only way to overcome those embarrassing memories is to embrace every last inch of your bowl-cut, brace-faced self. Whether you were an ignorant toddler or a socially confused tween, your awkwardness deserves to be cherished. Besides, you can only hide those photos for so long before they creep up unexpectedly like unwanted gas.

So raise your glass; cheers to us! May our awkwardness thrive as heartily as the Chia Pet, granting many years of embarrassingly photographed bliss. And cheers to the little girl in the collared Dalmatian sweater: may she forever look back with a warm heart on those short-cut bangs, frizzy curls, and her “I’d Rather Be Anywhere Else” smile.

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Note: Should you feel compelled to share an awkward photo of yourself, by all means do. I declare this domain an awkwardly awkward-loving zone.

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