I sent this photograph in one of my letters to Ross this past weekend. I thought he would get a kick out of it. That is me, age 17, with Ross’s dad at his Navy boot camp graduation.

There are so many things wrong with that picture, I don’t know where to start, but I will go with the most egregious. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I don’t look like that! (Look at the sidebar at the photo of me taken by Morgan several months ago. Is that the same person? I rest my case.) Why is my mouth so BIG in that picture? Was I scared? Did I know this photo was going to be on the internet someday? Or was I about to swallow a whale?

And those clothes! You know those are Jordache jeans and that I got that blouse and jacket at either the Clothesline at the strip mall or at Nordstrom’s (just two of my favorite places to shop when I was a teenager). I was such a clothes horse. And it was such a waste of time being a clothes horse in the 1980s. (See the shoulder pads?)

And I weighed 112 pounds. My mother was a fabulous cook right up until she bought a Venus de Milo figure salon in Buena Park, California, in the 1980s. After that, she became a health nut and I never saw butter, cream, cheese, or salt again. (Don’t I look like I’m starving?) I worked at her salon, too. When I showed up. Lesson to you: Never hire your teenage child if you own a business. They will just call in sick and go to the beach because they know you won’t fire them.

And my hair! And the makeup! Let’s not even discuss it.

I told Ross that I thought his dad looked like a total dork in that outfit but that I was sure he would look ADORABLE in his.

I also told him that if he showed that photo to anyone, he was to tell them that was his dad’s old girlfriend, Thelma.

And by the way, I lied about everything at the top about that being me and I was 17 and all that.

That’s Thelma. She was a 30-year-old hooker he picked up on liberty weekend. And by the way, what is wrong with Thelma anyway? HER MOUTH IS SO HUGE!!! Is she about to swallow a whale?


  1. Grandmatotwochicks says:

    Hi Suzanne!
    You made me laugh soooooooooo HARD! my daughter is up for the night and I was sharing Chickens in the Road with her, when I glanced up and saw ” THE PICTURE ” trust me, we ALL have THOSE pictures, Loved the story. :woof:

  2. Karen Anne says:

    What’s with the hair color? I kind of like that red.

  3. Kathy in KY says:

    Suzanne – Thelma doesn’t even look like you! LOL
    I’m sure Ross will get a kick out of the photo.
    When I used to look at old photos of my parents from the late 1940’s my Mom would say, “That’s when we were in love.” ROFL
    I’m glad you’ll see each other soon at his boot camp graduation. Take care, from KY. :purpleflower:

  4. Shelly says:

    I was wondering how tall Thelma was, is?? I think it is a cute picture but you do look older then 17. You son will get a kick out of this picture! :butterfly: :butterfly: :butterfly: :butterfly:

  5. Julie says:

    I can totally relate. I have a few of those pictures too ~ where you look at them and say, “Who ARE you?!” But then, there are days I look in the mirror and say, “Who ARE you?” But I think you look absolutely adorable ~ very pretty. I’m sure Ross will treasure that picture. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Woodwife says:

    You do look a bit like Geena Davis there.

  7. Tracey In Paradise,Pa. says:

    :sun: to cute…I have many pictures of myself with many hair colors..UGH!! I like the name Thelma..I will have to tell that to my kids when they ask who that is of pics of
    Love it,
    Granny Trace

  8. Connie Rogers says:

    I think the picture looks good and so do you..I can see Ross in his dad..

  9. CATRAY44 says:

    You look do not look like a “Thelma”, lol, but that was funny! I bet Ross will love that picture.

  10. princessvanessa says:

    “Thelma” as in “Thelma and Louise”? You do have a resemblance to Geena Davis….and, Suzanne, we ALL looked a lot like that in the 1980s. I think you looked great then, just as you look great now.
    I see that Ross’s dad spent a lot of time getting the rim of his sailors cap to curl just right. I understand that when the cap is issued it is stiff and straight and it is up to the individual to work the edge into a soft curl.
    I’m glad you showed us a picture of Ross, Wesley, and Morgan’s dad. As Connie Rogers said, you can see the resemblance between Ross and his dad….Wesley, too. Morgan, I think, favors you.

  11. Becky says:

    What a hoot! And Weston sure looks like his dad!!! I’m sure Ross will look very suave and sophisticated and Naval in his uniform. Be sure to get a picture of Ross with Thelma in a similar pose at the graduation!

  12. Northcountrygirl says:

    I think you look fine in that picture. AND, your mouth is not that big. You just had bad a big smile…you were obviously happy. I rather like that look. It’s definitely 80s but what was so bad about the 80s? No, I think you looked great.

  13. CindyP says:

    Oh, there’s nothing wrong with Thelma! We all looked like that in the 80’s….big hair, big shoulders, it made us look taller, more powerful! LOL! One day you’ll be looking at that picture in the sidebar and saying “what was I thinking in the 10’s!”

    It will be great to compare pictures from then and when Ross graduates. :happyflower:

  14. Yankee Gal says:

    Oh stop it right now! ๐Ÿ˜† Let’s see…the last time I weighed 112 pounds was in the 6th grade. You look adorable and yes, we all have photos that make our children wonder…Mom, is that you?

  15. Mary says:

    Well, I think “Thelma” looks beautiful…happy and in love next to her handsome sailor. I’m sure it seems like a world ago though and things sure do change. I think Ross will be proud to have such a lovely photo of his parents.

  16. VaGirl2 says:

    Everything was big in the 80s…hair, shoulder pads and yes…smiles. LOL…

  17. Victoria says:

    Well, I think “Thelma” is quite attractive and I love her smile.

  18. Joycee says:

    Thelma, you look very nice…classy, not trashy!

  19. Rhonda says:

    The 80’s were just as bad as the 70’s. You can photoshop some of the yellowishness out…just saying. Actually it’s a great picture and we all have Thelma pictures in our past. And yes you should get a picture made with Ross just like that one, for him.

  20. Liz says:

    I remember when we (your readers), got to vote for your current sidebar picture. It would be fun to vote once again, for an update picture.

  21. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    I think Thelma is a beautiful 30-year-old hooker! Just kidding! You’re beautiful in all your pics! Ross does look like his Dad!

  22. Nancy says:

    I love you for being able to poke fun at yourself! I just had a conversation with my Grandson about how important it is to be able to laugh at yourself! Isn’t it wonderful that you can look back and know you actually improved with age??!!

  23. Barbee' says:

    I don’t see a “dork”; I don’t see a “Thelma”; I see a photograph for a son to treasure.

  24. Angela P says:

    :duck: Suzanne, I think and know you were and still are GORGEOUS! I dont think your mouth looked as big as you think…Dang you were a knock out then and like a fine wine you just keep getting better! Brag it up girlfriend. Besides that, look at what beautiful work you and he did…Ross,Morgan, Weston….beautiful! :sheep:

  25. 4jsMOM says:

    Loved the picture and the “story”. Made me wonder what THELMA was doing these days–living on a farm in the country? raising 3 teenagers? writing a wonderful, interesting, informative blog? Life is great, it sounds like to me!!!!

  26. MousE says:

    I think Thelma is lovely.


  27. Gini says:

    Whatever! You look so super cute and happy! You don’t look even CLOSE to the wrecks of fashion I’ve seen in other pictures from this era!

  28. Michelle says:

    I thought that WAS Ross when I first saw the picture! And hey, Thelma sure looks more put together than 99.9% of the 17-year-old girls I see today. And we can see BOTH eyes and a beautiful smile!

  29. Sonia says:

    Love the picture! Morgan looks a lot like her Dad. However, I think Ross looks like your father, and Weston is a blend of you and his Dad. Cannot wait to see the graduation pic’s. Have a good one and catch you all later.

  30. Amber says:

    I think you look beautiful, then and now. :happybutterfly:

  31. Emilie says:

    Your photo made me think of a photo of my husand and me taken at Easter time many years ago. His hair was blowing in the wind and I had on a pill box hat.

  32. Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage says:

    LOL Suzanne you make me laugh and cry! Ross really looks like his dad….and you look beautiful!!!!! Get over it ๐Ÿ˜‰ !!! Have a great day…..Chic :hungry2:

  33. DarleneS says:

    You look so cute together. Be glad you have that photo to give to Ross.

  34. blessed one says:

    Enjoyed the photo. Handsome young man and beautiful young lady! Love your hair, your makeup and your clothes (am I telling my age?). As the others mentioned, Ross sure looks like his Dad. Looking forward to seeing graduation photos soon of Ross and all of his family.


  35. Bev says:

    Suzanne, it is a wonderful picture! You can tell Thelma is so happy, and that is what counts. Life is a stage and we go through many stages. Each one is special. Your children came from that time, what a gift!

  36. Stefinity says:

    The Thelma look is kinda cool! I love the red hair! However, I had to laugh at your description of yourself, and I think your natural look is better. What were we thinking to wear those pointy shoulder pads?!

  37. Shirley Makekau says:

    I loved your clothes and “do”!! Nice picture of a very lovely woman and her handsome hubby!!

  38. SkippyMom says:

    i would never equate the a pic’ [at boot camp] with your side bar. how did you morf that drastically? you don’t look the same person.

    and i have to agree [with other commentators] – the eighties didn’t suck that much [and i get tired of people deriding the eighties – i had a great time and looked good doing it – as you obviously did] and your mouth doesn’t look huge – it is actually a better smile than the one you are masking in your sidebar.

    i am all about down home and being natural but you discount yourself on how pretty you are in the pic’ from boot camp.

    i know you are divorced – but you look a heck of a lot happier in the boot camp pic’ than you do in the sidebar one.

  39. kathy says:

    I needed a laugh, especially today. You crack me up woman. You do look like Gena Davis in pic, was there a Susan Serandon? I thought you looked pretty chic myself, liked the clothes back then better than what there is to choose from these days. Ah, the days when I could get my rear end into a pair of ridiculously expensive Jordache jeans. I’m telling you, that was an eternity ago, not just 30 years. I loved your big toothy grin, and the boys definitely favor their dad. I hope graduation goes well.I saw rofl in previous post. I’m not up on all the electronic shorthand, but if it means rolling on the floor laughing, that was indeed what I was doing. Thanks for a fun look back.

  40. glenda says:

    I think it is a great picture! I can see their Dad in all the kids.

    Take a picture of you and Ross standing side by side. Be fun to compare.

    What does Morgan say? I am sure she will get a kick out of the clothes which I like BTW!

  41. Debbie in PA says:

    I think you look fine in that picture Suzanne! Whe I first saw this picture, in fact, I thought it was Ross and a friend! I was wondering why the picture looked so old! I don’t think your mouth looks big either–you are just smiling and have darker lipstick on, and you look happy. I was kind of suprised by the red hair LOL! But hey, you move the part to the side and sweep the bangs over, and the hairstyle would be fine too.

    Ah, shoulder pads……well, yeah, they do look dated, but this round shouldered gal wouldn’t mind their return LOL!

  42. Melissa says:

    I love your hair color. I second that you look like Geena Davis. Was she Thelma or Louise?

  43. Tammy says:

    I LOVE this pic! You look fantastic!

  44. rileysmom says:

    Oh Suzanne, You were just in love!
    Don’t be so hard on yourself, We all look dorky in our old photos!

  45. Tobey says:

    I LIKE the happy smile!

    The 80’s were my best dressed era – nothing like a open collar shirt tucked into jeans and a white jacket.

  46. Madeline says:

    Whoaaa–the ’80’s! Well, I’ll tell ya, I LOVED THE 80’s. Shoulder pads, pink and purple, glitter, big dramatic hair and just,well..JOY! Look at that smile!! JOY!
    You were gorgeous then and you are gorgeous now! What a totally cool pic and memory–and now,your boy is re writing history!

  47. Darlene in North Ga says:

    The “before” picture. Before kids, before divorce, before life kicked us in the head and became so hard. A time of “anything can be done, there’s no limits”. The belief that love triumphs anything and that we’re SO in love that nothing can change that.

    We’re older now and wiser. The highs may not be as high, but the lows aren’t as low either. A gorgeous picture of a more innocent time in your life.

    All is not bad. Now, who cares if I wear a red hat with a purple dress?! That’s the upside of “aging”. We find comfort in who we are, not what we have to wear and whether or not we’re “trendy”. At 57 I’ve reached the age of “who cares”? I don’t have to fit in someone else’s mold. I don’t have to wear what others say is “chic”. I can be my own person because I know who I am. I’m no longer a child trying on “outfits” to find myself. I can just be ME! Though, I do always strive to be my best self – kind, caring and happy. :snoopy:

  48. Laura B in Greenwood, IN says:

    Ross looks so much like his dad! When I saw that picture I thought Ross had picked up a 30 year old hooker!! (kidding)
    Ross will love the pic!

  49. Judy says:

    I thought that you looked great!

  50. Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm says:

    LOL! Suzanne, you are so funny sometimes! All I see is a very pretty girl. None of it looks unusual to me, I like the clothes, hair and makeup.

  51. Susan at Charm of the Carolines says:

    Ahhh to be 17 again and in love. That is what I see in this picture.


  52. lavenderblue says:

    Hey! Thelma and I must have gone to the same hairdresser’s. :bugeyed:

  53. MJ Krech says:

    Personally I think you look BEAUTIFUL in this photo. Sure, you fit the times, but beautiful just the same. And your smile is open and genuine and very happy looking!

  54. AspenFlower says:

    You look very nice in that picture, Susanne. You’re wearing a gorgeous smile & looked primped and fashionable in that white blazer. I used to live in Anaheim, CA which, very close to Buena Park, before my company transferred me to Central California for a project several months ago. I used to, on occasion, go out for a bite to eat with colleagues or run errands in Buena Park. The beaches in South Cal are also one of my favorite attractions.

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