Skip to content

Dynomite! The “We Are Family” Edition

November 19, 2012

It has been said that all good things must come to an end.

Rachel, your days spent featured on the right-hand side of my blog — well, they’ve been some of the best days of my life.  You’ve become like a sister to me, and I don’t know how to say goodbye to your blooming hydrangea bangs and glasses-ready-to-suicide-dive-off-your-face.  But the time has come to move on.

Today is the dawn of a new Dynomite! kid.  And I have just the Dynomite! theme for this special holiday season.

Yes, I think these Dynomite! entries are just what the Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman ordered.

This Thanksgiving week, let’s stop focusing on the bitter past, start blocking our fathers’ apocalyptic email forwards about the Mayan calendar’s alignment with Obama’s election, and let’s move on to what really matters.


I can truly say there are no three people in the world I’d rather look prepubescently-awkward next to than these bunch of weirdos.  I love my family.  Warts and all.

Warts, ten-inch-diameter eyeglass frames, outdated polyester disco shirt, sloppily untucked safariwear — and all.

But these families down here?  They’re not too bad either.  In fact, they’re gonna blow the doors off your ’78 Chevy Malibu they’re so damn precious.

You ready for me to roll out these families?

Alright!  Let’s go to it.

First we have the family of Nancy from the blog Not Quite Old.

I’m intrigued by the story behind this photo.  Where have we been, where are we going?  Are we all on our way to Dick Nixon’s inauguration?  Is Nancy sacrificing body heat so that her coat won’t cover her beloved rickrack trim?  Is Mom happy to watch her shiver?  Is Dad disgusted by his daughter’s recklessness?  I mean, it must be January!  It must be reefer madness at work!  Nancy, clearly you’re a disgrace to your family, but I dig the pixie cut.

Next we have . . . wait a minute here . . . okay, next I guess we have Rachel again from the blog Rachel’s Table.  Yes, that Rachel.  Apparently being adored on my blog for several weeks in a row wasn’t quite enough for Rachel.

Alright, it’s a pretty damn good photo.  We’ve got the double-breasted junior executive at left, the shaker-knit sweater over the prep school tie at right, the rampant expressions of arrogance you’ve come to expect from families of the ’80s.  This photo is a little slice of Highway to Heaven.  What can I say, Rachel is a trained professional Dynomite! contestant.  She even dresses like one.

Then we have this one from . . . Lucy.  Yeah, I’ll call her Lucy.

Holy Angstballs, am I right or am I right?  The common teenage thought “I don’t belong here” — never has it been more palpable.

I’m a little uneasy about featuring this photo.  And not just because Lucy’s eyes are stabbing me with daggers.  My issue is that this photo was entered by a person who is actually close to me in my real world life.  So to off-set this conflict of interest, I will withhold all commentary that might color your opinion.  Except to tell you that this photo was taken for a church directory.  Perfect.

Finally we have this photo from Emily of the blog Hey from Japan — Notes on Moving.

I don’t believe this family is real.  Frankly, I’m shocked that Dad isn’t holding a tobacco pipe.  That goes double for the house — not real.  They must be on a TV studio set.  They must be guest performers on The Lawrence Welk Show, episode #412.  Those candlesticks are actually hollow.  The fireplace is cardboard.  Mom’s hair is a wig.  Emily, seated at right, looks eager to prove she’s the least difficult child.  But let’s face it, all three children are always behaved with nary a sticky finger, ringworm scab or grocery aisle tantrum — and not a single bout of stomach flu on a beige rug at 3:00 a.m. on a Tuesday.

So there you go.  That’s the line-up.  Are they the greatest Dynomite! family photo contestants ever or what?

Now it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for.  Time to cast your vote.  I know you’re sick of those words.  But this isn’t the same as that Tuesday, November 6th thing.  This is much more important.

Because here’s what’s at stake.

The winner of this Dynomite! contest will not only be featured on my blog with smiling family members who did not sign up for this, the winner will also be mailed a genuine original Flashback-in-a-Box!

Let’s look back at the amazing prizes given to our last winner.

That’s some pretty valuable crap.  And to up the ante, I’m prepared to throw in another piece of Bazooka gum.

Vote now, vote with your conscience, vote for our country.  These families are depending on you.

Poll closes next Monday the 26th at 6:00 a.m EST.

66 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2012 6:33 am

    Reblogged this on godspeed4trinity and commented:

  2. November 19, 2012 6:55 am

    I had to vote for Lucy. The hostility is so apparent. The expression, the folded arms..perfection.

    • November 19, 2012 4:47 pm

      I agree – couldn’t help but feel bad for her…maybe she’ll smile after getting the cootie catcher.

      • December 2, 2012 10:05 pm

        I can report back that Lucy is a perfectly happy and lovely human being today. Phew.

    • December 2, 2012 10:03 pm

      I had that same look on my face nearly every day circa 1987 to 1992. I was a delight.

  3. November 19, 2012 7:36 am

    I agree Lucy’s hostility is palpable. But I had to vote for myself of course. My sisters are completely okay with wearing their glasses in a photo. But I am holding mine. Just shows you what I would suffer for a better picture. I would not wear my coat because I loved that dress. And I wore white lacy knee socks with it. If you could only see the knee socks, you would vote for me too.

  4. November 19, 2012 7:53 am

    These were just what the doctor ordered– extra super-strength gel capsules of Dynomite!

    • November 19, 2012 7:54 am

      PS- Nancy’s pixie cut is whispering to me that I need to cut my hair into a cute little pixie again! Stop it, Nancy’s pixie! I’m trying to grow my hair out for winter!

      • December 2, 2012 10:07 pm

        I love your hair in your Twitter picture.

    • December 2, 2012 10:06 pm

      Take with a full glass of tap water.

  5. November 19, 2012 8:48 am

    two words: church directory

  6. November 19, 2012 9:12 am

    I would have sent one of my family photos, but they are too horrifying for words. You can never get Tweedle Dee and Dum to stop beating the crap out of each other long enough to snap the photo. And the Mad Hatter’s always drunk.

  7. November 19, 2012 10:58 am

    Rache’s are always going to be great. She’s like the Jennifer Garner of the blogiverse. You kind of have to root the challengers, thought, don’t you? It’s like the American way.

    • November 19, 2012 5:02 pm

      I’m not sure what the Jennifer Garner comment means, but I’ll take it. As long as I can be the Alias version of her.

      Root for ME!!! My family needs some happiness in their lives, obviously.

      • November 19, 2012 6:35 pm

        Yesss! I know exactly what he means, Rache, and it’s a compliment.

        Needless to say, you have my vote. I don’t care what it says about my patriotism.

      • November 20, 2012 10:06 pm

        It’s like you and B-Man share a brain

      • November 20, 2012 2:17 pm

        Hm, I suppose I have to explain it, but I’m not sure that’s possible without getting in to trouble at at least one point…


        If you look at pictures of Jennifer Garner during adolescence she looks a little, well, a little “Work in Progress.” Then as an adult she looks… noticeably better…

      • November 21, 2012 12:45 pm

        Ooooh, thank you for your thoughtfully worded explanation. Being compared to Jennifer Garner in all her forms IS a compliment.

        I’m off to google “Jennifer Garner versus Rachel from Rachel’s Table–who was more awkward as a teen” and see what I get…

    • December 2, 2012 10:09 pm

      This comment was a riddle to me. Thank goodness Jules got to the bottom of it. Typical Jules. She’s practically your interpreter. Or your seeing eye pony.

  8. John-Paul permalink
    November 19, 2012 11:32 am

    There are some things that America definitely is number one at, and family portraits that bring mirth to the world is definitely one of them. These are always gold. Matching outfits are hard to beat, but somehow the crazy hair of the 80s always draws me….

    • December 2, 2012 10:11 pm

      We Americans are number one at family photos — you are correct. And New Zealanders are number one at snappy sweaters. (Jumpers?)

  9. November 19, 2012 12:09 pm

    Dang. My face scared me when this showed up in my reader. Every time I come to your blog and see it, I’m shocked and then it makes me giggle. Oh, me. What an ugly duckling.

    Now I’m getting all sentimental. I’m sad to see 1987 Rachel leave, but I’m also rooting for MY family portrait. Come ON, everyone. Look at how well my mom matched our hair dos. That took hours of singing hair and burning foreheads with a curling iron. Clearly we BOTH needed a new perm. And we are so stoic. It’s like the Addams Family meets Dallas.

    • November 19, 2012 12:41 pm

      singeing, not singing. :)

      • December 2, 2012 10:13 pm

        You definitely earned the win! Burning scalps are worth something these days.

    • December 2, 2012 10:12 pm

      1987 Rachel looks far more bewildered than Family Rachel. I think Family Rachel might possibly make it in life. 1987 Rachel? I couldn’t say.

  10. November 19, 2012 5:14 pm

    Lucy’s clearly got the superior get-out-the-vote operation. It’s all about boots on the ground, people. (Rachel bought my vote with gifts.)

    • November 20, 2012 4:31 pm

      Why thank you, Sean. Will you be my campaign manager? I’ll pay you in Maryland boxed wine.

    • December 2, 2012 10:14 pm

      In the end, Rachel’s get out the vote effort was outstanding. Poor Lucy and her poorly executed grassroots operation.

  11. November 19, 2012 6:37 pm

    Holy Dr-Quinn-Medicine-Woman. Angie! You make me CRY from laughing. I just… I just… this is just…





    I love every letter of this. Every pixel. Every everything.

    • December 2, 2012 10:15 pm

      Jules, you are the reason I can bear to get up out of bed in the morning and pull myself over to check my WordPress stats.

  12. November 19, 2012 10:29 pm

    Well there are certain things in life I`m thankful for. One is that my sisters had to have the pixie hair cuts while I somehow escaped that fate. Fate eventually caught up with me when I sported a shag- The mullet`s ugly older cousin. But, nothing is fuglier than a pixie. They are due to make a comeback soon….. Angie? You first. Mine would be too frizzy or I`d do it.

    • November 19, 2012 10:35 pm

      I had to vote for Lucy- Lord have mercy. I`m still laughing. I bet your mother wasn`t when it came back from Fox photo…

      • December 2, 2012 10:19 pm

        Lucy is my sister-in-law. And, brace yourself, she is today a completely beautiful human being, inside and out.

    • December 2, 2012 10:17 pm

      Emily, you are adorable! Adorable! You had to have starred in Cornflakes commercials or something.

      The shag as the mullet’s “ugly older cousin”….brilliant.

  13. November 20, 2012 9:06 am

    There are two crazy eyes in Lucy’s photo. It made me laugh!

  14. November 20, 2012 1:14 pm

    These family photos are to die for. And I agree – that’s GOT to be a TV sitcom family. Nobody looks that perfect (except for the glaring omission of the pipe – some production assistant caught holy HELL for that slip-up.)

    I didn’t even see the contest, that’s how far out of the blogosphere I’ve been lately. Help – somebody throw me a rope and reel me back in!

    • December 2, 2012 10:27 pm

      Peg, I’m so far out that the rope won’t even reach. Help!

  15. November 21, 2012 6:51 am

    Aaah! I should have entered my family photo. Drat. I’m always late to these parties. Oh well. It’s not like I don’t have enough to do already.

    The only reason why I didn’t vote for the last one is because it’s just too…perfect. Though it completely depicts photos from that era, it had a one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other feel to it. Not awkward enough perhaps.

    Rachel? Please don’t be mad at me for not voting for you (it was a struggle, I’ll tell you, but I still love you). Nancy, yours too; that is some seriously get-me-the-hell-outta-here posture.

    Lucy…*shudder* You got my vote! The hair (did you actually MEAN to make that happen?), the signature teenage-folded arms, the look, the way Mom is holding a perfect smile even though I KNOW she just threatened you within an inch of your life if you didn’t cooperate — this photo has it all.

    PS — Miss you, Angie! I am so behind in blogging. Have a great Thanksgiving!

    • December 2, 2012 10:35 pm

      Lucy has the exact expression on her face that I also would’ve worn in the church directory photo at that age. I think I wore that expression for most of 1989.

      I have no doubt your family would’ve rocked it.

      P.S. Miss you, too! I’m so far behind that I can’t begin to catch up now! I need a warm beer from your pantry!

      • December 4, 2012 6:08 am

        Well, beer’s still warm, ’cause my fridge is chock full of fresh greens from Bubba’s — he’s back in business and I’m back to going out to his farm to load up once a week. My yard’s not got much right now…

      • December 20, 2012 10:40 pm

        I’ll take a warm beer right now, please. Fresh greens too.

  16. November 21, 2012 7:00 pm

    Church directory photos?? I never knew they even existed, but that makes Lucy’s photo the clear winner in my books. So. Much. Angst!!

    I totally should have entered this photo into the contest:
    (Scroll down to see it). Granted, I’m only a baby in the pic, but my teenaged mom and dad could have easily taken the Dynomite! prize. Notice how my dad’s (faded pink) shirt has been worn (and somehow buttoned up!) even though it is INSIDE OUT. My mom’s skirt is also falling down and showing her slip underneath. Classy all around!

    • December 2, 2012 10:32 pm

      Your dad’s mustache is the bomb! Look out Magnum PI!

      • December 3, 2012 8:18 pm

        He pretty much invented Movember, no? ;)

  17. November 24, 2012 3:24 pm

    Glad I saw this in time to vote (kinda makes up for not being able to vote in the US elections). Must say, Lucy’s family reminds me of my own (though I like to think that we had better hair, and that my mother’s eyes are somehow less crazed, even at the worst of times), so they earned my vote.

    • December 2, 2012 10:26 pm

      I think there’s a special piece of Lucy’s family in all of us. That’s partly why Lucy’s family is so near and dear to my heart. Since I know these people in real life, I’m pleased to report that they all grew to be normal, less crazed, less round and less angry human beings.

  18. November 24, 2012 4:26 pm

    I saw ‘Lucy’s’ photo and thought, OMG I know who these people are. Is that possible? Maybe they are just so archetypal, I am imagining it.

    Why is no one talking about how Emily’s little sister is ROCKIN’ those red boots?! Nice apron, too, but THOSE BOOTS!

    Rachel’s family looks like a family who might have visited the Keatons on Family Ties.

    Ohh, who to vote for?

    • December 2, 2012 10:23 pm

      Lynnette, you hit the nail on the head a million times over in your comment. Red boots — yes! When I first saw them, I thought my eyes were deceiving me. They have to be knee socks or tights, right? Nope. Boots.

      The Keatons wouldn’t even know what hit them if Rachel’s family moved in next door.

  19. November 26, 2012 7:32 am

    Oh snap! How did I miss this? Apparently, I was in a Thanksgiving coma and was drugged by triptophan for the past 5 days, because this is stellar. Rachel’s is indeed fantastic, so I’m glad she got the prize (seriously, though, is she like EVERYWHERE now?). Bravo to all the entrants. They are some fine examples of past days of yore and outdated clothing and hairstyles.

    • December 2, 2012 10:21 pm

      See the log jam of photos that were clogging up the Dynomite mailbox? I am now finally able to get your delightful gem out to the masses.

  20. November 29, 2012 9:04 am

    Reason #2,647 why I love the holidays: family photos like these! SO. MUCH. FUN!!!


  1. The Obligatory After Thanksgiving Post « Rachel's Table
  2. Rachel is the Dynomitest Dynomite Kid! « Childhood Relived
  3. 5 Memorable Lunch Foods I Ate as a Kid (And Still Crave) | Rachel's Table

Comment. All the cool kids do.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: