From the always amusing treasure box we know as Facebook emerges a picture from ancient history (circa 1991):

That’s my husband in the orange shirt, back row – right in between his buddies Danny Downer and Jaleel White’s long lost (Caucasian) brother. What kills me is, even then he was cute. Even in the 90s, a decade devoid of fashion, he managed to be a cute 9-year old. You think all 9-year olds are cute? I don’t think so, take a look around the rest of Mrs. Dinora’s class. I’d even go so far as to say he was the cutest one. Yea, I married a stud.

It got me thinking back to my 4th grade class and whether I was cute or not... (Answer: NOPE I wasn’t). Mrs. Henderson was my teacher, and I remember her complimenting my gown on class picture day (clearly out of pity of the ass whooping I’d likely receive at recess). See, while other kids were all sassy-1991 in denim and brightly colored t-shirts with this look on their faces that said “Eat my shorts, Softouch lazer background!”, I was in a white gown with PUFFY SLEEVES and roses and music notes on it from my grandmother’s fancy children’s boutique. I guess Grammy gave me the dress and I had nowhere to wear it, so my mom thought why not juxtapose my geekiosity with the other kids' 4th grade irreverence and immortalize it in a nerdtastic class photo that at least 20 other families own. Thank God I grew up on the West Coast and not Fort Salonga, NY or else I’d likely be married to Urkel there on the right.

Ahh, memories.

A few weeks ago, my mom came over and somehow we ended up whipping out old family photo albums that revealed even more layers to my unusually severe awkward phase. I think it was also in Mrs. Henderson's class that we had the rocket building exercise (what educational purpose that serves, I don’t know). In the pictures, there I am posing with my rocket in my matching jersey shorts/t-shirt set, socks, and Keds, arm around my Asian friend who was also wearing a matching jersey shorts/t-shirt set (luckily the sets didn’t match each other). In the background are all the white kids wearing denim too busy being cool to pay any attention to their rockets. Days later, Nat says to me, “Nik, I still can’t shake that picture of you with your rocket...” The weird thing is I thought I was cool – why didn’t I know?

This raises an interesting and important question of parenthood: If Thing wants to pose with his or her rocket someday, do I take the photo or pretend the camera is broken?

I could go on forever with awkward stories from Nikki childhood, but I’ll just leave you with this picture of me as a 3-year old, before I could make my own decisions on dress and demeanor, and was actually quite cute (1984):


k. mukai said…
nik, i think it's safe to say that despite your geekdom, you turned out pretty dece. i hope thing likes rockets and collects bugs for mr. hominda too!
n-mukai said…
aw thanks sis. and if you wonder why you're not in any of those pictures i put on flickr of us as kids, it's because when you were born i was fully in geek mode (but you were sooo cute). when i was looking in the albums i found some funny ones of you that i will post soon!
k. mukai said…
hahah oh jeez nik, you may have been a dork but my life has been one prolonged "awkward stage"
n-mukai said…
LIES! You were always cute.

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