Green Dress, Khaki Jumper, White Cap and Gown and Michigan Shirt from Liana’s Paper Doll Boutique

Click for the doll.

I drew a handful of my own clothes for the Boutique, too. There are a couple of forgettable shirts that I won’t bore you with… Most notable, to me, is my rendition of my favorite green dress from the time, which was a beautiful light olive green which complimented my skin and hair perfectly. I wore it to death, and if I saw another dress like it, I’d jump on it even today. I don’t know what I was doing wearing that khaki jumper, though. Although I spend my free time doing a page like this, I have zero fashion sense. (Actually, perhaps that’s not so surprising, considering my penchant for eccentric, entirely unrealistic dresses.)

There’s a story behind the graduation cap and gown. I was born in Missouri, but my family moved to Kansas, then to Alabama, then to Ohio when I was in fourth grade. In my junior year of high school, my dad was transferred again, this time to Michigan. As it happened, though, I had been a particularly diligent student: I had taken summer classes and hadn’t taken homeroom classes or lunch periods all through high school, so by the end of my junior year, I was actually only three courses away from graduating. I took those three courses that summer at the local community college, and by the end of the summer I was set to graduate a year early. (Amusing anecdote-within-an-anecdote: my parents and I met with the principal to sign off the final paperwork one afternoon. “Where are you planning to go to college?” he asked me. “University of Michigan,” I said. “Oh,” he said sorrowfully, “I can’t let you graduate, then,” and he pointed to his Ohio State class ring. Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with college football in America, University of Michigan and Ohio State have a long-standing, intense rivalry. As it happened, as I wasn’t really from the area and had not the slightest smidgen of interest in college football, I initially had no idea what he was talking about. For a frightening second, I took him completely seriously. Then, I considered the context, remembered there was some irrelevant connection between the two universities and laughed dutifully. My memory may or may not be reliable, but I seem to recall that my parents had a similar reaction.)

Now, at the time I was a geeky, sarcastic little thing well ready to be done with high school life, and I was hardly broken up about the prospect of missing prom, senioritis, a large picture in the yearbook and all the other useless things I hadn’t looked forwards to in the first place. I didn’t even much care about missing graduation; as a member of the school choir, I had attended the previous class’ graduation, and it wasn’t like the substance would be different just because my name would be in the program.

Ah, but that cool facade didn’t mean there wasn’t just a touch of wistfulness, though. Not much – not nearly enough to shade into anything approaching regret. (Saying I was well ready to be done with that stage of my life is technically a massive understatement.) But just enough to draw the cap and gown I wouldn’t ever wear for my paperdolls.

It all ended well, though, as I did get into the University of Michigan… Although, from the safe vantage point of having successfully graduated a decade ago, I can say that only applying for that single school may have been the dumbest, most overconfident thing I ever did in my life – I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t gotten in! My mom bought me this celebratory Michigan shirt, and I did have it for a very long time, but it wasn’t so shiny in reality. I drew everything shiny at the time, even blue jeans. These days I compensate by just simply not drawing blue jeans. Life is too short for such dullness, pass the ribbons.

10 thoughts on “Green Dress, Khaki Jumper, White Cap and Gown and Michigan Shirt from Liana’s Paper Doll Boutique

  1. I know exactly how you feel. I graduated a year early, too, although my school administrators didn’t just joke about not letting me graduate, they almost prevented me from doing so. I skipped my university graduation, too, and now that I’m in grad school, there’s this weird graduation tradition where the ceremony is held in November and you don’t actually go to the ceremony until several years after you’re finished (places fill up that far in advance!)

    The green dress is quite beautiful, I hope you find its twin.

  2. I wanted to graduate high school early but the administrators wouldn’t let me even though I was picked on a lot. I did go to my graduation though, and our gowns were a horrible shade of yellow because the school colours were maroon and gold. Why they choose the yellow, and not maroon is beyond me.

  3. I’m with you on not wearing a cap and gown for graduation. Since I homeschooled, I got to wear whatever I wanted, so when my family was down at Disneyland, I picked me up a cap with Mickey ears and wore that instead. Oh, and if I ever find this green dress, I’ll let you know!

  4. Everything’s beautiful here…I love the stories behind it all. Gotta say, since I’m a dress kind of girl, I like the green dress out of them all. Even if I could never wear it…
    Anyway, amazing stuff. Blast from the past!

  5. One of the people at this big “can Liana graduate early” meeting was the school counselor. She spoke up quickly when she saw that none of us-you-me-your dad got the joke. We were sitting in shock at what he said. She pointed out his OSU ring and said that there is a long standing rivalry with Michigan.

    Not a college football fan in the family. Still I’m grateful you got to do what you wanted and I appreciated the principal’s & counselor’s efforts on your behalf.

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