Sunday, April 18, 2010

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 34

#34 – “Always wear a slip. You don't want anyone seeing through your skirt. That looks cheap.” (Photo - Me, my sister Honey and mom. Mom and I in suits and hats, gloves and corsages, on our way to Europe - 1958)

Admonitions to not “look cheap,” is a reoccurring theme in the one hundred things my mom taught me a million times, but I have a little trouble wrapping my head around the concept of "cheap." Is that like prostitute cheap or like Wal-Mart cheap. I’m not sure, but knowing mom, I think that looking cheap is the antonym of looking classy. But then do we all define classy the same? I define classy as self-assured, smart, accomplished, courteous and respectful in all situations. I suspect that others, including mom, define it more by the way someone dresses.

So, if not wearing a slip and therefore revealing what’s under your skirt is cheap, let’s examine that. The evolution of my underwear-wearing is very upside down, and circular. When I was young and solid and would have looked good in a burlap bag, I wore just about every piece of underwear available – bra, panties, girdle, hose and slip. Now, when I need all the help I can get to keep it all contained, I do good to put on a bra. Except of course when I want to look better than I really do. In those instances, I have an arsenal of garments scientifically designed to contain and smooth out virtually everything from the tops of my shoulders to my ankles. So what the hell? Click on Read More

I’m not sure, but I think that when I was young and so wanted to be a “woman” I thought that meant wearing all the special underwear-y things that women wore. However, after years of wearing all of those constricting, expensive, downright painful torture devices, and egged on by the feminist movement of the 70’s, and still looking really good for a mother of three, I decided that they were the symbols of female oppression and would have to go.

This was followed by years of bliss – letting it all hang out. Of course I was still wearing high heels, morphing my feet into a skeletal horror show not that dissimilar to Chinese foot binding, but my crotch could breath! I guess that was some semblance of progress but not much.

I could go on and on about the evolution of my underwear, but I suspect that I’ve already said too much, as usual, so I’ll close by admitting that I have three slips in my undies drawer that have not see the light of day in probably 20 years. But I can’t seem to throw them away! Why? Because I have haunting memories of backlit skirts, and naked legs and mom, and if I ever put on another skirt that isn’t lined, I want to be prepared.

Mom was right, always wear a slip so you won’t look cheap, or scary.

1 comment:

  1. Too funny. I think I finally threw my last slip away a couple of years ago and it was for a midi skirt. Midi? that sounds weird, but think we used to wear midi's in the 80's. We must have - it was the answer in a crossword puzzle I worked on this week. Anyway, if I ever put a skirt on again, it will be for a funeral and then I'll just have to look the old hippie that I am.