Last weekend, The Boyfriend and I decided to make a quick trip to Wal-Mart. We needed cat litter, hairspray, gel insoles and a few other truly fascinating things. Such is the life of middle-aged cohabiters. Romance we got, just not 24-7.
Anyway, I decided I was in a nostalgic mood, and since I wear jeans and hiking boots every day for work, I was also thinking I could do with a little more feminine expression. I cruised on over to the women’s clothing section and began looking for a pretty new slip or two.
Yes, I buy my lingerie at Wal-Mart. And sometimes Target, if I’m feeling spendy.
The Boyfriend finished his shopping, and found me all dreamy-eyed, staring at the very icon of femininity, the full satin slip with lace hem. Do women my age even wear these? Sure, my mom did, back in the day. But she didn’t have an iPhone or Netflix either. Life was different back then.
I carried my stack of goodies to the register and the cashier dragged each item across the scanner. When she came to the slips, she stopped. She slowly searched for the tags, eyeing the garments with… was that jealousy? It couldn’t be!
“You probably have one of those jobs where you get to dress up all the time, right?”
The Boyfriend laughed. “Yeah, she wishes!”
I sighed. “Definitely wishful thinking.”
The cashier looked at the foreign items for just a moment longer, then folded them gently and placed them in the white plastic bag, right on top of the Extra Duty Heavy Impact Work Insoles that more aptly symbolize my life.
It occurred to me then that we’ve let some good things fall by the wayside. Yes, there were some truly crappy parts of life “back then”. Racism was something I see too much of even now – I’d hate to go back to the days when it was widely accepted or even legally enforced. You’ll never pry my iPhone from my fingers until you shut the coffin, and even then I’m not so sure. Permanent press clothing is a gift straight from God (thanks again!), and I’d like to keep those things the way they are, or maybe even better.
But slips. They may not be necessary. They may not even be all that useful. But dammit, they’re beautiful and sexy and make you feel like a real, honest to goodness woman. Same thing with stockings. While we’re at it, let’s bring back victory gardens, white gloves and clutch purses with the closures that snap shut with a loud click. And make sure we bring back those bulky silver microphones that the singers in the war era would caress as they whispered sultry songs to the boys overseas.
That’s some good stuff.