The other day when my daughter and I
were out and about,
we decided to stop at a large yard sale
that was just setting up.
Most of the stuff was junk.
And by that I mean
the kind of junk that
doesn't interest me.
Like Japanese swords
and porcelain unicorns
and gaudy silver belt buckles...
But I came away with a $1 purchase.
A 1961 Montgomery Wards catalog.
No use beating around the bush.
I'll just come out and say it.
I was five years old when
people were finding this catalog-
(all fresh and off the presses)-
in their mailboxes.
But I am positive that was the same catalog
that was spread open to cover the
little laps of Linda and I
while we entered a world of make believe...
We would sit together on the couch,
our bare feet sticking out ahead of us,
and smooth the pages down gently
as we imagined that we could pick
anything in there that we wanted.
Sometimes we would even take a pen
and circle our choices,
perhaps hoping that some fairy god mother
might see it and grant our wishes.
It was always exciting to fold the page over
and discover the wedding gowns.
They were beautiful.
And so elegant.
We usually skipped over the
girdles and braziers and garters-
not only because they were years ahead of us-
but because it was downright embarrassing
to see those ladies modeling their underwear
with shameless smiles on their faces.
Yesterday I told Linda about my
yard sale catalog,
and I know she fondly remembered back
to our afternoons on the couch.
She echoed my sentiments exactly
when she said "Too bad it wasn't
a Christmas catalog..."
Oh, my gosh!
By the time we finished with
Christmas catalogs back then,
they were marked up,
I was telling Linda about the style
of dresses back in 1961 -
and added that there were no
women sporting bluejeans across the pages.
Most of the pants back then
were pedal pushers-
(old fashioned name for capris)-
and they were fashionably known
as ladies slacks.
They were slim and form fitting
and contained only a small side zipper
and a button.
Of course, most women had tiny waists
and slender butts back then.
Linda said-(and I agree)-
that the invention of stretch pants
was the downfall of all womankind!
If we had to continue pulling
that side zipper up every morning,
we might have kept
some semblance of a diet
in our daily routines.
But with stretch pants,
our waist lines and buttocks
and love handles just kept expanding,
and the elastic just kept conforming
to our fast food and buffets
and midnight snacks.
Those stretch pants were like a quiet enemy.
Sometimes a person wouldn't even notice
that they had put on ten or fifteen pounds.
Or a gallon of cellulite.
Or grown the waistline of a silver back gorilla.
But, I bet your Snickers bar
that we would have noticed
if we had been wearing slacks every day!
My sisters and I are having our Sister Weekend
in a few days.
My best buds-
Linda, Jewel, and Tina-
will undoubtedly spread that old catalog
across our laps
and dream again....
Of the women
we might have been!