Friday, October 13, 2006

Where did all the demure women go?

OK, I'll admit it. I'm a mouthy broad.

No one would ever call me quiet, shy, or retiring. I'm not coy, and I'm surely not demure. I am temperamental, I talk too much, and I laugh too loudly. I'm very opinionated, and not afraid to show it. But I think I'm ok. One does ponder the idea though: where did all the demure women go?

I mean, really. Looking at ads from the 50s, it looks like these girls sat demurely with their hands in their lap, waiting for the tea to be served. They didn't even cross their legs. No jeans -- beautiful party dresses, afternoon dresses, day dresses, and even house dresses -- there was a dress for every occasion.

And lingerie. Girls wore slips. Most high school girls -- and, I daresay, twentysomethings even -- don't even know what a slip is. I remember that I hated wearing them, but loving the feel of my mom's silky slip. My youngest took a shining to a silky nightshirt I used to have, and would carry it around everywhere, sucking his thumb contentedly.

Back in the day, women sewed. They cooked -- there is nothing like a meal cooked by one of the church ladies, who grew up cooking like they did back then. ::sigh:: Makes me hungry, thinking of it. They wore aprons that functioned as washcloths, purses, and baskets to carry things in from the garden. And they blotted their lipstick -- our trash was always full of small pieces of tissue, permanently marked with my mother's favorite shade. I thought, and still do, that my mother was one of the most beautiful women on earth.

The women in these ads look so content. Ads today just look like the women just vo-dee-oh-doh-doh-ed, as Laverne and Shirley would've said. What happened?

That's why I love vintage. It brings back the days where people were content with small pleasures - 50 cent matinees, playing kickball in the street, and lemonade stands. The smell of burning leaves, and roasting marshmallows. My idea of romance was thinking about holding hands with a boy during a hayride -- mind you, neither of us having the nerve to actually hold hands, but the thought of it made me happy.

So this fall, indulge yourself in something demure. A sweater like Lana would wear, a pillbox hat, whatever makes you feel like a girl. And have a caramel apple, while holding your honey's hand during the hayride. It's good for the soul.

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