Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tab on the tab

At fifteen, I had the run of the neighborhood which consisted of one long, city, square block; actually it was more in the shape of a rectangle. Two blocks (one long and one short) were strictly residential with brick, mostly two and four family flats. The block behind ours was on a very busy main street. There were a few residences on that block, but also commercial properties: a post office, Hill Brothers shoe store (Two for Five, Man Alive!) and a bank on the corner with a large lot where kids played ball at night. There was a Hodge's Chili plant or warehouse on the short street at the top of our block. All I can remember is the creepy black water bugs skittering about on hot summer nights. Next to Hodges was a confectionary which sold everything imaginable. Pickle jars held giant sour pickles. The freezer case displayed my favorite, Cho-Chos, (chocolate push up ice cream). The giant Butterfingers and Mr. Goodbars in the candy case called my name. A shapely eight ounce green glass  bottle of Coke sufficed. I couldn't drink an entire bottle of the new sixteen ounce Tab, no matter how I tried. These are the things I craved and sneaked on the family "tab" which was paid each Friday. Every family ran a bill at the store. Not every kid was convincing enough to be able to purchase these items "on the bill" and get away with it.

This tiny little store also carried suntan shade (seams up the back) nylons that I wore with garter belts. They sold hair bows in every color which I clipped in my big-hair bangs or on the side of my hair. Such was the fashion statement in the mid-sixties.

I always liked to see what new trinket the store was selling. One day I walked in and they were displaying doll-sized sheer tights. I was way beyond playing with dolls, but I wondered why they had this ten inch pair displayed. Who would buy such a thing?

The store owner said, "You won't be buying nylons anymore. You'll want a pair of these. No more garter belts. These are one size fits all."

Then, she stretched those pantyhose thirty six inches long. It was an amazing sight to behold. Since then, panty hose have come in plastic eggs, boxes, bags and in every size, hue and control top constriction. But lately I have noticed how few women wear pantyhose with skirts or dresses. Bare legs in summer, I understand.

Hmmm, have pantyhose gone by the wayside?



Bookie said...

Hosiery other than leggings or patterned somethings seem to be gone. Friends and I notice younger women just don't wear hose. I have given up skirts so I guess I have given up hosiery too. I remember the pain and trouble and snags as so bothersome. I don't miss them.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Pantyhose are old school. My girls told me so. I loved pantyhose when I was young. You could aquire tan legs just by putting them on. After birthing babies I moved on to support hose. When I moved north the hose became tights and now, as I approach the 6th decade of my life ....... it is cuddle duds!!

Joanne Noragon said...

Oh, I remember the progression well. Except, a girdle, not a garter belt. Then skirts got short and in order to bend over the file cabinet we moved on to panty hose. No girdle required!

Sioux Roslawski said...

God, I hope so. I will wear knee-hi stockings, when necessary, but I prefer to go bare-legged.

(I keep my leg hair long, braid it into patterns, and then it looks like I have fancy, patterned pantyhose.)

Val said...

There were times I wanted to take my pantyhose off and throw them by the wayside.

I'm trying to decide if the creepy black water bugs were there for the chili or the confectionary.

Mevely317 said...

Funny you mention this, Linda ... I was just composing a post (an ode) to pantyhose in my head the other day! I, for one, still miss them!
... but then, I find myself missing lots these days. :)

Lynn said...

Just cleaned out one of my drawers and wondered if I'd ever wear those pantyhose again.

Pat Wahler said...

Yep, the trend is definitely to bare legs, even in cold weather. Sadly, my old lady legs don't look very perky when naked. Kind of like the rest of me.

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