Monday, April 21, 2008

Girdle shopping

Yikes! This two inch insect is between the glass and screen of my sliding patio door. It's doing some moves I haven't seen since about 1962. Yes, this nymph-stage* insect seems to be trying on girdles in the fitting room of the downtown Miller and Paine store.

Flashback to the true full-service department store of the early Sixties before barcodes were invented. Mom is trying on girdles in the fitting room. I wish I could remember if the lingerie department was on the second or the third floor. I'm pushing the stroller back and forth in that small space to keep my little sister from fussing. My lucky brother is at pre-K summer class in the lab school of the dark, old university building, Bancroft Hall.

Mom is struggling into "living" girdles, panty girdles, Formfit, Playtex, and Maidenform girdles in front of the adjustable three-part mirror. Struggling on that muggy June morning for want of talcum powder to ease the squeeze. The saleslady pops in often to check on Mom's progress, and to bring different sizes.

We must get back to campus to collect my brother. No girdle is perfect, but Mom chooses one. The saleslady asks for Mom's charge-a-plate. She sets the credit card between the teeth in the lower jaw of some cross between an alligator and a three-hole punch. After aligning the sales forms and multiple carbon sheets, the saleslady woohvumps the handle of the alligator punch.

Why today's insect is struggling with its orange legs all akimbo is anybody's guess. I haven't worn a girdle since junior high myself when I weighed all of seventy-five pounds. I was skinnier than this insect!

*I'm just guessing it is the nymph stage of an insect. Please comment with any identification suggestions!

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