My Mother was a good woman.
When people ask me to describe her the easiest thing to do was to ask them to draw a line somewhere between Barbara Streisand and Shirley MacLaine.
Yes, she was really out there.
When she was in the room you knew it.
Good woman yes… but not quite the nurturing motherly type unless of course your hair was messy or your shirt needed tucking in.
In fact, it was only recently when I was able to remember when she had taken the time to nurture and educate her daughter on in a subject matter which she would carry with me through her entire life.
And that was how to put on a pair of pantyhose.
It was about 1970, shortly after pantyhose hit the store shelves. I was lucky enough to have avoided the age of nylons and garter belts.
And so… my Mother gently guided me through the secrets on how a proper lady puts on her pantyhose.
Guiding me step by step, she first told me to carefully scrunch up the entire length of one leg.
Then slowly starting with the tip of the toe you worked your way to the ankle.
This was looking to be easier than I thought it was going to be.
Of course… that’s when things start to get interesting.
After the ankle you start up the calf and stretch it as best as you can until you reach the knee.
Once the knee is covered you carefully continue to stretch the tightening mesh up the thighs.
This involved some unanticipated unladylike body contortions, and to my Mother’s credit, she didn’t wince once as she intently watched on.
If you are successful and are then able to get the pantyhose to reach your waist, you have then successfully completed your task.
If you are not able to get the panty hose over your butt then you are a failure and must start again at the ankles and must once again begin stretching the nylon up the length of your legs and torso while not getting a run in your stocking.
It was beyond my teenage scope of thinking why women would subject themselves to this torture each day.
And then in my 20’s mother introduced me to support hose and was altogether happy to keep me well stocked with a constant and abundant supply of them.
I wore them regularly and I wore them well.
All these years later I am happy to report that my legs have remained virtually free from varicose veins.
Thank you Mother.
You taught me well.
Your Daughter is most grateful.