Sunday, November 12, 2006

What Would Miss Manners Say?

It’s been a busy weekend. Slag’s grandmother passed away last week and her funeral was yesterday in a small town about two hours away. I didn’t know her well. I’d only met her a few times, and long after her hearing loss and frailty made it difficult to get to know her as a person. From the stories I’ve heard though, she was quite a pistol in her younger years. Slag says she told him the first dirty joke he ever heard. She sounds like a pretty cool Grandma to me.

Funerals are always sad to me, but this one wasn’t as sad as many. She lived a long, healthy life. She died at age 89, peacefully and without pain, with her daughter holding her hand. I couldn’t hope for anything better for anyone. Slag’s Mom arranged a lovely funeral and all the family were there. I got to meet some previously unmet relatives. The weather was sunny and clear. Everything went off without a hitch. All in all, it was a very nice day.

Except for one thing. The most vile, insidious contraption ever invented by modern man, a thing so horrible that I can’t imagine why we tolerate its existence. It is ….the control top pantyhose.

If you’ve ever worn them, I know you will agree with me. Control top pantyhose are the most god-awful garment ever invented. Oh, they’re almost bearable while standing up, but that’s just a ruse. In the upright position they substantially reduce the blood flow to the lower half of the body, but not enough to cause permanent injury.

It’s the sitting position where they reveal their true character. They just don’t know how to give a little. They won’t compromise. No, they retain their control no matter what. Therefore, in the sitting position, the waistband effectively turns the normal female body into two sausage-like segments, the lower sausage being completely contained within the legs and feet of the hose while the upper sausage spills out over the waistband with wild abandon. Logically, I should try to spend as much time standing as possible. Sitting hurts, so don’t sit.

That makes perfect sense except for one thing. Almost any outfit that requires control top pantyhose will also need shoes with heels to avoid looking frumpish. I haven’t yet reached the age where I don’t care if I look frumpish, so my poor feet get crammed into non-sensible shoes every time the pantyhose come out. For me, the heels are never extremely high, but they’re high enough to force all the blood out of my toes and cause my feet to go numb after about 15 minutes of standing. I end up teetering around the room, trying not to fall off my shoes, while at the same time trying to look elegant and fashionable. And that’s really hard if you can’t feel your feet.

So there you can see the dilemma. Yesterday, I tried to achieve a happy medium. I’d sit for a while and then stand for a while and then walk around for a while, trying to keep the blood circulating through the various parts of my lower body so as to avoid a case of gangrene that might require amputation of a toe or a foot.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. “Stop whining and just wear the pantyhose without the control top,” you’d say. “It couldn’t possibly make that much difference.”

Yeah, well, maybe twenty years ago it didn’t make much difference on my 21-year-old, size-5 butt. But on my 41-year-old, slightly-larger-sized butt, it does make a difference. A substantial difference. The control top is not optional. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. Let us never speak of this again.

So I made it all the way through the funeral service without passing out from lack of blood flow or breaking an ankle. I was proud of myself, a little cocky even. Wearing something besides stone-washed denim didn’t have to be so traumatic, did it? Maybe I was turning over a new leaf or something. Maybe I could be fashionable and elegant more often. Maybe I could wear a skirt to work once in a while. Yeah, maybe I could.

But then we got into the Tahoe for the drive to the cemetery, and it was all over. I couldn’t take it anymore. My jeans were right there in the back seat within arms reach, and I broke down. The comfort of all that cotton was just too tempting. I had to have that soft denim against my flesh RIGHT NOW. I totally caved.

I grabbed the jeans and shucked the shoes, the skirt and the hose right there in the funeral procession, with Slag asking incredulously “What are you doing??” as if it weren’t completely obvious. Clearly, I was getting mostly naked in a funeral procession. Was that inappropriate? I wonder what Miss Manners would say. Dunno, but I bet Slag’s grandma wouldn’t have minded a bit.


Blogger Cheesy said...

Oh screw Ms. Manners.... she wore thigh highs and/ or rolled knee highs... I have felt your pain.... and bow to you for lasting as long as you did!
Grandma was grinning down on you I'm sure!!

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember a male friend asking me once what could possibly be so bad about wearing pantyhose. I told him to picture wearing a condom from his waist on down to the tippy tip of his toes for 10 hours straight... 'Nuff said.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

Oh wow, my condolences to Slag. He didn't say anything. you, on the other hand, I say: Oh no, you di'int! You are such a nut, but it sounds like Grandma wouldn't have minded a bit. I had my ex buried in his crazy-colored "lucky" underwear (under nice clothes of course) as a parting inside joke. It's good to remember the person's sense of humor. :)

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL...this is just too funny! I was already laughing at the sausage metaphor. But changing in the funeral procession was the topper. I would say 'I feel your pain'...but I don't. Never had the opportunity to wear the control top pantyhose. Or ANY pantyhose. And we'll keep it that way, thank you very much!
Condolences to hubby. And best wishes to you for a long life lived in well-worn denim!

7:43 PM  
Blogger ian said...

I love denim. I live for denim. I live in denim. Rarely I love in denim. Uh, strike that last. :P


12:23 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

cheesy, I bet you're right. I bet she wore knee highs with a skirt!

jazz, Next time you should volunteer to buy him a pair of extra large L'Eggs, so he can experience it for himself.

anne, I love the lucky underwear. I bet he was laughing his butt off up there.

em, Thank goodness we were in a semi-tall vehicle and nobody but Slag got to see the "quick change," as least as far as I know....

ian, I'm totally with you. Denim is man's greatest invention. I'd die without it.

11:49 AM  

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