Saturday, December 16, 2006

The price of Vanity - "Schoensein heisst Leiden"

At 14, a girl would want no longer to be seen in thick woolen tights that throw wrinkles around the ankles, and trousers were not quite yet considered fashionable, respectable or appropriate. Under stiff Trevira pleats, garters and stocking tops cut into the flesh, bits of metal, plastic and rubber leaving red marks on the skin. Little sympathy from our mothers: grateful we should be to be able to have nylons without having to compromise our respectability, stories about the American and English soldiers, "overfed, oversexed and over here", stockings, cigarettes, chocolates in exchange for what, we wondered and never knew.

Laddered stockings were taken to the haberdashery shop for invisible mending. My mother used to count the ladders - to decide whether it was worth having them mended.

We just used nail varnish, soap, glue or hairspray to deal with ladders.


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