OCTOBER 25, 1979. Sense and Nonsense

The panty-hose has to be one of the greatest inventions in recent history. It replaced the stocking, (both of them) and all the contrivances formerly used to hold them in place. Many of us remember the garter belt (shudder!) Their lumpy fasteners ruined our comfort and our silhouettes. They weren’t that reliable either. The well dressed ladies of the pre-pantyhose era always kept a safety pin handy in case of garter belt failure!

“Crooked seams” and “runs below the knees”. Those dreaded occurrences were a constant peril to the women who bought, wore and cherished the now obsolete nylon stockings. Thank goodness they are a thing of the past! Pantyhose do develop runs, but not as easily nor as “shocking” in appearance as the old nylon stockings did. I had thought that I had suffered all the embarrassment known to women who have ever worn stockings. “Garter belt failure”, “crooked seams” and “runs below the knee” were the bane of my youth. In contrast, my pantyhose years had developed within me, a sense of security. I felt I presented a reasonably neat, poised, and sometimes an even well-dressed appearance to the world. That is – until one day last summer.

After parking the truck in a hotel parking lot, my friend and I proceeded uphill to the sidewalk. The small town seemed fairly quiet that morning, there was hardly anyone on the street. The drapes were drawn on all but a few of the hotel windows. It was going to be a hot day. I felt a trifle overdressed in my short sleeved knit, wide-legged pantsuit, sandals and short nylon “knee-high” stockings. However I had dressed hurriedly that morning because of an early appointment. As I approached the sidewalk I suddenly noticed I had two right feet!

An empty nylon foot dangled down beside my own. “A nylon knee-high must have become trapped in my pant leg during the last wash,” I thought. . No problem. I casually glanced around and then bent over, intending to quickly whip out the small piece of material and then unobtrusively place it in my purse.

Horrors! The thing had grown! It was long – yards of it! What to do? Stuff it back in?? It was too late for that!  Still bent over, I spun around in a circle, clutching the thing as one would hang onto a snake. There was no place to hide!

“Is anyone coming? Can you see anyone?” In a panic, I pleaded with my friend. She did not answer. She appeared to be helpless – eyes watering, body shaking! She held her hand over her mouth, but little sounds were escaping…?

I managed to retrieve the last of the seemingly endless stretch of brown nylon from my pant leg. I was sure that at least half the people in town must have observed my frantic efforts as I struggled with my uninvited pair of pantyhose!

I do think pantyhose are a great invention, but that particular pair were resting unceremoniously in a garbage can, when I last saw them.


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