Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nylons & Converse.

So today on our way to the mountains (more to blog on that later)...we stop into Bob's Big Boy. This is a place where all kinds of people gather, but from my experience, tend to lean towards the over 60 crowd.

Bob's Big Boy is a sweet reminder of the past for me. When I walk into the restaurant, I am greeted by a room full of people who look at me with their eyes as if to say "welcome home."

So we walk over to our table, and Haley announces that she needs to use the restroom. "Good idea" I think, and decide to accompany her. We walked in behind an older woman (late 70's) with a REALLY short hair cut. At first, I was slightly fearful that Haley would say "is that a boy or a girl?" but we survived our initial encounter with no gender related questions being asked.

The lady politely allowed us to go into the Handicap stall, which I immediately hesitated since I was raised to always leave that open for the handicapped or elderly, and she fell into one of those categories. But no, she insisted. She knew it would be easier with my "little one."

So we go in. Go through our routine. Haley is finally sitting on the potty where she looks down at the floor of the next stall and says,"Mommy...what is she wearing? Socks?" "I don't know Haley...I can't see them." Now we exchange places and I am sitting down (sorry for the visual image here) and I notice that she has nylons on with her sandals. Hmmm....I remember those. Then I look down at my shoes. Blue Converse. I smiled.

Now this may seem weird, but I thought this was a sweet moment. I remember nylons, cause my mom's generation and the one before it would (until recent years) have never dreamt of wearing anything but nylons. It was the thing to do. So, I pictured this lady as a kid, growing into a woman, putting on nylons, day after day. I wondered if she ever hated them as much as I. (Which then decided she probably didn't since she was still wearing them in her old age.) I thought about her putting them on for her wedding day, her first day at work, her last day at work, her granddkids celebrations, etc. I concluded that she was probably a pretty dignified, traditional, conservative lady who thought that even sandals deserved a good pair of nylons. Granted, these thoughts were coming quick...I wasn't sitting there forever.

Then I thought about my shoes. How they define me. Where I have worn them...where I will wear them. I'm definitely not dignified, and some may question if I am a lady. I'm not too traditional...not too conservative. I think my shoes say I'm fun, practical, and easy-going. I also consider them to fall under my "dressy shoes" category...since I am usually just in a pair of flip-flops.

Now I'm wondering what it is that I will be wearing when I am in my 70's and eating at Bob's Big Boy. Converse? Will I kindly give up the handicap stall for a young mom and her daughter only to hear her kid say, "Hey mom...what is she wearing on her feet?"


Don said...

Great post, Kristi. You and I definitely think the same'd think we were related or something.

Do you remember all the L'eggs eggs Mom used to collect for VBS crafts and stuff? It always seemed so unfair that women would shell out so much cash on hosiery all the time, when guys will wear a pair of holey buck-fifty socks for months. Years! Glad women finally decided to chuck the whole concept (for the most part.)

When I started reading, I though the old lady was wearing hose with tennies, and that Haley was going to make some public announcement. I like the way the story went.

Look forward to hearing about the mountains.

Rick said...

There aren't many Bob's left. Where was this one? In college we had "Big Bob's" and "Little Bob's" both on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. Big was for social gatherings, Little was where we pulled our all-nighters studying for finals. Thanks for taking me back to the "thrilling days of yesteryear."

Stacey said...

K...when I was in high school you HAD to wear nylons...even under your jeans...we wore the jeans so tight that you didn't want your panty lines to show, hence the panty hose (control top of course). If I wanted to wear sandles with my jeans I would cut the feet off of the hose so as to give the appearance of not wearing them but still achieving the no panty line thing. Very complicated, hot, and expensive...but as they knows no pain girls!!!
spent a lot of money,time etc. on getting perms too...not a fashion statement I like to be reminded of when reviewing old photos!

Jon in HB said...

When I moved to Indiana in 6th grade the Bob's Big Boys out were there were called Azar's Big Boy. Same menu, same big boy out front with the Ronald Reagan haircut. This was very troubling to me!

I also remember those L'eggs, Don. My mom would let me play with the big plastic eg container they came in. And I don't remember how many times we would go out some place when I was a kid and mom would have to stop and run in to the market to get some more panty hose, cause her pair had a run in them.

I also remember every time we moved, mom would put some coffee grounds in an old pair an tie it to a shelf in the freezer to keep it from smelling bad.

SingingShrink said...

I was afraid Haley might make some comment about wrinkly old legs, thinking they were socks or something...glad it was just some sentimental reflecting material. Could have been much worse.

The Craftypigs said...

I love this post. Nylons....yeah been there, did that, never again! HATE them with all my passion. But the lady's generation wouldn't dream of leaving her house without them. That would just be tacky. She probably wears them now for "circulation".

Second, I love that you wear converse. You know they are as old as nylons. It's a special breed that wears them, calls them dress shoes. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't pull it off. People would see through that crap and say, "Converse is not you. Don't mess it up for those of us who are."

Third, I love that Haley has no filter. She's my kind of girl. Love her love her love her!

Be true to yourself...always...all your life. That's this post. I agree completely!

discomommy said...

Dude...I have some awesome Big Boy stories to share. That was the hang out in my town (if you weren't cool enough for Winchell's or dorky enough for Rocky Cola.

Sarah said...

Very sweet post Kristi. Thanks for sharing.