in the spring of 1989, at a Smith's grocery store's pharmacy waiting area, I had the misfortune of sitting next to an old codger. he was dressed in his Sunday best, even though it was Tuesday. he was wearing his permanently pressed polyester pants in the classic 1935 fashion--waist line high enough to nudge his man boobs, but not close enough to chafe.
I on the other hand epitomized the modern 1989 style of fashion. I had my classic Levi's ripped at the left knee with just enough strands of jean fiber hanging from the gaping hole. I was wearing a red wool cardigan, last two buttons buttoned, sleeves pushed up 3/4, white cotton t-shirt underneath. top that off with a mismatched set of earrings (one diamond stud, one large hoop) and pumps. yeah...vogue.
mr. codger took one look at me and declared, not muttered, but declared: "I wish people today wouldn't dress like vagabonds."
so, fast forward to 2009. lately, walking through Meijer makes me feel like the words "mrs. codger" are tattooed across my forehead, in a very neat and tidy font, of course.
things are getting a little scary my flannel-pajama-bottom-wear-them-as-if-jeans friends. you are not fooling anyone into thinking that hot pink, drawstring flannel, with cartoon monkey faces, is actually day wear inspired by New York fashion week. but even the jim-jam attired patrons, or the winter coat over bathrobe patrons, or any other fashion "don'ts" that saunter across my Meijer aisle path, none of them are as bad as my experience yesterday.
just finished my checking-out exhaustion with chatty cathy cashier. she wished me "have a great day, and go Red Wings!" (they lost the Stanley Cup later that night). with that send off from her check-out lane, I pushed my cart to the right, and fell in line behind a woman that I guessed to be 67 years old.
her blondish hair was styled in a low pony tail, when she turned around to check that she hadn't left anything at the check-out lane, I saw she was wearing make-up, wore earrings with matching bead necklace. she turned back around, still in front of me, when I noticed her outfit...
I realized her black linen shirt was see through. I could plainly see her black bra straps and her pale skin through the shirt.
my eyebrows raised, surprised that a 67 year old with a non-hard body would be so daring. just after that surprise, I noted that she must have sat in something, because her white linen capri pants had a light blue-ish stain on her left bum cheek. a few more steps closer, made me cringe. it wasn't a stain...it was a bruise...showing through her unlined linen capri pants, that were intended to be worn with a swimsuit or at least very white, very concealing, underwear!
yet there she was without panty lines, without the obvious solid white underwear color beneath the linen...it was all her--all na-tur-al! quickly diverting my eyes, I gave a sigh of relief that I was just walking behind her, can't imagine the macabre peep show that could have been forced on me if I had been walking toward her.
the morning conversation I had with my husband while he dressed for work came to mind; "It's dress down friday at work!" he exclaimed.
apparently, 67 year old linen-lady got the memo.