My mother worked for Haines for years.
And as I’m sure you’re aware, nothing beats a great pair of L’Eggs.
I grew up with a plethora of free pantyhose. Not that this mattered to me, of course. Pantyhose? Who wore those, anyway? Well, I do. Now. But then? You might as well have offered me unlimited prune juice.
My mother is the knower of all things hose-related. How to put them on without twisting one leg into a tourniquet (the toe is the key), how to pull them up over the ribs to avoid waist-line-dig, how to wash them and clean your nails at the same time...
It is spring again, and we are sitting around the table. The sliding glass door leading out to the deck is open. Too early for bugs, too late for frostbite, the air comes into the room like a welcomed visitor, someone coming in with coffee cake or a funny friend.
My mother has given one of her nieces, a teenager several years older than me, several pair of nylons. Surprisingly, she is happy about this.
“You know how to put these on correctly, right?”
Teresa nods. “My mom told me.”
My mother nods, approving.
Teresa looks thoughtful. “Aunt Midge, can I ask you something?”
My mother looks at her, cocks her head to one side. I’m listening.
Teresa blushes softly. “Do you wear underwear under nylons?”
My mother smiles. She loves these questions. “They used to just be stockings, you know. You had to wear garters to hold them up. But now they’re pantyhose, have a cotton crotch and everything. So no, you don’t have to wear underwear. That’s what the panty in the hose is for.”
Teresa looks both incredulous and embarrassed.
My mother leans across the table, puts her hand over her niece’s.
“Honey,” she says, “you don’t want to wear too many layers down there.” She leans back, satisfied with her answer.
She rises, heads toward the fridge for the cheese tray. “Yep,” she says, over her shoulder. “You gotta let that stuff breathe.”