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Giving up hot pants and high heels

Fried Rice
Heidi Rice
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

“Isn’t this cute?” I asked husband-head the other day while going through one of the numerous spring fashion catalogs that have been inundating my mailbox.

“Yeah, really cute,” husband-head agreed enthusiastically. “I like that.”

I thought it was unusual for husband-head to take such an interest in fashion until I realized he was talking about the young buxom blonde model in the photo, not the outfit I was pointing out.



As I sat at the kitchen table and perused through the Victoria’s Secret catalog ” which features clothing that no normal woman could possibly pull off ” I noticed the usual array of short shorts, tight T-shirts and strappy sandals.

“Don’t even be looking at the shoes,” husband-head warned from the living room. “You still have several pair in your closet you haven’t even worn yet!”



He was right.

The last ones I ordered were an adorable pair of 4-inch leopard pumps. They looked really cute in the catalog and just as cute when they arrived. However, they didn’t feel really cute when I tried to walk in them.

“I used to wear high heels all the time!” I complained to husband-head when I tried them on and found myself teetering around the room.

“I remember,” husband-head said with a far-off, dreamy look on his face.

I threw the shoes into the closet and put my comfortable clogs back on.

Another catalog featured the requisite denim mini-skirt ” only this one was all ripped up, which is apparently in style.

“I’d feel like people would think we couldn’t afford to pay our mortgage,” I said out loud to myself.

The shorts seem even shorter than ever this year, reminding me of the hot pants we wore way back when.

The majority of women my age don’t have the legs or the waistline to pull this particular clothing item off. Cellulite is not attractive and the “muffin” look where your belly fat hangs over the waistband can be cute on young teenagers, but on middle-aged women, it’s just kind of gross.

Tank tops also used to be a staple in the spring wardrobe, but now work better covered with a jaunty shirt so that the jiggling back-arm flab isn’t so noticeable. All the catalogs featured the latest bikinis. Lots and lots of bikinis.

“I like that one,” husband-head came behind me and peered over my shoulder.

It was an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow bikini that was only missing the polka dots. And if you remember the old Brian Hyland song, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” from 1960, you have no business wearing this suit.

But once again, husband-head wasn’t looking at the bathing suit at all, he was staring at the exotic bronzed brunette that it was on.

Not that I’m ready for one of those one-piece numbers with the little skirt around the waist, but a tankini which provides a little more coverage is probably more appropriate. And then there’s the coverup ” which is definitely more important than it used to be. While there were fashions in the catalogs that were clearly not suitable for the baby-boomer age group, I found it funny that many of the styles we wore back in the 1970’s were now back in fashion.

Tunic tops and baby doll shirts and dresses. These are handy items now for those of us who do not have the Vivien Leigh “Gone With the Wind” waistlines we once enjoyed.

The catalog models are also wearing football jerseys with the numbers on them and cutoff denim shorts.

Like being 16 all over again …

Then there are the flowing dresses, the smocking, the gauze and, of course, the platform shoes.

“There are some things we just have to surrender to our youth as we get older,” I sighed to husband-head as I closed the catalog.

I figured that along with certain fashions, these things also included cigarettes, illegal green leafy substances, all-night parties, hours spent in the bathroom on big hair and applying lavish makeup.

Now, for me anyway, the important things include taking vitamins, getting 8 hours of sleep, comfortable clothes and shoes and pulling my hair into a ponytail.

Hot pants and high heels are a thing of the past.

Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her website at http://www.heidirice.com.


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