Phyllis and I had been at it all weekend. It was her first weekend home from college in 1965 and she was on top of Daddy’s good list. Daddy liked his kids a lot better when he hadn’t seen us lately, so Phyllis was basking in the warmth of his rare approval. Since I still lived at home and was a smart-aleck, I was definitely was not on his good list. His ingratiating treatment really grated on my nerves, since he was gracious by proxy, ordering me to, “Do this for Phyllis. Get Phyllis some more cake. Stop what you’re doing and kiss Phyllis’s behind again.” Of course, Phyllis was soaking all this up since only two weeks before, she had been one of the peons who had to “Get so and so some more cake, Kiss so and so’s behind.”
We took a few hours off to sleep and let Phyllis’s behind get a little rest from all that kissing and picked up the fight where we left off. Sunday morning found me in a particularly bad mood knowing Phyllis would switch into her “sweet and precious persona” as soon as she stepped into the sanctuary, while “mean Phyllis ” recharged to be unleashed on me as soon as we got home. For good measure, I insulted her again just before going in to take a shower. She pounded on the bathroom door, demanding the girdle she had hung to dry on a towel rod. I got out of the tub, stripped the girdle from the rod, and flung it out the bathroom door, and yelled at her, “Here’s your darned old girdle! It’s wet anyway!”
This was all it took. Phyllis flew to Mother, squalling so hard, she couldn’t even tell Mother anything except how horrible I had been to her. Mother finally calmed her enough to find out what was wrong, and Phyllis blubbered out, “She said my girdle’s wet. Boo hoo hoo!”
Cousin Kat was proud of being “conservative.” She pinched pennies beyond belief, though she could afford to buy whatever she needed. Should she be given clothes or household items, she’d use only what she absolutely had to have, and sell the rest in a rummage sale. Her wardrobe was a mish-mash of parts of various outfits. She might wear a red and white striped sweater vest with a blue and pink polka-dot pullover and heavy gray corduroy skirt or green wool pants with knee socks and loafers or high-top brown boots. On cool days, she always wore a black wool hat or wool scarf. Despite her strange get-ups, she cut an appealing figure as she darted like a little bird along the trails of her little mountain village late into her eighth decade. Related to everyone there, she was totally comfortable with her life, and well-thought of by all who knew her. She worked up into her seventies when she retired to care for her ancient mother and her own ailing husband. After their deaths, she sat with the elderly in their homes, many of whom were younger than she.Cousin Kat was proud of her trim figure. We were getting ready to go to church with her on one visit, when she asked Mother,” Do you wear a girdle?”
“Most of the time I don’t.” Mother answered.
“Well, how do you keep your panties up?” Cousin Kat inquired.
I don’t believe I’d ever heard that particular question before. Maybe she was taking her frugality too far!
Phyllis and I had been at it all weekend. It was her first weekend home from college in 1965 and she was on top of Daddy’s good list. Daddy liked his kids a lot better when he hadn’t seen us lately, so Phyllis was basking in the warmth of his rare approval. Since I still lived at home and was a smart-aleck, I was definitely was not on his good list. His Continue reading