It was the spring of 1961 and Easter was just around the corner. All the girls were chattering about the new outfits they’d be getting to wear to church on Easter Sunday.
And it wouldn’t be just the usual spring clothes. Oh no!
After all, the girls were in the 5th grade now, so they’d be wearing “grown-up” fashions. And for the first time – they’d wear NYLONS and “SQUASH HEELS”, which were the latest craze in footwear!
Crystal thought it all sounded pretty wonderful. Honestly, who wouldn’t feel like a full-fledged woman in the attire described by these preteen fashionistas? Besides, she was tired of wearing ankle socks and looking like a “baby”.
That evening, she broached the subject at the dinner table . . .
Crystal: “All the girls are going to wear nylons and shoes with little heels this Easter.”
Her father: “Absolutely not!”
He added that she was much too young; there was plenty of time.
Her Mom looked at her with a touch of sympathy . . . but Crystal knew there was no way her mother would disagree with her father on parenting policy.
Crystal was desolate. She could clearly picture herself looking like a little kid next to all the other girls. She did need an Easter outfit, however, and so a few days later – her mother took her dress shopping at a local department store. Their second stop was a shoe store, where the salesclerk brought out a selection of flats for Crystal to try.
Suddenly, Crystal’s mother asked the clerk:
“Can you show us some squash heels?”
Crystal could not believe her ears. Her mother smiled and motioned for her to try them on. Crystal slipped her feet into a pair of black patent leathers, accented at the toe with twisted leather trim and a little gold embellishment with a mabe pearl center. Oh, they were gorgeous and those little heels were divine. Within moments, her Mom had paid for them and they were back at the department store. Crystal was puzzled, at first, and then shocked to see her mother heading straight for the hosiery counter!
Crystal: “Oh Mum! Squash Heels AND nylons?”
Her Mom: “Well, you can’t wear socks with THOSE shoes!”
Crystal: “What about Dad? What will he say?”
Her Mom: “Well, I’m making this decision. I will talk to him.”
Crystal was touched and very grateful. Her mother understood and was going to bat for her!
Crystal jumped into her new dress and then carefully put on her nylons (wearing a pair of cotton gloves just as her Mom always did to avoid snagging them.) The tissue paper rustled as she uncovered her pretty new shoes. She loved the clicking sound the heels made as she walked….
She arrived at church early and when she entered, the scene was awash with colorful new hats and dresses. She walked down the aisle and quickly spotted some of her friends who gestured for her to join them.
After a few seconds, Crystal noticed that her friend, Julie, was wearing ankle socks and flat shoes. A further glance revealed that Pauline was, too! In fact, Crystal was astounded to discover that hardly any of the girls were wearing nylons and squash heels!!!
Or perhaps wishful thinking. Either way, it seemed as if there were lots of parents who had not given the green light for the “grown-up” wardrobe.
Crystal learned a couple of things that day —-
* That she should never again allow peer pressure to influence her desires.
* That her mother loved her very much.
A few notes . . .
When the events described above occurred:
* Crystal was close to 11 years old.
* Her mother was 32.
* Pantyhose had only recently been invented (in 1959) and were not yet widely available. Ladies wore sheer stockings or “nylons” until pantyhose became very popular during the 1960’s.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!