Wednesday, November 23, 2005


My mother used to tell us “righteous lies” when we were kids to get us to accept our lot in life without unnecessary fussing. So knowing how much I envied those kids with curly hair, she used to tell me that if I ate all my bread crusts my hair would be curly too. And knowing how much I longed for black hair she used to tell me that if I ate scorched toast or burnt cookies, my hair would turn black. These are what she later called “righteous lies”. After all there was such a shortage of food it was important not to waste any.

Now I think these “righteous lies” were a quick and efficient way for her to get us to modify our behavior. And I am convinced that if she had told us the truth that we didn’t have much food and that it was important that we ate what we had, we would have just been anxious, worried, and probably too upset to eat food that wasn’t scorched or hard and dry like our bread crusts so often were.

Now, let’s leave that thought and go to another that has more to do with the things we wear. I think it matters what we wear. And I think it must be true that one’s body does conform to what one wears. When I was a kid, a neighbor of ours never wore shoes and her feet were the broadest and flattest feet I have ever seen. My great aunt on the other hand, who joined the WRENS during WWII, wore solid sturdily built leather oxfords her whole life and she had the tiniest, narrowest, delicate-and-lovely-to-look-at feet, even in her old age. She used to say with her Scottish lilt to my children, “For Hae’s sake, you kids. Get them runners off your feet and get some decent shoes on before your feet spread all over Hell’s Half Acre!”

And in looking at the starlets at the Geminis or Junos, I see none that really have a physical build like the stars of so long ago – Marilyn Monroe or Jayne Mansfield. Well truth is, back then young girls wore everything belted. Skirts, dresses, slacks. Always there was a tight ring securing their waists. And bras. Bras of bone and stiffener and plastic that were so uplifting they almost pointed at the ceiling. So did the clothes over time assist in the molding of those hourglass figures or were they born that way? It would seem to me that, at least to a small extent, our bodies over time conform to what we wear. I’m quite certain at my age that the only reason I still have a reasonably defined waist is because I have always worn snug waist-bands or belts.

And, speaking of how our bodies conform, on the other hand, I have seen pictures of bra-less and bare-footed women in third-world countries with breasts that hung down past their waists and feet as wide and flat as flippers. Is that caused from not wearing a bra? Or from not wearing shoes?

Now, agreed, what we wear is hardly a subject worth discussing but I am compelled to think about this when I see the younger generation with nothing securing their waists and nothing supporting their bottoms except a string of floss.

I then think it is time to build a new volume of ‘righteous lies’ (that might or might not be true) ‘cause you know and I know there is no logical way to explain to them that you don’t like the things they are wearing. So perhaps we should tell them that if they don’t pull in their midrifts with something, they will grow up with a big roll of protruding flab hanging from their waists. And if they don’t wear something with support on their bottoms, their buns will end up sagging down to their mid-thighs before they are thirty.

Now I know this all sounds like absolute nonsense but weirder things have turned out to be true. Just last week on the news, researchers have finally discovered and finally admitted, the older generation was right. That one can get a cold from a chill as well as from a virus!

Now go eat your bread crusts and your burnt toast. But if you perfer straight hair, don't be eating any raw carrot curls. And if you remember any 'righteous lies' you were told as a kid, I’d be interested to know what they were. Or if you're creative enough to think of any new ones, I'd like to hear them as well.


Blogger She Dances in Dragon said...

You're right. I have an indentation in my finger where my wedding ring sits. I went almost a year without wearing it (after I'd gained 40 lbs) and still had the indent. 13 years of wearing a moderately loose ring had reshaped my finger. I think belts and bras would have similar results.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

she dances in dragon, thanks for the 'research'. I think with your opinion and mine that's pretty much good enough for someone to take this theory seriously. ;)

12:46 AM  

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