You may wonder why we’re wearing house dresses. You think we’re too young for these outfits, don’t you?
Yes, we are.
I cannot remember if I’ve blogged about this particular tradition before. Indulge me if I repeat myself.
Years ago I was complaining to my Montana Friend Kathy about the expectations placed upon women of our age. We had to stay slim, have arm muscles and flat abs, wear cute clothes, color our hair, blah, blah, blah.
Our grandmothers, I explained, had it easy. They let their hair go gray, wore it in permed curls, covered their expanding (and expected) girth in comfy house dresses, wore stockings up to their knees, comfy shoes and sat with their knees apart.
What was our generation doing wrong? I wailed. Why couldn’t we let ourselves go and not be judged? Our grandmothers had been so smart!!!
I didn’t know my Montana Friend Kathy had absorbed this particular venting of mine until three years ago, when my daughter-in-law was pregnant with my first grandchild. Kathy presented me with a gorgeous gift bag filled with…a house dress and knee-high stockings.
She admitted she bought herself one, too (at Walmart, where they are still sold) so nothing would do except to have a party and wear them.
Which we did, along with Montana Kathi (not the same person as Montana Kathy) and Dancing Mandolin Player. Montana Kathi found a vintage house dress in an antique shop, but wasn’t quite sure if she wanted to be photographed in the darn thing.
We drank a lot of wine on the dock that year. Gourmet appetizers, swimming, laughter…and we sat with our knees apart, because our grandmothers did.
Last year we did it again, only this time we talked my French Friend Janou into wearing her aunt’s antique French house dress and attending. And we wore our grandmothers’ jewelry and brought old photos.
We drank a lot of margaritas on the dock. And yes, there was gourmet food, swimming, laughter and we sat with our knees apart.
This year we did it again. We toasted the generations before us and we ate dinner from my mother-in-law’s china.
And we love our house dresses.
I think we need to start a trend. Ladies, go to Walmart, buy a house dress, put on your grandmother’s costume jewelry and give me a call. We’ll make ourselves comfortable on the dock and talk until sunset.