Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wrecking my stockings at the school dance

"I wanna wreck my stockings in some juke box dive."

When Joni Mitchell sang about the impulse to dance, I understood completely. I wrecked many pairs of stockings too. This hosiery destruction started at our high school dances and went on to the all-night dances at UBC.

Nylons were expensive and they didn't last. I bought my first ones in the shop where I had a part time job. They seemed to develop runs as soon as I put them on, long before I made it onto a dance floor.

Sometimes we wore them runs and all. Nail polish served as a run stopper -- any colour we had on hand.

Paint a blob of that on the run and away you went. Later it stuck to your leg, and you had a blob of colour on leg as well as pantyhose.

Pantyhose had just come out; that's why we still sometimes called them stockings. We danced in stocking feet, and soon wore holes in our nylons.

When I worked in Woolworth's and they told me I had to wear them, I made up an elaborate lie about being allergic to nylon. On what they were paying me, I was not going to invest in their overpriced hosiery.

Amazingly, I got away with it. While the other girls spent their earnings on Woolworth's nylons, all summer I worked the till in bare legs, saving my money for university.

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