Friday, April 26, 2013

It's Fashion Friday!: Granny's Got It Right

Wasn't she beautiful?

      It seems that as we get older we start to accumulate a lot of loss. I’ve been trying to approach this in a positive way by celebrating lives. Last Saturday, the 20th of April, was the anniversary of seven years of remembering the lives of five talented, greatly loved, opera singers that I attended Indiana University with. This Saturday, the 27th of April, is the anniversary of 10 years of remembering the life of my real Grandma (as opposed to my step-Grandma), Janet Lawrence. She was a pretty fun, silly, and stylish lady, so it seems appropriate to dedicate a Fashion Friday to her.
"You like that?"
            No one’s perfect. She had some really odd habits and quirks that we can learn from as things not to do. One of those things would be the judgmental way in which she would let you know she didn’t approve of what you might be thinking about buying. “Oh, you don’t like that, do you?” she would say in a disgusted manner. Or, “You’d get sick of that.” Look, if you think something I’m about to purchase is ugly, or I am making a terrible, TERRIBLE decision and purchasing some hideous pants that people are going to secretly take pictures of with their phones and spread all over the internet, the appropriate reaction is, “Sarah, I love you, but no. Put that back. That is ugly. Absolutely not. Have you lost your mind?” Any combination of the aforementioned statements may be combined with actually prying the item from my strong little hands, depending on how attached I am to said item. My friends Alicia and Beth are experts at this. I just call this being a good friend. I’m happy to return the favor.
            Another odd habit she had was a weeeee bit o’ kleptomania. Not big things. Oh no. Not even noticeable things. Forks from hotels. Or knives. Later in life, it was scissors. Lots and LOTS of scissors. That may have actually been a side effect of the medications she was on for Parkinson's. Ugly disease. Strange medications. And at that time, they weren't so great at treating it. Apparently, we had something in common – not the Parkinson's, but an odd habit. We both liked to buy things at TJ Maxx….. and then return them. Yes, I’m ashamed to say it, I am one of those people who buy things and take them back. I only do it at TJ Maxx. My mom only recently let me know that this was a habit we shared, which leads me to believe that it may also be a medication side effect. (We are/were on some similar medications  - mine for migraine, hers for Parkinson's… same chemicals…. Odd isn’t it?) OR it is genetic. And I am wired to be nuts. BOTH are more than probable. It would have been nice to know sooner, so I could have felt a little bit less crazy, or at least less alone in my craziness.
Do you SEE those green wedges?!
            I really did enjoy it when she would say things like “I guess they couldn’t afford the fabric to finish that,” when people wore things that were trashily too small or showed off bits that no one wanted to see. She was one of the proprietary old guard. I loved going with her to see Edie, who did her hair once a week. (Edie always had candy for me) Did your Grandma wear a plastic bag on her head when it rained? Mine did. They all did, all the ladies that went to see Edie. Well, really it was a bonnet. She only used a plastic bag if the rain hat wasn’t handy. You would NEVER see her leave the house in her pajamas. She would be appalled to see something like that. She wore clip-on earrings and scarves, and I’m pretty sure I know where my shoe habit came from.
            Grandma did what she wanted. She was opinionated and strong as an ox. There are blogs outthere dedicated to older people’s fashion. And it’s a generally accepted opinion that when you get to be “old” you can do whatever you want, and dress how you want. Shouldn’t you do that all the time though? Life is for the living, right? Why WAIT until you’re old to live it? (Granted, I’m not endorsing you deciding to run around half dressed NOW, if THAT was your plan… I’m assuming you were planning something at least semi-tasteful.) Don’t wait. Wear those crazy shoes under your jeans tomorrow. Put your diamonds
She wore her diamonds everyday.
So should you. Along with a smile.
on to go to the Laundromat. Derby hats are like Derby pie, just as good any other day. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes...I remember her well--your Grandma and my Aunt Janet. Living almost around the corner for my first 13 years I remember her wonderful style. It gave me hope for better mom was one of her best friends but didn't pick up that fashion sense at all. My Aunt Janet always smelled so delicious and her skin was so incredibly soft and flawless. She inspired awe in my pre-adolescent life. Thanks for honoring her on Fashion Friday...she would have loved that!