how an endangered species list develops - and more words of wisdom from Mildred, remember her?

If I decide I like a particular cosmetic, it will be discontinued within 13 months, or the manufacturer will be acquired or go out of business.

If I like a particular style of tights - same thing.

Or my size will disappear, or at least disappear from my price range. No joke, when was the last time you saw a ladies' shoe in a AAA width? Or a ladies' hat in numerical sizes?

Am I a harbinger of retail doom? An old friend who wishes to remain unnamed has tried to reassure me by claiming that after Ali MacGraw wore clothes by Villager in Love Story, that company had had it. Oh, she admitted, it lingered, but it lingered in pain. And then there was one hell of a Going Out of Business Sale. I didn't find this comforting - I don't want places to lose cachet and then lose money and then close their doors. I want them to be there when I need, well, anything. Otherwise I'd have to build a loom.

And now fabrics and notions are on the endangered species list. I'm afraid to like stuff. Or, like a certain drugstore brand of makeup, I pro-actively buy multiples, knowing my choice will disappear, and then I decide I like something else better and am stuck with - let's call it emergency back-up makeup. There's a lifetime supply on hand.

Is it possible that the elderly homeless are so badly dressed because all the stores and companies they knew have gone out of business?

On a happier note, here are some rules and fashion pronouncements that I learned/heard from Mildred, she of the muscular arms and whiskey-sour lunches:

                 Only sluts wear half-slips.

                 No matter how hot it is, in this office 
                 there will be no sandals, no open-toes, 
                 and no bare legs.
                 Mascara is not daytime makeup.

Well, times change, some of the time at least.
some things don't change --
where's his other hand?
and where will it be if she
doesn't take that step forward?

And here are some of Mildred's rules for general health and safety. Mom said Mildred was dead right about the watch and the coat. I didn't discuss the drink thing with Mom.

                  A lady does not wear diamonds during the day or 
watches in the evening, 
so if some chump wants to buy you a diamond watch, 
that's enough to tell you his life history.

 If you've never heard of a drink, 
don't try it for the first time on a date. 

Don't let a man help you on with your coat. 
If he won't let go of  it, take a step forward
 as your hands reach the sleeves, 
and shrugit on by yourself, 
with another step forward and to your open side.


  1. Ha! This happened to hubs and he just doesn't understand how Clarks shoes no longer makes his favorite comfy casual un.sand shoes. He is holding out but I am getting very tempted to throw his rag tag pair away...just can't pull the trigger yet.

    1. This! Every October Himself trudges over to Brooks Brothers and inquires after a Shetland crewneck. Which of course they stopped selling at least 15 years ago.At this point they probably think he's some kind of nutty over-age re-enactor.

    2. I have similar luck. And then the re-iteration (if it happens) is usually inferior-Cece s, case in point.
      I have become a Beautypedia fan after reading Paula Begoun's books years ago, and now console myself by replacing my old "perfect" discontinued make up with a new "best" buy find. I have just wrested myself away from the same mascara I have used for 30 years and am really happy with my new find.
      I know and have adhered religiously to the watch dictum for years, but wonder if it is still relevant, as I would have to think it is more discreet to glance at a watch than it is to blatantly check one's inappropriately ubiquitous cellphone.
      I have never heard of the coat one, but fear I am past worrying about that situation arising.
      I love the drink advice and will pass that on to my children, and will include business meeting with date.
      As much as times have changed, I still tell my children that women were only allowed to wear trousers to work at my job commencing in 1989-90. And, I think they were only allowed to start wearing pants at J Crew about 6 or 7 years ago. Really.
      I can only imagine what Mildred would think of the fact that most women would consider a half slip as alien as a crinoline : )

    3. Oh, Mildred had very strong opinions on drinking. She was in favor of it. See earlier post in which she featured largely.

      I wear joke watches when I think I'm going to need one - the pink plastic blinking thing from a Secret Santa, the Timex Large Type Limited Edition are some favorites. They aren't really Event wear, but there are fewer and fewer Events these days.

  2. Prophet of doom, haha. MLane is similarly fond of Brooks Shetland crews and did find a nice heathery one on his last annual Boston foray to the store. Usually this visit is arranged by me when the NOT noniron khakis fray at the hems, which he assures me "no one" notices. We are not in the store long enough for me to look at any women's things.

    1. Ah. Perhaps we should try Boston on our way up for the Opening of the Fried Clam Season.

      I look at all the guys at Himself's every-5-years college reunion, and I think to myself, "See? Ya buy good, it lasts."


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