Monday, April 07, 2008

Along Came Poly

I remember when polyester made its big debut. I was still in elementary but I will purposely be vague on when that was....

My grandmother and my mother were estatic. No ironing! The bright colors didn't fade! It was so versatile! If you wanted a seam - just sew one in!

My grandmother liked to sew. I hesitate to call her a seamstress because that would imply she was a professional and was...well...good at it.

I suppose if I had to heat my iron up on my wood fired stove in order to get that certain crispness to my clothes, I would empathize with the rapture that polyester inspired in my grandmother. She began cranking out hot pink, turquoise blue, not-of-this-world green and burn-your-eyes-out yellow pants with matching vests. Let's just say that I was less then thrilled. I should have been grateful but, unfortunately, my fashion sense was already dialed up full blast. I knew that the clothes my grandmother was cranking out like moonshine from a still were a huge Fashion Don't.

I just didn't see how indestructible clothing could be viewed as great. Yes, I suppose it had it had its applications and probably I was wearing early Kevlar and didn't even know I was bullet-proof. But let me tell you another story about it:

About 10 years ago, my hometown of OKC was putting in a new major highway. It involved bulldozing around a lake. One day on the work site, a dirt mover came upon a car in the water. The car was from the 1960's. It was traced to a doctor who lived in town. The story was that his wife and daughter had left the house one icy, winter evening, never to be seen again. Although the doctor claimed that the marriage was good, he was always viewed with a little suspicion. Finally, he was cleared and people just assumed the the wife and daughter started a new life somewhere. Until their car rose from the water.

Their skeletons were intact inside the vehicle. They had been lying undiscovered in this watery grave for almost 30 years. The daughter's polyester outfit was LIKE BRAND NEW.

Moral of the story? I don't want my clothes to outlive me.


  • That is an era (I say error) in American history we need to forget. But did you know a lot of the "no iron khakis" for men and the shirts are polyester. The industry has definitely done their homework over the years.

    And that Dr. story was cool. I could use a link t the whole story.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/07/2008 11:54 AM  

  • You are hysterically funny! I had one of those grandma-made outfits of my own!! I was STYLIN' in my perma-seam pants and vest!!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/07/2008 6:22 PM  

  • Oh My God! That's hysterical! I can totally picture it.

    I had a bright pink pantsuit made out of indestructible polyester, in the third grade. It was my Easter outfit (we didn't go to church but I got a nice outfit anyway) and I wore it to school on Monday, and Michael Giaquinto pushed me and ripped a hole in the knee the size of a half-dollar. I cried and cried.

    So much for indestructible. You can't burn it, it won't degrade, but don't let it near asphalt for the love of god.

    By Blogger Candy, at 4/08/2008 2:40 PM  

  •'s what's for dinner. Oops! Wrong commercial!

    By Anonymous apathy lounge, at 4/08/2008 8:52 PM  

  • :::::shutters::::: Leisure Suits.

    By Blogger Brenda, at 4/09/2008 5:14 PM  

  • I so want to be wrinkle-free and never fade. I need polyester skin!

    By Anonymous V-Grrrl, at 4/12/2008 5:38 PM  

  • Am I totally twisted that I thought this post was about the polygamist compound? (It's definitely saturated the news lately.)

    By Anonymous trish, at 4/15/2008 8:03 AM  

  • Whoa! Quite a visual!

    By Blogger Arabella, at 4/15/2008 9:19 AM  

  • Oh. My. God.

    By Anonymous apathy lounge, at 4/17/2008 9:18 PM  

  • Forget about polygamy, how about polyamory? Now that would be an interesting column.

    I had a shirt back in the 60's that I swear was made of the same material as used as the seat and back on those old fold-up aluminum chairs. It would literally stand up by itself.

    It's probably still out there somewhere today, choking a Ridley sea turtle.

    By Blogger Tank, at 4/18/2008 8:41 AM  

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