Dear Grandparenting: I’ve been discovered at 78! Suddenly my granddaughters can’t get enough of me and my clothes, and they keep coming back for more.
I always had trouble letting go of my old clothes, so I gave my granddaughters permission to pick through my closets and help themselves to stuff I stopped wearing when I gained weight. When I came back 30 minutes later, they were arguing about who picked what first.
What goes around comes around. Now my granddaughters make a point of wearing my stuff when we get together. My 17-year-old is seen out and about in my little black dress, the better to impress. Last week my 19-year-old wore a green and pink Lily Pulitzer skirt that my late husband bought. She altered it herself with her mother’s sewing machine, and it fits perfect!
This mad impulse to recycle my old clothes took me by surprise. Part of me thinks my granddaughters are simply being frugal. It may interest your readers to know my granddaughters think there is gold in granny’s closet. Flo Nathan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dear Flo: Chalk it up to acting thrifty if you will, but we suspect there is more in play: the youthful desire for distinctive, authentic attire that transcends ordinary concerns like hipness or coolness. Not to mention the sentimental value of recycling some of their grandmother’s favorite things.
Call it geezer chic, and not just for granddaughters. Grandsons covet grandfather’s jackets, cardigans and old plaid shirts. Threadbare garments perhaps, but they more than hold their own against the standard teen uniform of “weathered” $100 polo shirts and “distressed” $300 jeans made with torn, discolored denim to make them look old.
The classics are timeless. Lilly Pulitzer’s bright floral prints still pop, and it’s hard to improve on the basic little black dress. Instead of dressing to make the right impression at work, grandparents and grandchildren usually dress to suit themselves, a form of personal expression that never goes out of style.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Maxine Harris, of Everett, Washington, rushed to the rescue of grandson Johnny when he began to whimper after a large dog he was playing with licked him in the face several times.
“What’s the matter Johnny? Did that dog hurt you? Did it bite?” said Maxine.
“No,” said Johnny, “but he tasted me, and what next if I tasted too good?”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.