notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Child Prodigy

In memory of Donna Douglas – whose style I scorned, but whose show I never missed – here’s my post from a couple of years ago….

 

CHILD PRODIGY

 

By now I am sure you are wondering:

How in the world did Nancy acquire her unerring fashion sense?

Well, I don’t want to discourage you if you aspire to my ‘chic-ness’  – but the truth is:

I was born this way.

Why, I remember lying in my crib, watching my sweet old auntie (whose name I will not mention, as I wouldn’t ever want to hurt her feelings, even in heaven), and thinking to myself, “As soon as I can say more than ‘bye-bye’, I am going to tactfully bring up non-clumping mascara.”

My parents had one of the first TVs in the neighborhood,  and there was nothing like Television to sharpen my fashion perception.

Even as I toddler, I was watching Big Three Theater – a late afternoon show which televised old Shirley Temple movies almost exclusively. And I loved Shirley. But I knew that it was gauche to wear your dress so short that everyone could see your underpants. How her mother let her make movies that way, I will never know.

***

One of the shows I watched as a really little kid was “Adventures of Superman.” I may have been six, but I often shouted at the snowy blurry, rolling image of Lois:  “Your suit (or hat) (or earrings) (or lipstick) (or hairdo)  is hideous!”

**

I became even more discriminating by age nine.  I had a special dislike for bad wigs.  Watching “Bonanza” often infuriated me. Little Joe’s girlfriend – who you knew would die at the end of the episode – would be riding her horse, with the wind whipping through her hair, and I could see where her fake long hair was attached to her short hair. Sometimes the color of the fake hair didn’t even match her real hair – which is really saying something with a black-and-white TV.  “Get a better wig!” I’d sneer every Sunday night. (and a boyfriend who wasn’t fatal….)

**

As I got a little older, Elly May Clampett ignited my indignation. I may have been eleven years old, but I knew that pigtails didn’t make you seventeen when you were really 30. And even if I were raised in the backwoods, I figured it would take me about two hours to stop calling it the “Cee-ment pond”, and a week tops to get rid of the twine I was using for a belt.

**

(… which, by the way, reminds me again of my sweet father, and his favorite parody (copied from Roger Miller) of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line”:  ‘I keep my pants up with a piece of twine… ‘)

**

When I was twelve came The Patty Duke Show. As someone who had been dying for three years already to be a teenager, I was tremendously disappointed in Patty’s style sense.  Cousin Cathy was supposed to be a fashion failure. But Patty was supposed to be cool. Cool? Is that was Hollywood thought teenagers dressed like? It was as if they hired the nuns from my school to be the costume consultants.

**

(…Oh, and another by-the-way…. why would Ginger wear an evening gown on a three-hour cruise?)

**

Thank God  for 1965. I was fourteen, and I saw them –  my style icons. The Ed Sullivan Show. September 1965. It’s when I KNEW I was right all along. That Style is individual. It’s quirky. It comes from within. And you either have it or you don’t.

**

SONNY AND CHER!

**

And I had it!  I had it up the wazoo!

21 Comments

  1. I often wondered about that 3 hour cruise…those pasengers were well prepared for that shipwreck weren’t they? It’s a good thing you had tv to show you what not to do! Lol loved this post!

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    • No kidding! And the professor could invent just about anything – but not fix the boat or the radio? (And I just saw your terrific review of my book on Amazon! THANKS!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s funny because read it in August and forgot to teview it (please forgive me) and was looking for something to read last night and read the first two chapters before realizing I had already read it! Great story!

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  2. Cher is still my idol (along with Meg Ryan — sorry had to say that just in case Meg is reading your post). I sang just like her into anything that remotely resembled a mike (cucumbers were good).

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    • That’s so funny – I am working right now on a blog about “pretend” singing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m an expert on that. I even won the family reunion air guitar contest while singing! The teenagers couldn’t keep up with me.

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  3. Oh wait — I thought this was about child pornography. My bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Literally. Your bad. (or is that you’re bad?) But I get an awful lot of hits on the google search :”short skirt ass”. I say ha-ha on them. They get a post about my teenage style shortcomings. Serves those perverts right. (no offense to perverts who are my friends, of course….)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I actually thought i read that when i saw this post in my inboxandcouldn’t resist! I have been getting some weird porno emails — yesterdays was for hot asiangirls.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Shirley Temple’s got me too, and The Three Hour Cruise. Who dresses like that on such a small boat. They didn’t even have dinner theatre. 😀 😀 😀

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  5. I always thought “That Girl” with Marlo Thomas was interesting for fashion viewing, at least to my 12 year old eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a huge soft spot for Marlo Thomas. My essay, “My Perfect Mess” was included in her collection, “The Right Words at the Right Time, Volume II”. She got me published for the very first time.

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  6. I guess my TV fashion “scorning” was more for the cartoons. Why do Jane and Judy Jetson wear the same clothes EVERY episode? Same can be said for the Flintstones.

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    • I never thought about that! You’re absolutely right – there is no reason why Judy Jetson couldn’t buy something new!

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  7. Yes….Marlo Thomas AND Mary Tyler Moore: I could never get a tam placed on my head like that, although goodness knows, I tried…
    Love your dad’s parody of I Walk The Line – too funny!

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    • No, I couldn’t look cute in a tam either – I just looked like I had a pancake on the top of my head.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That was a fun trip down TV fashion memory lane. There were certainly some bad choices made. For some reason I always thought the way Lorreta Young sashayed down the staircase was stunning. I wanted her sense of style. Unfortunately I was more like Maynard G Krebs on Dobie Gillies.

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  9. Very Good!

    Like

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