I was watching Book Notes and the person being interviewed was the author of Clementine, which is a biography of Mrs. Winston Churchill. During the question and answer period, an audience member wondered if a story about Winston's being a keen observer were true. As a child Winston realized that his mother, the beautiful American Jenny Jerome, was having an affair because before she left for a meeting, Winston noticed that she had a "run" in one of her stockings; when she returned, the run was on the opposite leg.
My aunt "Tim" always wore dresses and high heels while my mother, her sister, was in "Blue Bell Jeans". I remember that those jeans had a zipper in the side pocket and a button at the waist. Trust me, most mothers did not wear jeans in the 1950's. My mother would be outside, working in the garden or playing with us kids, while my aunt would be in the house, playing with her "gee-tar".
Aunt Tim had quite an array of stockings and they all had seams up the back of the stockings. Tim weighed less than 90 pounds ("soaking wet" as we were fond of saying) and my mother said that seams were supposed to make the calf look larger, while seamless stockings were supposedly slimming. Some of Tim's stockings had interesting designs at the back of the stocking, above the heel. One day, as she was walking across the floor, I noticed that she had one stocking with diamonds on it and the other one one with hearts.
I told my mother about the difference and she said, "Go tell her she can't get a flush that way!" I didn't understand the remark as I thought that "flush" meant embarrassment and I replied, "But she WILL get a flush when I tell her that!" Mother laughed and went inside with me and said, "Tim, do you have any spades or clubs on your stockings?" Mother told her she might want to change her stockings but Tim said that one of her "diamond stockings" and one of her "heart stockings" each had a run in it and she didn't think anyone would notice that she had worn mismatched stockings.
Mother told her that I was the most OBSERVANT child in the world. [Okay, brothers, you and I both know she actually said "NOSIEST"!] I wish I had known the Winston Churchill story then!
I remember the first time I wore nylon stockings was when I was 13 years old and I had to be "dressed-up" for my grandmother's funeral. My sister-in-law helped get me into a garter belt and I remember the box holding the stockings, was lined with tissue paper. The box stated that they were "15 denier" and I was lectured to be careful wearing them but I felt oh-so-grown-up! However, I was very relieved to get out of them. Fortunately, by the time I was a regular stocking-wearer, there were panty hose!