Not everything from the past was better and not every day could be described as one of “the good old days” It’s a sure bet that back to school in the 50’s was simpler and less expensive.
From the moment Independence Day Sales are over, it’s Back to School bonanza time. Mailboxes are stuffed full of back-to-school sales touting everything from basic school clothes to back-to-school fragrances. TV commercials attempt to sell the latest fashions ad nauseam. Do we really need a back-to-school fragrance? Back-to-school jewelry and accessories. Back to school phones. Watches, backpacks, designer notebooks, cosmetics, belts, boots, buckles, toothbrushes, luggage,graphic tees, and of course, shoes.
I long for the days when it was all simpler; even though I hated just about everything my mother chose for me to wear to school. Each school year my Mother purchased one pair of school shoes for me. They were one size bigger than I needed so I could grow into them and so they would last all year. I wore extra socks in the fall so the shoes would fit and by the end of the year, my toes were rubbing the tip of the shoes but they served her purpose…. they lasted. Did I mention that the style of shoe was also decided by my mother? Until the 6th grades I had no say in the choice of style. It was determined by my mom. Her criteria for choosing was 1. price and 2. sturdiness. I suffered through saddle shoes (hated them) and orthopedic-looking shoes (hated them) .
We were not well-to-do so new clothes were limited. New underwear was a must. My mother made me wear undershirts, too. (hated them) And little girls in the 50’s always wore dresses or skirts and blouses. And slips. (hated those) I usually had one cardigan sweater to wear on cool days and almost always got a new winter coat. My mother insisted on headscarves, too. Even on warm days in the fall and in the spring, I wore a headscarf. Believe me I was no Grace Kelly! My mother would tie it tightly under my chin in a double knot that just about choked me when I tried to turn my head. ugh. (hated them)
One of the bright spots in my wardrobe was the fact that I received hand me down clothes from my cousin. Luckily, my aunt was a bit more forward thinking and actually allowed my cousin to choose some of her own clothing. So I ended up with a blue sailor dress in the second grade and a flowered dress with sequins around the collar and a bright blue sash tied around the waist. Oh I loved those two dresses.
School supplies were a lot simpler, too. I can remember in the primary grades, I had a cigar box or Velveeta Cheese Box to hold my pencils and crayons. There was thick white paste (which a lot of kids mistook for food) safety scissors, and huge primary pencils which were just about too fat to hold ! A box of 8 crayons was all you needed.
My mother more than redeemed herself when my own children needed school clothes. She was always there to take them school shopping, a special day out with Grandma, eating lunch at the mall and getting that pair of designer jeans or pair of athletic shoes that this Mom refused to buy because of 1. price and 2. sturdiness. I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!
For all my friends who have commented on this post… here is an update (Thank you Luanne http://writersite.org/about/
You can find all the colors that Crayola packaged at this website: