Actually, they are courtesy of my loving mother, who is in Hawaii and so sent me cash before her departure to buy something nice for myself. My mother is twenty-one years older than me and still incredibly beautiful -- she and Liz Taylor look alike -- and her current husband is eighteen years younger than she is.
I've never owned a pair of silk stockings before. Never made that splurge -- or investment, depending upon how one views it, not even when I could buy them in Paris and save the shipping costs. I told myself it wasn't worth nearly $50 for the transitory pleasure a pair would provide before they got a ladder. But the company in England I order my vintage seamed nylons from is running a Christmas sale, and there was no VAT added, and, well...
Oh! Dear readers, they are exquisite. Sheer poetry embodied in ephemeral material. And, enclosed in the lovely packaging was a note from their manufacturer in French that went something like this: "My silkworms have made the silk for you. My looms have woven them into the finest stockings in the world, made in France as they have been for a hundred years. I believe that every woman in the world deserves to wear a pair of my silk stockings once in her lifetime."
I put them on, and suddenly I understand why women's legs photograph the way they do in the 1920's. Silk stockings have a sheen, they give off a glow that is nothing like nylons, even vintage ones. They are very, very stretchy. Although sized to one's legs and feet, immediately I see the little lines and sags of the exquisite, supple veil of silk. And my legs look exactly like Zelda Fitzgerald's and Norma Shearer's and Lilian Gish's in the mirror.
Paradise. I just want to go take a hot bath, shave my legs, put the stockings back on and rub my legs together under the bedsheets all night. They are like a veil of honey. They are so soft. And now I understand how flappers rolled their stockings down -- something I never had a true, kinetic feel for before, even with my vintage nylons. I have insight into Fitzgerald's characters and into silent movies I never had until just now.
So, thank you, Mother, for the most exquisite, evocative, time-transporting birthday gift you ever gave me in my over half-century of living! I love them.
Darlings, if you wanted to give a very, very special holiday gift to a very, very special lady in your life, might you consider silk stockings?