1950 Memories of Suburban Adventures

Home » 9 - Unreal Reality » Making A Mountain Out Of A Molehill » Making A Mountain Out Of A Molehill

Making A Mountain Out Of A Molehill

My Audrey Hepburn self was determined to become Marilyn Monroe and wouldn’t settle for anything in-between.

Manipulating the clothing styles of the early 1960s, I quickly became fashionably unfashionable.

Dr. Kildare and Dr. Ben Casey caused many arguments at school over which was most dreamy. In truth, neither was on my hunk list (waaay too old), but I had to make a choice. Which old geezer would I pretend to have a crush on?

www.en.wikipedia.org Vince Edwards as Dr. Ben Casey

Vince Edwards as Dr. Ben Casey

www.protomag.com Richard Chamberlain as Dr. Kildare

Richard Chamberlain as Dr. Kildare









“Dr. Kildare is tons cuter,” I said.

Each wore a white ‘doctor’ shirt, with stiff starched copies available for sale. The two versions were nearly identical, except one doctor had his buttons stitched on the left, and the other on the right.

Mom bought me one of each. I flaunted my richness by alternating the unflattering shirts each day. The lab shirts did not look attractive on anyone.

www.woman'sday.com Dickies of 1962 were knit

Dickies of 1962 were knit

The following year, a new fashion fad did flatter my skinny silhouette. It boosted my esteem by boosting my curves.

Announcing the Dickie: a turtle-neck with no sleeves or body, worn under a sweater or blouse. Boys also wore them under their button-down shirts.

I appreciated Dickies with their additional square of knit material laying on my chest and plumping me up. My Dickie was a form of legal bra-stuffing.

A future bad dickie and equally bad pin curls.  No, this can't possibly be me.

A future bad dickie and equally bad pin curls.
No, this can’t possibly be me.

My favorite outfit was a tan V-neck angora sweater with my brown Dickie. I wore it with an olive skirt Barbara Kay (my cousin) handed down to me. I didn’t need to tighten the waistband with a safety pin; rows of stretchy stitching made it ‘one size fits all’. And it had pleats, sort-of-almost making an hourglass figure (if you looked in a funhouse mirror).

At the time, I only owned one other winter school outfit, a dress. When Mom realized my lack of school clothes, we went to the Fair Haven Outlet and bought two more outfits. She also spoke to Aunt Nellie about sending over more of Barbie’s cast-offs. Instead of rotating two outfits for school, I now wore a new change of clothes each day for two weeks.

In an effort to flesh myself out, I wore several slips under my outfits and two pair of knee-socks over my stockings. I’m not sure if my padding fooled anyone (probably not), but it made changing for gym a bit tricky.

Inside our locker room, I turned my back and pulled multiple knee-socks off each foot in one smooth motion, giving the illusion of a single pair. I dropped my collection of slips to the floor and quickly put the wad inside my locker.

Putting multiple socks and slips back on was not as discreet.

“Mary, how come you’re wearing two pair of knee socks?”

Giving a shiver and rubbing my legs, I answered, “My legs are cold.”

“Why are you wearing three slips at once?”

“I was worried my dress might be see-through in the sun,” I answered with unaccustomed modesty.

Dress slacks (forget about jeans) weren’t allowed in school, so my toothpick-legs and bumpy knees were on constant display. Pants wouldn’t help my plight anyway, since any small enough to fit my waist ended halfway up my leg. Picture a stick figure of the Hulk with his tiny clothes.

I stopped trying to appear voluptuous in my twenties (I’m lying, I never wised-up until my late thirties, but that sounds too pathetic) when I finally admitted defeat and worked with what God did or didn’t give me. But I still longed for sexy curves.

Be careful what you wish for, or at least be specific. Big bazoombas briefly appeared with my pregnancy at age thirty-six, but they blended in with my beluga stomach, forming one giant mound. Upon giving birth, my curves disappeared as quickly as they came.

Twenty pounds of permanent curves finally arrived in my mid-forties, and a lot of those pounds settled in places NOT on my wish list.

Lesson Learned: Trying to improve is admirable, but there reaches a point when you simply need to work with what you’ve got.

Related Posts: Chapter Six: Creating Cleavage

Now it’s your turn: Did you attempt a makeover?

© Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures, 2012 forward. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. suzjones says:

    I have too many curves. Want some? I’ve had enough of them. lol

  2. Ralph says:

    I prefer women with small breasts anyway…….probably a fear of suffocation 😉 xox

  3. mikesteeden says:

    Just as slumber beckoned I spotted this piece. Did you ever get to wear the drip dry shirts and the like my mother so favoured? ‘Twas not until I collapsed through overwhelming trapped body heat in the street one day that she went back to cotton and a hot iron.

  4. CJ says:

    So you were a regular Olive Oyl, lol! I always wondered what the heck a Dickie was any good for! I was born ‘naturally endowed’ shall we say…plenty of junk in the trunk, too…

    Nope, never needed to accentuate…I always needed to ‘play it down’.

    Lucky you.

  5. C. Suresh says:

    Hmm! Did you have to end it with curves in the wrong places, Mary? I can hardly see the keyboard on my knees thanks to such curves. I really did not need reminding 🙂

  6. ksbeth says:

    loved my dickies too! i tried using thick, green, sticky eyeliner, which turned out to look somewhat like cleopatra, to accentuate my eyes. perhaps just a tad extreme )

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      I tried the black eyeliner brought out to a point for Cleopatra eyes, too, KSbeth. They were combined with my almost white, pale pink lipstick. Hey, every generation has their funny fads. My two boys had those crazy bowl haircuts, like Moe from the three stooges.

  7. e m bahnsen says:

    Be careful what you wish for, ha! I was skinny and flat chested until high school. Then, I developed a chest, a big chest, that I tried to hide behind my school books that were always pressed against me. I finally did obtain the attention from all the good-looking boys, but I knew they weren’t interested in my shiny personality.

  8. Glynis Jolly says:

    Mary, I could tell you horror stories about being a fat child. Probably the embarrassment of being too skinny is just as bad but I’ve never been able to experience it.

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      We all had our crosses to bear in school (as well as life), Glynis. Some heavier than others. I confess, mine was not as heavy as others, but seemed so at the time.

  9. spunkybong says:

    You..are..a..riot, Skinny. I love bazoombas and belugas, whatever size they happen to come in. 😀

  10. Elle Knowles says:

    Like you, I was way too skinny in my younger years and the thing about the pants in school – didn’t happen until I was in high school!

  11. I was too skinny before too! Thanks to our school uniform, my knobbly knees and stilt-like legs were especially noticeable. I guess it didn’t help that I was almost as tall or taller than most guys my age too…
    When my curves did finally make a guest appearance, my cheeks took the greatest share. Not what I was expecting at all.

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