Revlon has just announced that it is bringing back five iconic lipstick shades from past decades, starting with Icy Violet, introduced in 1946. This will make anyone over age 90 extremely happy. The other colors span the years from 1956-1999. Jungle peach (1963) might be remembered by the oldest Boomers, Sandstorm (1999) by the youngest.
The history of makeup, especially that of lipstick, is that it doesn’t last forever. It’s guaranteed that once you find that perfect shade, it will stop being sold. Most nail polish shades disappear faster than you can say “I’m Not Really A Waitress.”
Life in the Boomer Lane has lived through loss like this over and over. But the worst, the most devastating, was the loss of her favorite bra (because of a manufacturers’ decision, not through the fault of Nick Gibbone in Ventnor, NJ in 1967).
Bras, if not providing meaning to life itself, are surly second to a life-altering yoga retreat. LBL bonded with a certain bra back in college. Like her early crushes, the bra soon disappeared without any warning. Several bras and several decades later, she was once again confronted with a manufacturer’s decision to stop making the bra she loved. But this time, the internet was at her disposal. This time, she would not be deterred.
Countless hours later, LBL was successful in locating what appeared to be the remaining stockpile of the specific model of Vanity Fair bras in the favored color, a sort of peachy blush. A bonus was that the bra came with matching panties. LBL was determined to corner the market on the entire remaining stockpile. Because LBL was living alone at the time, there was no one around to tell her that this, along with having her naturally curly hair permed in 1974, might not have been the best decision of her life.
LBL ordered the remaining supply. The vendor believed her to be the wardrobe mistress of a transvestite review. The feeling of power was enormous. There would be no bras and panties like this left on the planet. They would last her forever. She would never have to buy bras and panties again.
When the cartons arrived, and she had filled an entire chest of drawers with bras and panties, she realized what she had done. Should she succumb to an accident and not survive, whoever would be going through her things would come upon bra after bra and panty after panty in the same peachy blush color. She would be deemed an underwear hoarder. The shame would follow her beyond the grave.
She considered moving the stockpile to the recesses of the attic (squirrels), the basement (water), the garage (raccoons). She considered locating the stockpile to an undisclosed location, visiting infrequently and only when she needed new pieces. In the end, she left the underwear in the chest of drawers, but took extra care when crossing the street and going down ski slopes. She drove slowly and didn’t honk at other motorists. She chewed her food well before swallowing.
Time passed. The stockpile lessened, but was still more than any sane human being would own. One day the unthinkable occurred: She became bored with wearing pinky blush each day. She told herself she was going through a phase. The phase stood firm. Every day she dreaded putting on the same peachy blush bra, the same peachy blush panties. Even worse, because the bra was a “full figured” model, the panties that matched looked more like sexy granny panties than sexy panties, period. She began to hate the sight of her underwear.
She could no longer deny that her underwear had turned against her. She donated all of the remaining bras and panties (each in its own individual plastic pouch). She was convinced that the entire community was now wearing her peachy blush underwear. But she wasn’t.
She forced herself to buy beige or black or blue bras, in an attempt to free herself from peachy blush. When she found a bra she liked, she bought one, or at most, two. She bought panties that didn’t match. Without her outer clothing, she now looked she got dressed at a rummage sale.
Today, years later, LBL has another favorite bra, but she refuses to have more than three. Her panties are all different colors and none of them match the bras. She is proud to have anyone go through her underwear drawer. But she is still careful when crossing the street or when driving. And she usually remembers to chew her food before swallowing.