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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Did you touch anything?

   In 'the old days', women always wore gloves, they also always wore dresses and hats but that is not the focus here. Back to gloves, they mostly were always white, until the age of fashionable women needing fashionable distractions, so they were matching their gloves to the other attire of the day.

   White cotton gloves covered ladies hands. These ladies we never permitted to touch anything, it was always the glove that met the banister or doorknob.

   Before leaving their residences women donned their white gloves, stretching their fingers between each other to be sure the fabric was in place, their suit of armour before battle. They, the women felt protected once they were gloved, they were safe, they could travel with impunity.

   Young girls felt especially empowered with their first pair of gloves, as a right of passage, a maturing, coming of age, a key to unlocking the whole world to them, and they were protected from any of the ills.
   The females were always cautioned not to remove their gloves, yet to take care what they touched and do not touch your face with your gloves.

   'Those were the days after World War II when women ventured beyond the home, when women had no servants to do the daily shopping. The days when coal was the fuel delivered to each home. When someone shovelled a barrel full and rolled it on its rim to the rear of the domicile and its contents emptied through and opening to run down a chute to pile on a basement floor for the homeowner to shovel into a small bucket to sit by a furnace and to then be shovelled into the pot belly of fire to further fuel the water heated radiators that hissed through out the winter.

  It was the days when horse drawn wagons rolled down the streets offering fresh fruits and vegetables to the homemakers. When all the automobiles were black. It was the time before air-conditioning, when in summer the windows were wide open and at night the sound of a distant train would roll into the window onto the slumber greeting little ears transporting their imaginations to far away places a mile down the road, as they fancied themselves sitting being jostled along the tracks with the other passengers.

  The days when people amused themselves, whistling was fashionable along with playing spoons on ones laps. When people gathered at someones home to play the musical instruments they carried along, when a harmonica and accordion were a band.

  Travel en mass was a new past time, a Sunday trip to the country, only a few miles from the city, to see cows, horses, pigs and chickens on farms, the old way people use to live.

   Girls were protected in those days, they were guarded. Their safety and value exulted, they were made to feel important, special, nothing was permitted to touch them.

   With them, these women also carried small purses, into which was placed their treasured gloves which were removed when they reached their destinations, the home of a friend with whom they were visiting. The gloves were smoothed straight, the pair together then folded in half and slid into the small purse, to wait to be removed upon leaving. These purses were usually placed upon a small anteroom table, near the entry door to the home, to be sure to be noticed, that these women had their 'coats of armour' for travel.

  Now, into the future of the past, the women venture everywhere, hands unafraid to touch anything beyond the home, and the women attached to these hands will now become the guardians of the safety off all, alongside the men in America, as it is in other lands, women defending the safety of a nation alongside the opposite sex, equal in the responsibility of the well being of all, equally expendable, and dependable, necessary to guard, willing to finally be equally accountable and useful for what we hold dear. No longer standing by, with white gloves, 'un-permitted' to touch anything outside the home.

  Whether or not their participation is necessary is food for thought, but that they, the females are finally empowered, permitted, allowed, and accepted
to protect and serve the great nation where we reside. And we will have the privilege of honoring them in the manner that we honor all who serve and protect this great nation. "You've come a long way baby."

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