Ongoing Stories of My Soul

Look over my shoulder as I ponder life.

Stirrup Pants Stir Up Memories

Stirrup pants. Now there’s a topic you probably didn’t discuss at lunch. Now, I am not an equestrian but I used to ride the  mechanical horses at the grocery store as a kid, so I am kind of an expert on saddles and stuff. Plus, I used to watch “My Friend Flicka” on Saturday mornings and read the ‘Misty of Chincoteague’ series, so I am enlightened about horses. Guess you could say I have some horse sense! Need more credentials? Okay—here: I used to have my very own ‘Mr. Ed The Talking Horse’ puppet thing. You pulled a string and it said stuff. But this was in the sixties before little computerized sound byte things, so the darned talking box-thing was so heavy you had to prop your elbow up to play with it. And I wasn’t a very big little girl, so Mr. Ed spent a lot of time under my bed, and sadly became Mr. Ed The Not- So Talking Horse. Sigh.

Stirrups. I know about those from a different angle. I am a woman. And any woman who has spent time in her OB/GYN office or a delivery room, finds out pretty quickly about stirrups. The metal kind. At the end of a table. Ride’em cowboy! Yeah…cowboys couldn’t handle what comes next. Ahem. Just saying…

But I digress. I am speaking of stirrup pants, the fashion staple of the eighties. Or, at least they lasted about two weeks in the eighties. At any rate, I owned a couple of pair of stirrup pants. And I kinda liked ’em. They stretched the pant spandex-ish fabric down with elastic stirrups which latched under your foot. Now this gave most women a very cool fashion experience! Big, flowing tops covered our big butts and made our legs appear so tiny! And the pants didn’t ride up in our nether-regions. Heck no, those elastic stirrups were in for the workout of a life time. I had a calamity with one of mine. The elastic became all spaghetti-like on one leg of my pants. Not wanting to waste, I doubled up the elastic and safety-pinned it in a big wad at the bottom of my foot. It truly deepened my faith as I prayed that pin would never fail me. I mean, my elementary students were not ready for the vocabulary that would have come out of my mouth had that pin malfunctioned. I hardly even limped.

But I am a short individual. Finding stirrup pants that fit my small stature was a trial. I mean, normal pants can be hemmed. But you can’t have baggy stirrups; it is against the Stirrup Pant Regulation Guidelines. The other problem with this fashion item was that the stirrups sometimes pulled the crotch down. And while if felt like an extra room in the basement, no one could see the falling crotch because we had those big, flowy tops hiding our big butts (see preceding paragraph). With big shoulder pads. I guess we all went out in public thinking we looked chic; instead, we looked like top-heavy, spandex-laden triangles, with big hair, rocking’ out to Bon Jovi and New Kids On The Block.

I saw a program once and women were stuffing ‘Fashion Worsts’ in a box. The stirrup pants briefly made a comeback as they were held in front of the camera–then, with groans and cheers, were put in the casket of fashion no-no’s. I was sorta sad. I liked my stirrup pants. But then, I still rock out to Bon Jovi, so go figure. Maybe one day I will find a pair of these ill-fitting and ill-fated pants at a thrift store and try to bring them back in style. Or take up horse-back riding, and not the grocery store kind!  Either way, I bet I ‘stir up’ things quite a bit. Oh, I’m sorry for my bad humor. I’m not quite right. I fell off a horse when I was a kid…and the grocery store didn’t even give my dime back. Guess my feet came out of the stirrups, or the stirrups came out from my feet. Bet Mr. Ed the Talking Horse would have something to say about that.


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