Lana Vaughan

The Queen of Questions

Petticoats

valentines-themed-vintage-wedding-red-purple-petticoat-under-wedding-dress-retro-bridal-heelsYesterday something struck me as petty. I don’t remember the last time I used that word but it was the word that came to mind when I read someone I do not know’s public posting.

I have been mulling over that word for the past 24 hours or so. Funny, I find myself using words from a bygone era more frequently the past few days.

One thing I know for sure, the more a subject or event sticks in my mind the more I need to examine the correlating spot in my heart. This brings me to ….pettiness.

I personally believe it is on the rise. I feel it. I see it. I am embarrassed to admit I have allowed it to grow unchecked in my own life.

Among the antiquated words that have risen to the surface of my vocabulary, petticoats took the lead this morning. While petticoats have fallen out of fashion with the exception of princess wedding gowns and ball gowns and some very trendy rock-a billy fans, I found myself considering the purpose they originally served. The singular purpose of a petticoat was to poof out the skirt, obscuring the actual figure of the woman wearing it. It gives the illusion of a smaller waist and hides the true dimensions buried in layers of tulle and cotton and in extreme cases a wire support system for the whole thing. Petticoats were a staple of full length dresses.

But as hem lines rose, the use of petticoats declined. As modesty was replaced with sexy, grace has been replaced with offense. The buffer zone of all the layers has been removed and our thin skin is unprotected and exposed. What would have bounced off the flounce now leaves a bruise or draws blood.

I’m thinking some of the words that have been obfuscated (and, yes, I know what it means without having to google it) by shifts in communication options will be experiencing a resurrection and revitalization in my writing, speaking and, more paramount, in my approach toward others.

I’m putting the buffer zone, the elegance, the gracefulness back. I’m trading petty for petticoats.

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