Cosmopolitan, adj. . . . sophisticated, very open to different ideas and ways of doing things; not provincial

I never read Cosmopolitan, except of course in the grocery check-out line where (like everyone else) I scan the teasers on the cover and think, "honestly, how many more amazing sex secrets can there be?"

I did devour Seventeen when I was a kid, however, as well as Mademoiselle -- (a fact that one of my daughters noted with some indignation when remembering recently that I never let her read Seventeen).

And I always planned my
back-to-school wardrobe accordingly.


In fact, I fully intended to go to fashion design school, although you'd never know it now.

In high school, one of my favorite clothing purchases ever was a pair of high-heeled boots that had sort of "cowboy-boot" styling. They were really rockin', and best of all was how amazing they looked with my pencil-leg jeans.

(Note: skinny jeans were both new and incredibly cool.
In fact, in
Seventeen I learned how to convert all my bell-bottoms
into skinny jeans and I got busy on my sewing machine immediately!
Unfortunately, Utah was quite behind in fashion and therefore I was
immediately un-cool at my school until they caught up. Good thing I
was completely used to being un-cool.)

But my mother was less than enthusiastic
about my new boots.

She told me that "only hard girls wear boots and jeans."

This has become a much-quoted line in our family.
Things that "only hard girls do."

And so I suppose I've always assumed that
"only hard girls read Cosmo."

But I have a feeling Aunt Lillie might have read Cosmo.
She did have a penchant for questionable romance magazines

staying up late into the night in her men's pajamas,
devouring another from her stack of "True Love."

Aunt Lillie also, to her credit, instantly recognized the awesomeness of my new boots, immediately inquiring as to their price.
When I told her she said,

"Oooooh, they skinned you alive!"

But they were totally worth it -- we both understood that.

I think Aunt Lillie must have been a bit of a fashionista in her day --

some of the pictures I have suggest it --

and she did, after all, work in a ladies' dress shop

until she opened her own shop selling children's clothes.

So when a friend recently presented me with
one of the most awesome gifts

I couldn't help but think of Lillie.

Although she was definitely not a "hard girl," I could absolutely imagine her sneaking a late night peak at some of the racier stories.

Because, in case you're wondering,
even in 1938 only "hard girls" read Cosmo.

That's pretty obvious -- they're rife with stories of scandalous divorces, of women with careers, of "reefer parties" and swing musicians . . . truly daring stuff.

But no explicit sex secrets.
I guess the parameters for being a "hard girl" continue to evolve.

In fact, I doubt that my mom
would even raise an eyebrow at those boots now.

Come to think of it, I wish I had them back . .

How do you think they'd look with my
"46-year-old-mom" jeans?


VO said...

You NEVER read Cosmo? OMG, I musta been one of those hard girls (jeans and 3 inch boots are standard even now in my life).

Here is your chance to BE on the cover of Cosmo: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/quizzes-games/make-your-own-magazine-cover/

dang, you have to log on to do it but if it's worth it to you...there you go!

p.s. I want to read about the reefer party!

susan m hinckley said...

The story of the "reefer party" is shocking! For instance, did you know that smoking only one of those "funny cigarettes with the Mexican-sounding name" can lead you down a path to total destruction? You could become not only a swing musician, but perhaps a thief, a derelict, and/or a rapist of little girls. You'll definitely never have a job again. Just a heads-up, VO.

VO said...

Oh, oh. Maybe that's why I have such a sucky job now?

I should have become a swing musician!

Darlene said...

Ever see "Reefer Madness"? Now THERE'S a cautionary tale! (if you can stop laughing long enough to pay attention) We all shoulda been swing musicians, I guess.

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