Binders Full Of Women! (The Mother I Secretly Wanted, 60609)

Why didn't my mom look like the ladies in Spiegel catalogue?

Why didn’t my mom look like the ladies in Spiegel catalogue?

When I was a “tween” I used to shut myself away in my room & draw pretty ladies from Spiegel catalogue or Sears- for hours on end. It was my coping mechanism for feeling so socially awkward & shy. Later I discovered performing- a different KIND of coping mechanism.

But drawing came first. I drew & drew & drew.

To borrow a phrase from my pal Mitt Romney, I drew “BINDERS FULL OF WOMEN!”

Seriously– I drew hundreds of these ladies. Each lady was named, numbered, & then placed in giant three-ring binders. Looking back, they were women I wanted to be like when I grew up; women I wished my mom could’ve been more like; and women who almost always were presented as successful “gals on the go!” Their matching business suits gave them a sexy confidence while they hailed their taxis, looked at their fancy watches, and pulled important documents out of leather attaché cases.

I’m a little wiser than I was in my “tweenage” years now, so I know that the glamorous, skinny ladies in the big fat catalogues weren’t really who they were pretending to be. They were models. Print models. Print models in the late 70s/early 80s. I’m not a gambling woman, but I’d put money on the theory that a good portion of these print models were probably coke addicts, anorexics, and disco-loving narcissists.

In my mom’s defense, these print model mamas also had a lot of HELP. They had entire TEAMS of people propping them up- maybe even literally. Teams who were paid large sums of money to apply makeup, back-comb big 80s hair, and pick the outfits (outfits the models of course didn’t actually have to BUY). These teams also got paid to light the models just right, and photograph them with exactly the right lens, and at just the right angle.

If my mom had had the benefit of all that support, she probably would’ve looked pretty impressive, too.

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