My Grandmother’s Legs

jeans, legs, fashion, grandmother jeansLately, I’ve been thinking a lot about genes. Yes, genes, not jeans, although denims get into the picture too.

For instance, my mom (not allowed to say her age or she’ll never talk to me again – let’s just say the first number starts with a ‘9’), wears the cutest jeans. I hope I have her genes, but so far I haven’t found one genome we share. She’s tiny and cute and flirty. I’m tall and not-as-cute and serious. See?

But back to jeans. My mom wears the latest fashion in jeans and pulls it off. She brags that she buys them at the Gap.

Gap Kids. (I hate her briefly when she mentions that.)

My 20-something cool, cosmopolitan niece (my mom’s second granddaughter), sneaks into her Nanny’s closet to “borrow” clothes.

grandmother, niece, relatives

Wonder what my niece borrowed from my cool mom this time?

No one tries to borrow anything from my closet.

I blame my genes.

The women in my dad’s family are all tall and solid and smart. Okay, I added the smart based on subjective observation.

ursula andress, model, grandmotherMy aunt (Dad’s sister) was a single mom who worked in the city – (the big city, NYC) – in the man’s world of advertising back in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. She succeeded. She was statuesque the way women were allowed to be back then, and too smart for three husbands. As I child, I was fascinated by her large husky laugh and her love of poetry. She sent me some of her poetic masterpieces – the best one included a photo of me as an 11-year-old (gawky and tall and miserable) and of the current popular model Ursula Andress. The gist of the poem was that when I grew up into my body, I’d look like Ursula.

I saved that poem in my top dresser drawer and read it almost every day for two years.

Jon Mcenroe, tennis, shorts

John McEnroe shows off his ’70s tennis fashion.

So, yes, I have my dad’s genes. He never shopped at the Gap; he was a tall man (6 foot, 2 inches); and wrote a love poem for my mom every Valentine’s Day.

My dad loved tennis, and back in the day of short tennis attire, he rocked the short shorts. He had good legs, and sometimes I wondered if that’s why he loved to play tennis so much.

He couldn’t take credit for those legs though. My grandmother kindly gave them to him.

Ginger Rogers, gams, grandmother, legs

Ginger Rogers’ gams in “Lady in the Dark”

Back in her day, ladies never wore jeans. But her genes gave her gorgeous gams. (In the ‘40s, women had gams, not legs.)

I remember visiting my Marmu when I was in college, dragging my boyfriend with me. My grandmother was getting forgetful by then, and my parents wondered how much longer she could live on her own. She served us peanuts and soda and sat on her couch, legs crossed primly, smoking a cigarette like a Hollywood actress.

When we left an hour later, my boyfriend’s remark was, “Your grandmother is sweet, and she has good legs!”

Yes! I thought to myself. And I have her genes!


jeans, genes, grandmother

My mom passes on good genes in her jeans.


Per request, me and my gams at a 1940s gala. No Ginger Rogers am I.

Per request, me and my gams at a 1940s gala. No Ginger Rogers am I.

46 thoughts on “My Grandmother’s Legs

  1. Both our Mothers’ were/are hard acts to follow! No wonder they were friends! But, while not our Mothers, we both managed to become strong, intelligent women ourselves. And, while you are not petite or flirty, you, my friend, are absolutely gorgeous and very thoughtful and caring! And, you are passing great genes on to your kids and grandkids ❤


  2. I have been blessed with pretty good looking legs. Dancing and marching band…etc helped too. My mid section? not so much 😦
    It’s totally cool your mom can buy AND wear jeans from the Gap! We should all be so lucky! 🙂


  3. It’s interesting when we start to see ourselves in our parents and our children in ourselves. We don’t seem to notice this as much when we’re younger, probably because we’re too busy asserting our independence. Short, tall, extrovert, or introvert–genes are a fascinating thing. 🙂


    • Genes ARE fascinating. Particularly when we realize that our parents passed on (and we pass on) many other traits besides the physical ones. For instance, my little granddaughter is a great ballerina. That HAD to have come from me, right…? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good for you and the women in your gene (and Jean) pool. I have a pretty good gene pool to swim in of my own. Healthy longevity and youthful looks well into the “senior” years. Good teeth, too! 🙂


  5. Sigh. We always see the grass is greener on the other side of the…whatever comes to mind.
    We are not a tall family. Three siblings are short and two are tall-er by half a foot. I always wanted to be six inches taller than I am. I’d look way thinner then. 😀 😀


  6. This is so funny.Loved it. Don’t we all wish for something that we are not or do not have. I know that I do. I’m sure you are gorgeous and extremely smart. You seem to be a “whip” for you sure know how to write.

    I also buy my jeans at the Gap- sometimes but I prefer NYDJ’s brand in the boot cut. These jeans fit so well with almost no gap in the waist. I inherited my dad’s genes and am slim with long limbs but only 5’4″ tall. I just wish that I were smarter.


    • But we’re blogging – we must be smart! (I think it takes a lot of stamina and smarts and wit to blog to, about, with each other).
      On the fashion matter, I’m right there with you (regarding the NYDJ’s jeans).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love that your Mother buys her jeans at Gap Kids! LOL! Genes are such a funny thing…I’ve been thinking (and writing) a lot about the same thing lately (not legs, but genes). Sometimes we have to dig a little deeper to “see” where we get some of our characteristics, but I think we are the sum total of ALL our relatives…


  8. Why did you put that picture of you so tiny there at the end – I understand it was a late addition, but it’s fabulous, YOU look fabulous, you should make it bigger, come on, you can do it, you’ve got the genes! 🙂


    • Oh, alright, flatter me into it, why don’t you? I just made the little photo a little bigger. Sigh. No worthy sexy gam photo in my portfolio, alas. But thanks for the compliment. I just might go out and buy a short skirt. tee hee


    • What’s fascinating is that the older I get, the more I get my grandmother’s face too! I think we should celebrate that we find our ancestors within – and outside – ourselves.


  9. Although my mother was always heavy the one thing she was proud of were her legs from the knees down. Her legs were slender with narrow feet. Very unusual forbsomeone her size. I think I have her legs and that makes me happy!! We all have something in our genes we wish we could change. Wish my mom was still here!!!


  10. I’d say I got a fair share of the best of both my parents (my Dad’s amazing blue eyes and way with words, my Mum’s beautiful skin and great ‘gams’ (what a fabulous word!))…and of course, some of the other stuff as well:-) Every now and then my Mum will come out with a comment about my grandfather and other family members who have passed on, and say how she recognises something of them in me. I always feel strangely humble and excited when she says something like that. Hugs, Harula xxx


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