Sunday, June 3, 2012

Betty Grable Legs

If you are a baby boomer, you probably have an Aunt Betty. And if you don't, your Mom's name is probably Betty.

I had two aunts and a mother-in-law named Betty.

What made Betty such a popular name in the 20's and 30's? Certainly, Betty Crocker played a part, as did Betty Davis.

But Betty Grable also influenced the popularity of the name. Apparently she had the best legs in Hollywood; they were insured by her studio for $1 million at Lloyds of London. In fact, hosiery specialists of the thirties often noted the ideal proportions of Grable's legs: thigh (18.5"), calf (12") and ankle (7.5").

I looked at my legs and wondered how they compared to those million dollar legs of Betty Grable.  

I couldn't resist. I went to my sewing kit and grabbed a tape measure. I measured once. And measured again. Are you kidding?

I have Betty Grable legs!

I examined my Betty Grable legs. 

They are pasty, white mom legs with bruises from running into the Grease bleachers eight too many times. And the skin isn't quite as tight as it was 10 years ago. Plus, my knees are a bit on the knobby side.

But if you squint, and I'm standing in the shadows, and I'm wearing tights, they look exactly like Betty Grable's!

I think we need to insure these puppies!

"Hey Dave! I've got Betty Grable legs!" I said excitedly.

"What?" he asked. He was watching the Brewers on TV.

"You know Betty Grable? The movie star with the million dollar legs?   I have exactly the same leg measurements as she did!"

He said, "Uh-huh", focusing 95% of his attention on the baseball game and 5% on my exciting news.

"My legs are the same size as Betty Grable's million dollar legs!" I repeated.

He glanced sideways, towards my extremely valuable and under-insured legs.  "You know movie stars in the old days were a lot heavier than they are today."

"Well," I said dramatically (as Betty, herself might have.)  "Thank you for that backhanded insult."

"What did I say?" he asked, completely oblivious to his offense. "Movie stars were a lot chunkier in the olden days."

Dave is the bird in the photo to the left.

I thought about my options. I could stomp away loudly on my Betty Grable legs. Or kick him in the shin with my Betty Grable foot.

But I decided to be more direct.  I accidentally turned off the TV with my Betty Grable Lou Clyde thumb.

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