Saturday, November 20, 2021

A Muff or Not

 Most of you know I was brought up in South Carolina, a state where "winter" weather is limited to 6 weeks in February and March. Maybe every 4 or 5 years snow will fall, generally just enough to cover the ground and cause mass pandemonium. 

All that said, my mother had certain ideas in her head of things that were proper. Not necessarily practical but proper.

There was a piece of "Winter" apparel Mama thought I needed to have and use. Beyond a scarf and gloves which were rarely used, Mama decided I needed a muff, a full white rabbit hare muff.

For those of you not familiar, a muff is defined as "a tube made of fur or other warm material into which the hands are placed for warmth". Such as this one as seen in the 1880's, in Europe where there is a true cold winter 4 months of the year. Memories of the snowy sleigh scenes in Dr. Zhivago come to mind, not the "chilly" winter days in South Carolina where the temperatures rarely drop below 40.

This is definitely not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of South Carolina. 

So in December, I would be dressed for church in my short sleeve velvet dress, black patent leather shoes, short white socks, and a muff. If it were cold enough I may have had on a sweater or a coat. But this begs the question - if it is not cold enough to wear tights or a coat, what in Sam Hell's name does one do with a muff? Well, in my case, thankfully (or maybe not), it came with a lanyard that went around my neck, preventing me from losing the blasted thing. Just for the record it is a very efficient hand warmer.

This all comes to mind the other night when I was watching a movie (the story line being in Europe) and one of the ladies had a brown fur muff. In that instance, it looked appropriate. Of course the story line was based in the Victorian Era and it was the winter season. (As in snow on the ground and temperatures in the low 20's).

I spared my daughters of this ridiculousness. I'm not sure they even know what a muff is. 

Don't get me wrong, in the right weather  (very cold), and the right situation (one that includes a lot of snow and a sleigh), a muff would be an appropriate piece of apparel. And next time, I find myself in that situation, I will no doubt be unprepared without a muff.

Perhaps, I should thank Mama. If nothing else, she prepared me for the $500 question on Jeopardy,  under the category of "Obsolete Victorian Winter Accessories" -  the clue being "The fur tube Victorian women used to keep their hands warm." Ding, Ding, Ding - "What is a muff?"

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