I slipped back in time today.
My friend Sue Quirk day-tripped it over here to the island so we could join the Martha’s Vineyard Campmeeting Association’s Cottage Tour.
I’ve always wondered what the itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny and ornately decorated Victorian buildings, better known as the gingerbread houses of Oak Bluffs, look like on the inside.
Turns out they aren’t tiny at all!
Of the six houses we toured today, all had at least three bedrooms, most had four. And the ceilings were practically palatial!
Sue, a gifted graphic designer, came up with a theory of optical illusion. Since the houses are packed into a neat circle, practically touching each other, they give off the air of being diminutive. And, well, they do look like doll houses too.
We ended our tour in the Cottage Museum, where I learned I actually have something in common with the original “campers” who were also taking care of their head, heart, body and soul — according to a Brief History Handout:
“They continued to be religious in nature, but participants also began to enjoy the benefits of the sea air and social interaction as they revived both mind and body.”
The cottages were totally surprising in size, but the highlight of the day, for me, was the clothes (of course).
Tucked up on the Museum’s second floor was this dress (pictured below). In the room next to it was a hoop skirt, which appeared to be made out of metal or leather. All I could think was …WOW! How hot and heavy was that to wear on a humid summer day?!
But, the best reminder of how far we have come, in our fashion sense and summer frocks, was this little number. Can you guess what it is?
A bathing suit!
Not that I want to bare it all when I go to the beach — but please! — this woolly mammoth of beachwear looks down right miserable.
Even though I can’t buy a new bathing suit this year, seeing this OLD one makes me appreciate my old droopy two-piece black bikini, the one that has traveled from Mexico, to Naples, to the Vineyard and back this year. It’s the one with the elastic stretched out and the lining beginning to wear see-through spots on my hiney.
Kind of makes me wonder what people 100 years from now will say about my choice of swimwear.