17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, April 27, 1912: Yessir, I really went to Milton this morning. Nor did I forget to take my Ma along. After a trying time I got a hat that I thought would do. It is trimmed in light brown ribbon and red roses. I got a white dress, a pair of tans and some other gigger-mer-rows.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
We finally have at least a partial answer to what Grandma was talking about in several recent diary entries—Grandma needed to go hat shopping.
The past Sunday Grandma wrote that she wished she had her new hat; and, the previous day she’d written that she hoped it won’t be raining the next day because “the hat question had become a serious problem.”
My guess is that “a pair of tans” refers to stockings. I think that gigger-mer-rows is archaic slang for small items.
Many things that seem important a hundred years later are only mentioned in passing in the diary (or not mentioned at all). Yet something that seems very minor—buying a hat—was discussed day after day.
Maybe teens haven’t changed–then and now they want to have nice outfits and look good.