The Next Housecoat You Wear

When my best friend Barbara and I weren’t mixing bourbon and Cokes for ourselves or ogling men with hanging goiters the size of medicine balls in her father’s medical journals, we were watching Nightmare Theater through our childhood fingers.

Recently my friend Diane and I watched The Next Voice You Hear, a movie I had not seen since Barbara and I watched it in her parent’s den fifty years ago. The 1950 movie, staring James Whitmore and Nancy Davis (later Reagan), is about a family that hears the voice of God over the radio every night for a week straight. This voice is heard at the same time worldwide in any language the listener needs. I remember it rather differently than it actually is, but what the heck isn’t different than I remember?

Anyway, Davis’s character is 9 months pregnant in the show and at night she wears this crazy, quilted, full-length housecoat (seen above) that I came to adore whilst watching. It seems to represent comfort, shame and cinematic maternity repression. It is dowdy and plain yet has a quality of armor as if to say, this is my pregnancy and yawl can back off!

A very symbolic frock!

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