I missed the memo about wearing shorts.
Not quite sure when this happened, but somehow I got too old for shorts.Come to think of it, I haven’t noticed anyone in my friend circle who wears shorts and is not a personal trainer. Or yoga teacher.
Cute dresses, skirts, skorts, tennis skirts – that's a biggie, but apparently I’m the last mom standing in her Target jean shorts.
It’s not a fashion rule forced upon me by AARP, or peer pressure or vanity or People magazine; it’s a consensus I’ve come by all by my lonesome, with some help from the mirrors in Target.
It would have been nice to be warned.
Now that I think about it, my mom doesn't wear shorts. My mother-in-law doesn't. Neither do any of the aunts or cousins – mine or rather attractive husband's. Not when overheating during the family reunion in July, not at the beach, not by the pool. They are in pants, or skirts – long skirts, and often stockings. I don't recall my grandmothers ever wearing shorts and they lived to be about 100. Or at least it seemed that way.
Are we Amish?
Apparently I’m the age when I too must buy the bottom half of summer wear from the agist/sexist surprisingly accurate pop-ups on my facebook page promising whiter teeth or flatter tummies. Or maybe revert to the inserts shoved into Sunday newspapers, like my own grammy did – before QVC and Amazon and Target on-line ordering made it easy to age.
My grandmother, country-club Nana, wore elastic waist, expensive, taupe or navy linen "slacks," or maybe a "smart skirt" – but never shorts. Nana always topped it with a blouse from Bergdorf or Gimbels, a jacket, and sometimes Hermes scarf that whafted a unique combo of mothballs and Shalimar. It lingered in the air like Linus’s dust storm, except fancy. I can smell it now.
My other grandmother topped her Carol Wright stretchy pants from the Sunday paper inserts with a housecoat. Or duster. Or mumu – call it what you want, but it was an oversized smock like frock, in muted floral designs that may or may not have been a shower curtain in a previous life.
This grammy was usually braless, or the bra tucked around the breasts but unbuckled in the back.
“Can’t reach,” she said. “No one’s looking anyways.” Come to think of it, most days she considered bottoms completely optional too. It was scarring.
And therein lies my gene pool. Half trailer park, half Fifth Avenue.
Back to me and my legs.
Spring is coming, and I need shorts. The past winter – hell the past 10 years – has not been kind to my middle parts, so I perused the shopping mecca of Target where I’m still in time for shorts. I have been directed to the "women's section" by the dressing room clerk who turned me away not once, but twice, observing I had selected shorts from the "juniors" department, and well, good luck.
I grab an arm full of jean shorts, sized from 6 to 12, because I take off my clothes once. There is no reentry to dressing room hell for this girl. I get undressed one time, and one time only.
And then this happened.
I’d like to blame the socks. In fact, I am blaming the socks. Talk about me all you want, but I’m buying the shorts because damnit I’m hot.BIO:Kate Mayer is a potty-mouthed, sometimes cynical storyteller, humorist, and activist sharing life as she lives it in Newtown, Connecticut. She is a recent, reluctant inductee to AARP, the co-creator of two quasi-adults and two wannabees, and an aspiring writer with the rejections to prove it. She writes about work, teenagers, midlife, social issues, feminism, and gun violence prevention at www.kathrynmayer.com, and is sometimes funny on Instagram and Twitter as @klmcopy. Follow her on Facebook, but please don’t be an ass.