Then school started and I discovered a serious problem. On the playground in my dresses, my panties would show when I hung upside down. I’m not sure that I personally had an opinion on whether that was all right or not, but I do know that I was terrified of being teased about it. I asked for shorts to wear under my dresses because this was the going solution to the problem. My mom had a different solution: Don’t hang upside down. I learned from this experience and demanded pants when it was time for back-to-school shopping for second grade.
When I changed schools at fifth grade and suddenly had to wear a uniform every day, all the girls, including me, wore shorts every day under our jumpers. The following year when we were promoted to upper school and skirts, we wore our gym shorts underneath since the p.e. uniform was upgraded from an awkward one-piece jumpsuit thing to shorts and a t-shirt. We made fun of the new girl who wore a slip under her uniform skirt. And we envied the boys who got to wear pants, particularly in the winter.
I rarely hang upside down anymore, but I thought about all of this yesterday because I bought two skorts. Sure I could wear shorts, but that is not going to happen. I have my own personal fashion quirks and one of them is a law against shorts. There is something about shorts that convinces me even more than usual that my butt is roughly the size of the Great Plains. Skirts smooth that plain out, at least.
I like skorts. They’re practical and worry-free. I won’t have to think twice before bending to pick up dropped objects. I can cross my legs with impunity. My inner first grader loves it. That crazy woman on the bars at your local playground: probably going to be me.