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. Either 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.
Cute, very cute, and I bravely entered the dressing room full of hope and dreams.
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.
Love your writing, can’t stop laughing, but you’ll need those shorts at Sandy! Does Alice wear shorts? Hmmmm.
I believe she does! I’m going to be Alice!
Carol Wright stretchy pants!!! Love it and remember those ads. I think you should go with the elastic waist slacks and shirt from Gimbels. Classic Grandma old school style.
Might just have to do that! Thank you!
Love this piece! I, too, remember the exact moment I realized I could never again expose my crepy thighs in public. It was Macy’s dressing room for me. Yup. Capris all summer long from now on, sitting in my lawn chair, reading the AARP mag.
Doesn’t seem fair does it? We shouldn’t care this much!
Anne Louise Bannon
I definitely agree – blame it on the freaking sock. I wear shorts all the time (I’m wearing them now) because I get too hot if I don’t – and I proved that this past Wednesday, trying to walk around town in long pants. Besides, we have good legs.
I’m with you! I might just keep the socks too, just as an accessory. ?
Keep the socks,and you do have the legs for those shorts!
I kept both damnit, but admit i don’t wear the socks out often!
You are awesome Kate. I’m smelling the Shalimar mixed with mothballs. Keep writing, your words connect me with Mike.
awwww, thx Beth! Didja know today is his birthday? I know he’d be toasting you! Cheers
Wait. Target has a dressing room?? Really? Why have I never seen it? My mother wore a “housecoat” or “duster” too. I always had great legs. Until. Oh well, it’s fine. Aging has so many blessings that this is a small thing. I love capris!
I’m gonna stick with the shorts, but I’m going to pass on the duster! PS: Love me some capris too!
Love the denim shorts…. actually I love everything denim.
And for all those concerned with the not so attractive thighs, have you seen the results from the 12 week cellulite trial using Renu28 by ASEA ? Making ladies ‘short worthy’ around the world.
Thanks for the read! I’ll pass on the cellulite trial; afraid I’d be convicted.