I’m 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 a 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. Nor is it peer pressure or vanity. Or even People magazine. It’s a consensus I’ve come by all by my lonesome … with a little help from the mirrors in Target.
It would have been nice to have been warned.
Now that I think about it, my mom doesn’t wear shorts. My mother-in-law doesn’t, either. None of the aunts or cousins do. Not mine or my rather attractive husband’s family members.
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 at that! – 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.
Apparently I’m at the age when I, too, must buy the bottom half of summer wear from the agist/sexist but surprisingly accurate pop-ups on my Facebook promising whiter teeth or flatter tummies. Or maybe revert to the inserts shoved into the Sunday newspapers, like my own grammy did – long 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 what was referred to as a smart skirt – but never shorts. Nana always topped it with a blouse from Bergdorf or Gimbels, a jacket, and sometimes her Hermes scarf that whafted a unique combo of mothballs and Shalimar. It lingered in the air like Linus’s dust storm, except it was 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 a mumu. Call it what you want, but it was an oversized smock-like frock. Often featured in muted floral designs that may or may not have been a shower curtain in a previous life.
This grammy was usually braless, or wore her 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.
Now, back to me and my legs.
Spring is here, 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 in search of something that works.
I was 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 armfull 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, well, 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 damn it. I’m hot.