I learned something important today. That lesson is: I should not go rock climbing in shorts. This shouldn’t have been a huge surprise; my inner knees and shins tend to be permanently covered in bruises of varying shades ranging from purple to green to faded yellow. What I didn’t realize is that the knee bruises tend to be collected not by clumsily knocking my knees against the wall, as I would have expected (after all, I’m the girl who regularly whacks my shoulder on doorframes because apparently I can’t aim my body), but by actively using my knees as a sort of camming device against the wall while repositioning. The bad news: bare knees + concrete stucco walls = bruised knees now covered in a lovely patina of red scraped-off skin. Yum!

Shorts was kind of an odd choice anyway, as it tends not to be something I do terribly often. I had a favorite old sleeveless tshirt that tends on the short side — as tops generally do when one is tall, narrow, and very long-waisted — and my climbing jeans have started to sag considerably as I lost a bit of weight this winter, so I needed something appropriately high-waisted. Enter the olive drab cutoffs that evoke every female character on M*A*S*H*, and I wasn’t running around with my belly hanging out plus I felt cute. Fashion-wise, it was a win, but next time I’ll just wear a different shirt, it’s not worth the scrapes!

I have half a mind to give up on shorts altogether. Ever since the long walking shorts (Bermudas? whatever) were all the rage in 1988 I’ve felt like shorts do strange things to my body proportions that make me uncomfortable. The only exception to that was a pair of denim cutoffs that I wore to death in the latter half of high school and part of college. They were what came to be known as daisy dukes, only not tight anywhere but the waistband, and as a Florida girl spending my days on the beach and a bike in a bikini top, I lived in them. Sadly, I no longer have the thighs I did at 19 (I know, shocking), and I think my days of short shorts are over, no matter how many boyfriends tell me different.

Even in the hottest Georgia summers when I spent at least an hour every morning riding my bike flat-out around town, guzzling lemon water all the way, I still didn’t wear shorts, opting instead for jeans rolled just below my knees. I don’t care how many Brooklyn hipsters are doing it now with their painted-on skinny jeans, those short-rolled jeans have been my uniform for almost a decade, and I like the look and the feel on me, and they sure beat shorts! No uncomfortable back-of-thighs-sticking-to-chairs feeling, no worries about temperature changes going from indoors to outdoors in scorching heat and freezing air conditioning, and they still show off my cute flats and bare ankles. Now I just have to find a way to dress that up so it’s office-appropriate, if I ever get a job. Or I could just start wearing skirts all summer, which is a very high probability since I intend to spend spring and summer sewing as many skirts and dresses as I can manage with my limited skills.


About pippingeek

feminist geek starting over outside the academy
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