Girl, That Skirt!

I'm usually not a big shopper but yesterday I went to the mall and did a little material object acquisition. I got a case to protect my new red iPod from iDeath. More socks for my two sons. A shirt from Ann Taylor and a very lovely and classic shirt dress from Express. Although I bought the dress, while I was trying it on, I found myself thinking that it was a bit on the short side.

My, how things change. This dress was just above the knee length. Ten years ago, I would have thought the dress was a bit long. Twenty years before that, despite the fact that I was forbidden by my parents to wear mini skirts and they had never bought me one, I wore skirts that were so short that the security guards at my high school threatened to send me home to change.

How did that happen?

Every day I left the house wearing the mother sanctioned Talbots-type conservative outfit, complete with penny loafers. The school bus would come, number 172, blaring Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me".

I'd climb on and slide to the last two back seats. Once on the bus, I'd find myself seated across from a boy who reeked of weed and enjoyed our ride to school by surreptitiously sipping from a flask and slurring my nickname "Lizzie" into "Ishhe".

"Isshe, you gonna put one of them short skirts on today?" he'd ask.

In response I'd laugh and tell him he'd better not peek while I changed. Then I'd take what I was actually going to wear to school out of my backpack. These skirts that emerged from my bag, a short black denim or a micro mini red cotton number, were borrowed from my second cousins who also attended my high school.

To start the transformation, first I pulled the skirt up and over my pants. Then I'd unbutton the pants and slide them off. I'd fold them up and stick them into my backpack. A couple times a week, I'd step off the school bus in one of these mini skirts, rain or shine, and whether it was 20 degrees or 80 degrees. After school let out, I'd transform back into the conservative pants and stick the skirt into my book bag. I wonder what that bus driver must have thought of my back-row transformations. (Unless she reads this blog, I guess we'll never know).

My parents were none the wiser until the unfortunate day my dad, unbeknownst to me, decided to pick me up from school. I remember strolling to my locker with one of my cousins, (their lockers were right next to mine). We were strutting in our matching black skirts and red tops like we knew we were hot stuff. And then my cousin gasped, "Oh my gosh, Liz! There's your dad!"

I looked down the hallway toward my locker and horror of horrors! My father was standing right there and he looked furious!!

If I could have turned and run the other way, I would have. But, I couldn't. So I propelled myself forward and heard him growl, "What do you have on?"

I've always been quick on my feet so I told him some lie about how someone had spilled their chocolate milk on me at lunch and how my cousin had had some extra clothes in her locker so I'd had no choice but to put the skirt on.

He didn't look like he believed me at all. My cousin tried to back me up, but he still wasn't buying it. I was such big trouble with my dad that I couldn't even imagine the thunder my mom would bring when she found out. I knew I'd be lucky if she let me out of the house ever again and alas, my mini skirt days were definitely over.

When I finally got to college I figured it was my chance to wear minis again. But, it was the height of the grunge movement. In general, minis and grunge just didn't make a good mix. Still, I remember the first time I went to my parent's house in a mini skirt, focused on proving that I could wear whatever I wanted when I wanted. All my mom would say was, "Oh, that's a cute outfit!" That drove me crazy! Why couldn't it have been a cute outfit five years earlier?

Since then, I've worn my share of mini skirts and sometimes miss the days of going dancing in a denim mini, black opaque tights and black Doc Martens. I guess it's good that I got all that out of my system because I've clearly become more conservative in my thirties if I think that a just above the knee-length dress is short.

At this rate, I'll probably be in floor-length skirts and dresses by the time I hit fifty.


Mamita Umita said…
This is how I feel about baggy clothes now. It was CRAZY not to wear baggy pants (as you know) in the early to mid 90's, but now when I see the boys wearing them I can't stand it. I am SO not attracted to men that sport the boxer showing, pants to your knees look anymore. I don't know when I changed. Now when my boyfriend or his brothers wear pants that look a little too big, I say "Shouldn't you pull your pants up some more?" or "Don't you have a more fitted pair of jeans?" LOL!
Hey Liz, I've found your blogs, both of them. Why didn't you tell me you were a blogger, and a good one I might add. I'm linking to both your blogs at Baha'i Thought. Looking forward to including you in the next edition of Blogwarriors, the round-up I do from time to time. Come back for a visit very soon.

All the best!
West said…
That is too funny.

All I can focus on is the image of women in mini-skirts, so I'll quickly comment on one.

There was this talllll, long-legged young lady in one of my classes, back in the day, who loved to slide those super-long legs into some super-short skirts and I (along with every other straight guy in class, I'm sure) ate that #$^^ up!

You know that skirts ride up when women sit down, anyway, but on this chick, it was on some other level. There were panty flashes galore - to the dismay of our female instructor, I'm sure. She had to see high-contrast (white panties, dontchuknow) crotch while trying to teach us C++.

Ahh, college.
Unknown said…
Yes, when does it change? I just don't get it! And, I'm glad I'm not alone on the ixnay on sagging pants. When I see guys in them, I just think they look like such a cliche.

Thanks for coming to visit my little homes on the web! As you can see, I update this blog more frequently than the other one. I must remedy that. You are too kind but I thank you for your generous compliments. Can't wait for Blogwarriors.

Just when I get to thinking that this stuff doesn't happen in real life, my goodness, you've created quite a visual for me.

I can't help but wonder, did Miss Micro Mini get a good grade?
Anonymous said…
Oh man, I loved reading this. I can relate on SO many levels!
velvet said…
Sounds like a nice shopping trip. I hear you on skirt lengths. I love mini's, too, but am too self-conscious now to wear them. Sigh.
My parents never had an issue with me wearing minis in high school (they couldn't, I was a cheerleader) - but it was the eyeliner - blue, green, purple - that they had a problem with. If I remember correctly, my father took one look at me as I was walking up the path coming home from school one day - color streaked down my face after practice - and chastised me for looking like a "loose woman" or something to that effect. I was only allowed to wear brown after that! Virtue intact and all.;)

Though I loved minis in high school, they never fell back into favor with me unless it was some sort of all black number (yes, the tights, the Doc Martin's just like you mention). And after my mid-twenties, they kind of went away altogether (God, I sound old, where does the time go?). Nowadays, I prefer A-line, to the knee or just below. I had a long skirt period, too. But hey, if a woman has the legs, she can rock a mini all her life - look at Tina!
Liz Dwyer said…
Glad you enjoyed reading it. It made me laugh out loud to remember the look on my dad's face. I guess since I only have sons, I'll be spared the mini-skirt issue, but my youngest is already drawing tattoos all over himself. I'm already being asked, "Why can't I get a tattoo?" Oh lawdy!

The shopping was definitely fun. I don't go shopping too frequently, or if I do, I don't buy stuff for myself too often. It's always stuff for my boys. So it was nice to splurge a little. ;) You also have me wondering if my miniskirt issue is because I no longer think I have the legs for it or if I just think it's something I did when I was younger to get attention and now I'm past that. Hmm.

Mrs. J,
LOL! The funny thing is that my mom had absolutely no problem with the makeup and my dad never said anything about it. In fact, I think my mom might have even bought the blue eyeliner AND mascara for me. I was allowed to wear red lipstick in high school! Oddly enough though, I was also a cheerleader for one year, just my junior year. (I was also in the chess club and just about every club imaginable) All of my cousins my best friend also tried out and we all made the squad. So, I could wear the uniform with the accompanying short skirt to school on Fridays and to the games, but the minute all that was over, back into the conservative (and unattractive) stuff. Yep, moms definitely did not want any boys looking at me...and can't say that I blame her when I think about some of the wolves I went to school with.
Sundry said…
My forbidden clothing was crop tops. I bought one in 7th grade and was not allowed to wear it after my mom confirmed with my female math teacher, that it wasn't really the thing for the nice girls to wear. I was already developing rapidly in 7th grade, so it was a good choice, I think, given the amount of unsolicited attention I began to get just wearing tee shirts and jeans. Sigh.

Long shirts and leggings were the thing when I was in my fine fit late twenties, so I was pretty much hidden away. Except when I was in my snug baseball shirt and mini-skirt to work at the Sports Deli in Century City. Why oh why did I never have a picture taken in that outfit? Sigh again.

Never been a big skirt wearer. I'd still rather be able to climb a tree.
jdesson said…
As a male, my desire was for long hair and jeans for all occassions, if I could get away with it. Now, I'm 60, short, overweight, and going bald. Now, long hair would look like the devil on me so my hair is short. As my sons grew up, I encouraged them to grow their hair long and guess what? Only for short periods did they allow their hair to grow long. I sincerely meant it but maybe if my parents had said the same thing, I would've had short hair.
the last noel said…
I always wore what I wanted. Except when I started to work. My boss reinforced the dress code and told us that we couldn't wear certain clothes to work--like lycra bike shorts. Everyone looked at me.
Liz Dwyer said…
Crop tops! LOL!! I'm with you in wishing that I'd had my photo taken in some of the outfits I used to wear. I guess when you're young, we don't feel the need to document certain outfits because we naively think we'll always be able to wear it.

Yes, teens do always want what they can't get. So it sounds like in ten years,I need to tell my son that he can get as many tattoos as he wants...and then he won't want them! I like that logic.

Lucky you for getting to wear whatever you wanted growing up. I don't think women ever say that. But, lycra bike shorts? Maybe you need to switch non-profits and come work with me. You could probably swing those on a Friday in my office. I've seen short-shorts and flip flops on a Friday in my office. Then again, you're such a snazzy dresser that I really can't picture you wearing bike shorts.
My secret life came to a disastrous end, too, when my father showed up at school.

In college, I wore very short minis. My all-time favorite was of soft leather that barely covered my crotch. And tight sweaters.

Now I dress for comfort, mostly. Anything else is just too much trouble.

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