I have some big news you might want to sit down for. I bought a skirt. Every year I go to temple services on Rosh Hashanah in some old thing, and look around at the other women in their new outfits, many of them wearing – you guessed it – skirts. This year I wanted to have a new skirt, too.
I have never been a high heel, short skirt kinda girl. I’ve always secretly needed to be prepared to flee any scene gone wrong as quickly as possible, to be able to run, hop a fence, hurdle any obstacles in my path. I have in my past life, climbed up on stages, pedestals and tables to dance. I climbed out of the bathroom window of a house I wasn’t supposed to be in (many, many years ago), and crawled out of my bedroom window onto the roof to stealthily escape my mother’s watchful eye. Pants and sturdy shoes helped me navigate such heights.
They say guys dig the whole high heels and short skirt thing. I prefer to think that if we got caught somewhere doing something naughty, my guy would be grateful that I could keep up when we were trying to get the hell out of there. I am aware that heels would help a petite gal like me, but they hinder my mobility and that’s a compromise I’m not willing to make.
My ex-husband and I once dabbled in the somewhat cultish Amway business, where all the women wore skirts and behaved like Stepford wives. Amway women sat with their hands in their skirted laps, quietly cheering their husbands on.
Except for this girl right here.
I did not see eye to eye on this with the representative above us in the Amway pyramid. Some woman had brought this Amway guy in to the world and I was prepared to take him out if he continued to bully me about my wardrobe choices. And then because I was wearing pants and the right shoes, I could run like hell from the scene of the crime and look damn good doing it.
It’s not that I don’t like how skirts and dresses look. I own a few, and appreciate a cool summer sundress, but some dresses I’ve bought have never come off the hanger, price tags still dangling. I know there are times when a dress is most appropriate, and I occasionally cave to this social pressure, loathing every minute.
And they are the gateway fashion issue to other wardrobe worries like hosiery with their sudden rips, Spanx that restrict breathing, and 100-way bras that leave marks on flesh worse than hickies. I don’t want to spend time and money on expensive, uncomfortable undergarments to force an outfit to work on me. Nor do I want to be in the middle of a conversation or giving a presentation, and be obsessing over whether my bra straps are showing or if the damn thing is even attached correctly. Heck, I’m lucky if I remember to put the damn thing on.
I can relax in pants, there’s something empowering to me about their clean lines. I admire women who wear skirts with confidence, who embrace that feminine type of style, and I think they look beautiful. And it’s most likely because they feel beautiful in a skirt. Which is the last thing I feel. I feel self conscious and uncomfortable, like I’m being forced into someone else’s skin. And I like my skin.
When I envision myself on book tours, or accepting my Oscar for best original screenplay, I am always in pants. Wide leg and flowing, or tapered to the ankle. Denim, leather or corduroy. Trousers with pinstripes, patterned, or in a bold color like ruby red. My name is called. I am thrilled and, let’s face it, I feign shock because I’m expecting to win, I’ve watched Meryl Streep do this all these years. I stride up the aisle, in my pants and sassy 2″ wedges, and bounce up those steps. I am solid and grounded when they hand me that award. I will not trip in my shoes on the way back to my seat. Oh no, I will not trip.