Today I am wearing a skirt. Those that know me in real life will no doubt be gasping in amazement. I don’t really do skirts. The last time I wore one unreluctantly it looked like that and it was 1983.
I am only ‘doing’ one today as I have just returned from a cervical smear test. I did ask myself if this was something I wanted to air in public (careful with the spelling there Sarah) but as the old smear test is just one of the many ignominies us women have to face why not just share that reality?
The invitations (yep that is how they word them- it stops short of black tie- as if that somehow makes it better) come round alarmingly fast and you sit there with a mounting sense of dread believing the NHS may have made an error in recalling you so quickly. But then you realise that actually, yes, last time you suffered this procedure one of your children wasn’t yet at school and they were sat asking awkward questions from behind the curtain. So although it feels like yesterday when you last chatted about the weather whilst someone slid a metal implement somewhere metal implements have no business being it really was three plus years ago. And so I have decided to just let it all hang out. Again.
Skirts are good for cervical smears. It avoids having to strip off your entire bottom half and with some delicate drapeage one can still believe one is retaining a certain air of delicacy. It’s all an illusion obviously but psychologically it helps.
I realise now that maybe this entry should come with some sort of warning. To be honest this whole piece is probably going to be too much for some of my readers. Mostly the male ones I imagine, especially those who are not yet fathers or those who stayed firmly at the head end during the delivery of their offspring.
You see the cervical smear is a total stroll in the park compared to the total lack of dignity that accompanies childbirth. Until you have had your feet in stirrups with some random doctor trying to repair your reproductive area you can’t say you have reached the bottom, dignity wise. To be honest after the twenty hours it took me to extrude eldest I would have let anyone have a go with that repair just so I could get some sleep…ahh sleep..well of course that didn’t happen. What? a student wants to come in?- hey! I am high on gas and air- bring in a whole class, just get me sorted!
Anyway before I lose loyal readers in droves back to the point (if I ever had one). My reasons for not wearing skirts then.
My main reason is legs. I do have legs. Two of them. Which I believe is the usual complement. I have found that my legs look best in trousers. Specifically jeans. Boot cut. Jeans are my wardrobe mainstay. I will venture into leggings and boots in winter and linen trousers when temperatures hit 25 plus. But usually I am in the old denim.
And so my legs are, how shall I put this, slightly neglected. It flits across my mind occasionally, usually when I see some yummy mummy wafting around in a frothy summer number, that I could don one of my two skirts. And then I remember the deforestation that that would entail. And I reach for the denim.
I do envy women who ‘sort’ themselves out every day. I just can’t fit it in. To be honest I sometimes don’t fit in teeth brushing until gone 11am. And before you suggest I get up earlier we are up at 6 daily it’s just my actual job (the kids) seems to get in the way. And don’t get me started on moisturizing. Really?
And then recently my house has been full of men. All the time. This week one was ensconced in my bedroom for two days from 8-6 and whilst I admired his dedication to building my new wardrobes it was quite off putting ablution wise.
Then as well as legs feet are an issue. Mine are utilitarian. Not pretty. One ex described them as flippers. Cheers. I am not one for nail varnish. A friend and I went to a spa in January and I still have a small bit of that polish on my big toe nails. It’s quite interesting to know how quickly one’s toe nails grow. I can’t find the varnish remover that I have had since 1986 (and that is not a joke btw) maybe it has all evaporated. So my feet and sandals are not really that good a combo.
And then in my line of work jeans are just more practical. I spend my days cooking, cleaning (husband will be spitting out his tea at this point), doing laundry, clearing up kid detritus, ferrying, hauling large musical instruments around etc and heels (with my legs flats and skirts would just be ugh) and floaty numbers don’t cut it. I had curry down my front and had managed to suck my frothy number up my Hoover attachment before 10a.m. this morning.
And then there are a whole host of other issues. The glare of my pallid legs putting motorists off their manoeuvres, the way the kids look when they see me in anything other than jeans (‘You just don’t look like you mummy’), where do I put my mobile phone, wind issues, co-ordination- denim goes with anything skirts need thought, my thread veins, my varicose veins, all my veins really, the ironing. I could go on.
To be honest it is possibly a matter of priorities. I was never one for prioritising my ‘beauty’ routine. And now my main priorities in life are sleep and this blog. So there you have it. Trousers all the way.