Mention shorts in my presence and I immediately break out in hives. Some girls have nightmares about being naked in public. I have nightmares about wearing shorts in public. When you abruptly stop growing taller at five foot two, you must kiss your dreams of having long legs goodbye. You may have to kiss wearing shorts goodbye, too.
Shopping for shorts is an exquisite form of torture that can strip a girl of all self confidence. Buying a skirt is hard. Pants shopping is even more miserable because when you put the pants on you realize there's about twelve inches you're missing from your legs in order to fit the Gap's ideal woman who wears their pants. But shopping for shorts is the worst, because while they'll never openly say that your legs are too short, they will insinuate that you'd look better with longer legs.
It sounds so simple. Just make a pair of pants, and then trim them, right? Wrong. For some reason shorts are the elusive holy grail of clothing for me. For several summers I swore them off altogether rather than face the behemoth task of trying on bermuda shorts, cut off shorts, plaid shorts, denim shorts, or shorts with cute pleats which will never stay pleated no matter how voraciously I iron them. But last year was so hot I gave in. Global warming is here to stay, and it's forcing me to wear shorts.
So I shopped. I would go to stores and grab a dozen pairs of varying colors, styles, and sizes. I would then beg the fitting room lady to let me take them all in at once in order to get the torture over with as soon as possible. Then I would come full circle by handing all of them back to her. This is as traumatic as reading a Nicholas Sparks novel (one where everyone dies, even the dog) on the subway. This year I decided to go shopping on Memorial Day in memory of the long legs I was not blessed with. I grabbed several pairs in random colors and sizes, and then I saw the shorts. They were on sale for sixty dollars. So I did what any girl would do. I told myself they probably wouldn't fit and carried them to the fitting room.
When I tried them on I suddenly felt like a picture I once saw of Olivia de Havilland playing tennis. Olivia, for those who don't know, was an actress from Hollywood's golden age. I always feel as if it's more attainable to hope to look like an unphotoshopped star from the 30s and 40s than the computer generated images of today. So no, they didn't turn me into Megan Fox. That would be completely unbelievable. These shorts were simply amazing. It was like I suddenly had the legs and figure of a different person. I fell in love. And then I came crashing down to earth as I remembered the price tag.
Thus began my one woman drama in the fitting room. I reasoned. I googled the dry clean only instructions to see if it was a vicious lie or the truth. I called my mother to find out if she'd had any personal experience with the fabric. I played the part of the prosecution and the defense and the defense won. I walked out of the story with my magical sixty dollar pair of shorts.
It was just like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, only I had the luxury of not having to share them with three other girls and could wear them whenever I darn well pleased. The first time I wore them I felt like a million bucks. They never made me feel inadequate like wearing a pair of jeans the first time after washing them. The shorts still had their same lovely shape, and were very graciously shifting my shape as well. Every time I put them on it was as if a miracle had transformed me from short and stubby to a gloriously glamorous Hollywood actress. Those shorts are the best thing I've ever bought, and I plan on wearing them for at least the next thirty years.