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WriteOut of Her Mind

by Kelly Waterhouse




Mom shorts

I don’t like shopping.

I like it even less when the purchases aren’t for me, yet I am paying for them. They call this parenting. Shopping for denim cut-off shorts with a petite teenage daughter who has the figure you always wanted makes it all the more challenging - but that was just the beginning of the issue.

While we agree on little in terms of fashion, when it came to the denim cut-off shorts my daughter wanted, I couldn’t argue with her. The shorts met my criteria: they were on sale, not too short and not too tight. Perfect. This was a deal too good to be true.

And that’s when I saw it. The label sewn into the pair of shorts read: Mom Shorts.

You know that feeling when you know you’re being insulted, but it’s so subtle you’re not sure if you’re overreacting? That was me. Mom shorts. Eye roll. Stupid.

It’s the mom jeans trend all over again. Those high-waisted pants lifted everything that was headed south, but also redefined the wedgy. Nobody wants that. Nobody. Our punishment for not buying into the mom jean fashion? Skinny jeans. And then worse: jeggings. It’s all downhill from here.

I too have a favourite pair of denim cut-offs, labelled “boyfriend shorts.” This label insults no one since it’s been more than two decades since I’ve even contemplated a boyfriend (out loud).

My boyfriend turned spouse, the Carpenter, has the waist size of a pre-pubescent boy and the backside to match. If he didn’t have a belt his pants would drop. Seriously. But me? I fill those pockets out the way nature intended (and then some).

As much as I love my relaxed-fit boyfriend shorts, it struck me recently that I may be past the appropriate age to wear short-shorts in public places. Sometimes I like to lie to myself, though. Avoidance is key. On Saturday morning, I was out in the yard hanging laundry on the line, including the new mom shorts, when I caught my reflection in the glass patio doors. Droopy shorts, skinny legs and a frumpy T-shirt. Yep, I still got it, I told myself (because who else will tell me?). I turned to the left, then the right, and that’s when the Carpenter caught me looking at the door with such concentration, as if I had forgotten how it opened. Our eyes met in the reflection of the glass and that was enough to engage him in a conversation he would rather not have.

“Honest answer: am I too old to wear cut-off shorts?” I asked.

Birds gathered in the trees around us. Clouds moved across the sun. I could see he was conflicted. I’d just given him ample opportunity to sling me an insult. He wanted to, that was obvious. But he held back. Smart man.

Even smarter reply: “You should not wear those jean shorts outside of this yard,” he said, frankly. “But in this yard, I like those shorts.” He smiled.

See what he did there? He’s a clever one, that Carpenter. This is why he’s still my boyfriend.

 

 

Vol 50 Issue 31

 
 

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