The problem with shorts

Shopping for shorts is hard, because this is pretty much all you’ll find.

I’ve lived in the desert for going on 35 years. I mention this because there is at least one article of clothing one can’t be without, especially since we are pretty much guaranteed close to 110 days a year where the temperature exceeds 100 degrees. I’m talking about shorts, of course.

Growing up in New Jersey, I rarely donned shorts. The reason? I’m of the fish-belly white crowd, so much so that Jill, my best friend growing up who had lovely, dark skin, used to ask me to sit next to her on the beach on those trips to the Jersey Shore.

“You always make me look better,” she’d say, patting the towel next to her.

It wasn’t until I got a job in Phoenix, Arizona in the late 1980’s that I finally gave in and acquired some shorts and I’ve been wearing them ever since. For years I wore the same shorts. I probably had ten pair, purchased at Chicos. White, cotton, comfy, styled like Bermuda shorts but looser. Then suddenly, and even though I’d purchased them at different times, they all fell apart.

I felt stranded, so I headed off to the mall only to find that Chico’s didn’t make them anymore and what I discovered at every store I went into was just plain depressing. Later, when I returned home looking dejected, my sweetie pie creased his brow. “What’s up?”

“I can’t find any shorts.”

Ryan gave me a look like he couldn’t believe such a thing would ruin my day, then he smiled. “Why?”

“They don’t make shorts for people my age?”

“What do you mean?”

“You should see them. Even in the women’s department, the shorts barely cover your butt. Who wants to see my butt?”

He paused, searching for an appropriate response.

“You remember the airport?”

See those nice shorts? Unfortunately, the guy didn’t come with them.

He nodded.

If you’ve been anywhere near an airport lately—or a mall, grocery store or pumping gas, for that matter—I bet you’ve seen a host of older women sashaying about in cutoff jeans exposing much more of their bums than anyone wants to see. They might as well be wearing thongs.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m far from a prude. (Stop tittering!) But there’s a time and place for such attire and in the general public it’s just not a good look. And, let’s face it, most of us, even you younger ladies, just don’t look good in those Daisy Dukes. Sometimes, I find myself wanting to scream at my sisters, “Did you look in the mirror?” But, of course, I don’t. What other people wear is their business.

Another issue is that short shorts are seriously uncomfortable in my desert. You’ll see if you ever come here and sit on anything left outside during the summer. You’ll look like you fell asleep in the sun and you can suffer serious burns.

My dearth of shorts continued despite several trips to the store and numerous online searches. Then, one day, I took Ryan with me. We rarely shop together for anything but food, since neither one of us finds joy in shopping. I could see that he was just as frustrated as I was.

He stood there, considering. “Why don’t you try men’s shorts?”

At my wits end, I followed him to the men’s department, where a miracle occurred. I found shorts that were both comfortable and less revealing.

So why do guys get comfy clothes and we don’t?

I think a revolution is in order.

Anne Montgomery’s novels can be found wherever books are sold.



3 thoughts on “The problem with shorts

  1. htkc says:

    Great post, Anne, and so true about the raggy shorts, and the comfort in the men’s dept. When I couldn’t find the sandals I liked in women’s wear, I checked the men’s shoes, and found almost the same style in men’s wear. Just had to go down two sizes. 😊


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