Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Play like a girl?

In order to hopefully make it to posting on Day 2 of the blogging challenge started at NaBloPoMo, I'm starting on the evening of Day 1. (If I wait until tomorrow, after substituting in PreK and stressing over my daughter's GT testing, my fingers won't crave a keyboard. They'll be searching for something a bit more substantial - with calories and carbs.)

Perhaps one of these:

Stemware not included, nor needed, is it?

Or a few of these:
Am I the only one amused that this picture was found at 

Either way, I'll certainly be more rested afterwards, and my carb-induced coma will render effective communication impossible.

Today's blog prompt? Describe a strong memory of recess.  The recurring memory of recess, I admit, has no winning kickball game, no first kiss, no karma boomerang.  There was no adrenaline rush of victory, nor tear-stained face of defeat.

How did I accomplish this faded watercolor snapshot of childhood? Easy. I was a girl, and determined to dress like one. . .circa 1875. In my mind, every day called for a dress. This meant I showed up dressed for Sunday school FIVE days a week:

What? Who doesn't want to emphasize the hourglass figure on a first grader?
Photo courtesy:

It's easy to understand, once you compare the dresses to the PANTS:

If your legs are your best feature, why not cover them with tents?
Photo courtesy:
Honestly, it's a wonder I wasn't pushed in the dirt on a daily basis.  I chose this. My own free will. Hated pants. Hated jeans. (Why no one staged an intervention, I don't understand.)  Of course, little did we know that future fashion horror loomed in the form of acid wash jeans, jelly shoes and shoulder pads. Such innocents.

My childhood clothing choices made me happy most of the time, but resulted in one teeny tiny complication: recess.  When your mom is raising you to act like a lady and mind your manners, practicing pole climbing and flying trapeze imitations in your best Sears & Roebuck fashion frock was a bit frowned upon. My memories on the playground pretty much involved swings, slides, seesaws - and skirts. With the seesaw, you're straddling a seat and offering the world a view of your land down under, but no one seemed to notice. 

In the hedonistic 70s, apparently, parents and school districts didn't concern themselves with girls' underwear. I'm not sure why, since it was on display alllllll the time. I wore tights - because I loved those, too (Really. Wasn't that a cry for help?!) - but had long legs, and hemlines were already above the thigh. Seriously, watch the Brady Bunch. Every day would have been an upskirt opportunity - and all a girl had to do was sneeze to flash the rest of first grade.  There was no panty preoccupation on the part of the school or parents. . .no reminders to wear shorts under the dress. Ever.  I just knew one golden rule: NO MONKEY BARS. Granted,  I also inadvertently flashed anyone who followed me climbing the slide - or getting a drink from the water fountain for that matter, but that was different. Hanging from the monkey bars in your Easter dress? Well, now, that's just sinning. 

Times change and certain playground equipment was eliminated (through litigation, I'm sure), but eventually, well-meaning adults decided no one needed to see Day of the Week panties anymore (at least in Texas at recess). I'm not sure why shorts, capris and leggings of body-hugging Lycra became the solution, but here they are, saving girls in their glittery, sparkly Justice wardrobe from flashing or appearing provocative.

There. Problem solved.  Don't we all feel better?

Me neither.

With any luck, my daughter's playground memories will involve the friends she knew and the games they played. . .and THAT is the way it should be.

Now I'm going to order some more jeans. And denim shorts. 

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