Short Shorts and Tan Lines: Things I Should Love About Summer But Don't!
With all the coverage of Coachella fashion, the oddball weather we had this spring and the sugary catchiness of ‘Call Me Maybe’, it is becoming increasingly apparent that summer is almost here (like literally right around the corner). I am a HUGE fan of summer. Nothing makes me happier than throwing on a pair of slip on shoes and a t-shirt, hitting up a friend’s BBQ, walking around all day and having a cold beverage outside somewhere. I am also a fan of: the beach, summer romance, music blasting from cars, ice-cream trucks, ferris wheels and sundresses. That said, there are a few things about summer that I totally dread. They don’t ruin the best four months of the year for me, but they are definitely things I do not look forward to.
My mom likes to tell me stories about how when she was my age, she and her friends would lather themselves up with baby oil and sit outside and roast. She always reminds me that this is a cautionary tale – because they all wish (due to many visits to the doctor, having suspicious moles removed and wrinkles – obviously) that they could go back in time and do it differently. Skin damage is real! While I love a good tan, I know that it comes at a price much larger than the $11 all-you-can-tan at the salon down the street. You have to be careful with that flesh of yours and avoid burns at all cost. They are not sexy, fun or free! So if you are going to lather up with anything, let it be SPF45 at least. Your pasty bottom will look better if the rest of you remains pasty as well.
Ladies who live in New York City can all bond over one thing: the disgusting feeling of your thighs sticking to the subway seats on a hot summer day. When I go to get up for my stop, the peeling sound of my skin suctioning away from the plastic is enough to send much needed chills down my spine. Then I am left wondering if there are red marks all over the back of my legs, a sort of souvenir of my time sitting down (yes, this also applies to toilet seats). Much energy and thought is spent trying to avoid this particular fate. I crisscross my legs in various patterns, maneuver my body so just my bum is on the seat, with my legs splayed out in front of me so they look their longest, even though they are still laughably short. At some point in the summer, I do become “whatever” about this, as I look around and realize it is happening to everyone else. But still, on those first hot, shorts-inspired days, I equate benches and metal chairs with the same dubious fear usually reserved for beer pong.
The Eternal Search for The Best Pair of Shorts
Which leads me to my next, and final point. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I spend three-quarters of the summer hunting for “the perfect pair of shorts”. I was not blessed with long, lean legs (see above), but as something of a feminist, I’ve thrown self-consciousness to the wind and embraced what I have been given. I regularly rock shorts and tights in the cooler months, but I would feel a little odd laying out in a park with the control-top band showing. So, summer presents an interesting dilemma, and I gravitate to and then oscillate at every Forever21 or H&M I come in contact with. “Are these shorts too flimsy?” “Can you see my butt-crack?” “When is high waisted too high waisted? Like, can the top of the shorts touch my bra?” “Do I really have to get naked to go to the bathroom in this onesie?” “Am I too old to wear a onesie?” “How much of my legs will have to touch the subway seat in these?” Etc. and so on and so forth.
Before I know it, it’s the middle of September and I am still wearing those perfect, silky, age-appropriate, mid-waisted shorts I picked up for $24.99 at H&M two Mays ago. Every year I shrug my shoulders and make a mental note not to worry about it so much. It’s summer after all, and there are better things to do than worry about what you’re going to wear. Take bocce, for example. Bocce, is totally awesome.
Caitlin Abber is a writer, marketing consultant and love child of the internet. She hails from Brooklyn, New York, and is a regular contributor to Thought Catalog, Greenpointers, and the upcoming Quarterlette. What are you obsessed with right now? That is what this Caitlin wants to know. You can read her personal ramblings on her blog and on Twitter.