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Ugly Knees and a Cool Summer Breeze

As the heat rises, the author questions showing her knees.

I have a strict rule against women wearing shorts after the age of 30. Nobody needs to see your (read: my) fleshy white cellulite thighs. Yes, there are some exceptions to the rule, but about 60 percent of women think they are the exception and only about 9 percent are. (These are actual statistics.)

Being a good rule follower (and a bit of a teacher’s pet), I stopped wearing shorts when I was 24. I happily sweated it out in Capris or a long skirt. But because I made this rule in the ignorance of my youth, I failed to realize that as you age, your tolerance for heat shrinks to the size of an ice cube (and is melting).  

I should have known this was coming. I was always so annoyed at my mother for saying, “Yes, we can go to the beach but only if we get there before 9 a.m.” Ughhh, that means waking up early and rushing out. It’s only 92 today. That’s not that hot. Now that I’m 35 the thought of going to the beach in temperatures above 78 degrees gives me the willies. I just can’t handle it. Maybe it’s because I’m suffering from post-puberty-pre-perimenopause, but the summer feels like one huge hot flash.

Last summer I suffered in my Capri pants until mid-July, and then I broke. I went and bought some nice, cute summer shorts. I don’t care about the rules, I said. I just care about being cool (which has a whole new meaning in peri-middle age). Ahhh, I was so much more comfortable.

It only lasted two days. I couldn’t handle it. I can’t break the rules. No matter how hot I was, I couldn’t expose the world to these fat knees. So I returned the shorts and went back to hiding inside and judging the length of others' hems.

Monday is Memorial Day and the start of long days spent in the hot sun with children who are immune to the heat. And I sense from the lines of sweat building in my belly fat rolls, that this year the same dilemma will once again rear its ugly knees at me.

So I ask myself: too short or not to short? That will be the question.

Daniel de Caussin May 23, 2012 at 11:48 AM
I say wear the shorts! Your knees do not the person make.
q0rban May 23, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Hilarious as always, but all I want to know is how you took that picture.
K. T. Lane May 23, 2012 at 03:25 PM
The complaints of youth. Just be happy your knees still work.
Dave Holden May 23, 2012 at 05:32 PM
The old maxim is when women's hemlines rise, so does the economy. So put on some short shorts.
Becky S Dunlap May 23, 2012 at 09:33 PM
I'm for being comfortable. I wear shorter shorts inside my house and outside in the yard....and a little longer ones out in public. But!!!! I'm all for being comfortable. So dress for comfort, if people don't like it then they don't have to look. They'll be jealous because you're doing it and they aren't. Hold your head high and be Cool!!!! Who knows, you might help that person give up the "Granny Pants"! lol
John Dolac May 24, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Colored socks with shorts -- that was the line for me. Well I have broken that rule. Next up is sandals with socks and plaid shorts.
Mason Gehring May 24, 2012 at 03:46 AM
now that i have chunk thighs and belly rolls i totally understand. i truly think being comfortable is very important and there are ways of doing it in a classy post 30 way! light long dresses? i still think we should design some sort of classy mumu
Shelly Maslak May 24, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Great, real article as always!!
Vickie Shaffer May 24, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I say go with the shorts. Most of the time people are to occupied with their lives to notice your knees!

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