One of the biggest issues of my teen years was whether girls should be allowed to wear pants to school. Yeah. Really. This had been a point of contention for a while. It didn’t just suddenly happen when I entered high school.
What finally made the school board accept the idea of girls wearing pants to school (1970) were our skirts. They were barely skirts at all. Even if we left home wearing skirts, by the time we got to our first class, we’d rolled up the top so the skirt was much less skirt. The boys loved them and had all kinds of ways to successfully explore the upper regions without our knowing it — such as dropping pencils…
In fact, sitting down was difficult. I was editor of the yearbook. A girl we all (the yearbook staff) disliked (and who disliked us) was named homecoming queen. When the best picture of her ALSO showed a bright white triangle, we decided not to black it out. It’s there, bright, white and on page something or another.
It’s true that they were cold on that mile walk to school. I was sick a lot, but I was cool. I didn’t know how cool or to whom until my ten year high school reunion in 1980, an event I attended under duress (pun there, ha ha). My mom, my aunt and my 11th grade English teacher all put pressure on me to go.
When I got home from work the day before I was to leave for this event, (I lived in Denver, my high school was in Colorado Springs, an hour drive away) I found a boot on my wheel for not paying tickets. I usually walked to work at a law firm in downtown Denver, only 3/4 a mile away. No reason to drive and pay for parking right?
In any case, I wasn’t going anywhere until I paid my fines. I took it as a sign and breathed a sigh of relief, but THEN…
“You can use my car, Martha Ann,” said my Aunt Martha. “I’m not going anywhere and if I need to go somewhere, I’ll call your mom.”
My mom had bought me a very pretty dress — white with a pattern of pink and blue, sort of a frothy polyester gauze, a wrap dress that tied at the waist. I think she thought I’d meet a long lost love, get married and live happily ever after.
So, I went. And it was there I finally learned who had really liked the show afforded by my miniskirts back in high school. As I walked by a dancing couple, the girl stopped dancing and turned to me. It was the head cheer leader of my class, the most popular girl, a pretty, bouncy, long-haired A-list classmate. “Martha? Oh my god!” She reached down and opened the wrap dress and said, “You still have those beautiful legs. I used to watch you walk down the hall. You want to go in the Ladies and do a line?”