In high school, my school decided one day that they needed to impose a stricter dress code.
So I’m sitting innocently enough in my freshman French class, wearing a pair of jean shorts and a one-shoulder shirt (they were ALL THE RAGE at Limited Too that season) and feeling pretty good about myself. (Wow, I can count about three reasons why clarifying that it was freshman year was totally redundant.) When all of a sudden, my French teach is like, “Oh, by the way, we’re supposed to read this letter to you guys…”
It basically said that tube tops and halter tops were not allowed, neither were especially saggy pants, short shorts, or anything deemed “inappropriate.” (Oh, ambiguous high school verbiage…you cad.)
Of course, being even a super self-conscious freshman, I immediately feel like everyone is staring at my bare shoulder and upper thighs. Am I dressed like a skank?
Bless her heart, my teacher realizes that I feel uncomfortable (maybe the stiffened spine and beet-red face gave me away?) and says, “I’m sure what you’re wearing is fine!” After class, this jerky kid I used to hang out with was like, “I bet you were feeling pretty nervous for a minute there, huh?”
Yes, jerkface. I was.
Now, you guys know me. You know that I have NEVER been/looked like/dressed like/smelled like a skank. (Remember that time I wore a cardigan to a night club?) Little Freshman Justine, free from the insecurities that would start to plague her about a year later and into her junior year of college, had nothing to be concerned about.
The only time anyone has actually called me skanky? High school mock trial (oh yes, that particular extracurricular is just plagued with oversexed pre-pubescents…not). The teacher who ran the group called me skanky for not wearing pantyhose under my below-knee-length skirt and blazer. She used that word. The title of this post is a direct quote. My friends and I still laugh about it to this day.
Why am I bringing this up? Because today at work we got an email about dressing less casually in the office, and it referenced short shorts, and I’m wearing tailored shorts. Which, naturally, I immediately assume the email could be referring to. Even though they go below mid-thigh.
Oh Freshman Justine, I’ve missed you.