Why I’m So Hot

I can feel his eyes on me as I dress and move towards the door.

“I thought for sure you’d do it today,” he says through sleepy whispers.

My gaze drops to the floor and I sigh, “Not today; maybe next week. I’m just not ready.”

He mumbles something and rolls over, not wanting to press the issue. How can I explain this to him in a way that he’ll understand?

I can tell by his reaction he thinks I’m a certifiable basket-case; a nut; a kook.

But he’s called me on it, and he’s right.

I’ve developed a phobia of sorts.

I just can’t bring myself to wear shorts this summer.

And today? We hit the 100-degree plus mark.

They taunt me from the drawer with their short legs and breezy leg openings. In their neatly organized piles sorted by color and fabric, they promise summer fun and cuteness.

One pair even has pleats that I carefully ironed last fall before putting them away for the last time.

But was it the last time for the season, or the last time at all?

I’ve always been a shorts-in-the-summer kind of gal, always made sure that I had all the basics covered: a white pair, a dressier pair, denim, khaki, and maybe a crazy plaid pair. Funky cut-offs for the beach; snazzy linen for brunch.

But plans like that were made with legs that I haven’t seen in a few years.

Not the legs I’m hobbling around on these days.

Lately I’ve become rather fond of knee-length short-type things (Bermudas?), skirts that end at the knee, and capri pants. All of those styles that cover that back part of the leg. You know, the longest part.

My ankles are rather nice, thank you very much.

As I get closer to that looming 50th birthday in a few years, I find that even though I’m comfortable with myself, I’m not so comfortable subjecting other people to the horrors that age is bestowing on me.

While my legs have always been pale, now that paleness is accentuated with purplish veins like the doodles of a distracted middle school girl.

In purple Sharpie pen.

Knees are never really sexy, but mine are now encased in baggy skin. Where exactly did the fat under there go?

It quite possibly migrated north and stopped for a layover on the shores of my belly button.

That explains a lot.

And don’t even start on the exercise thing. I suppose that exercise alone would transform my legs, make them shorts-worthy in no time. Or possibly make the veins even veiny-er.

If I were willing to commit to it.

I even went shopping, determined to find the pair of shorts that I could actually wear with confidence this summer.

If I thought my legs looked horrid at home, they looked like abstract art under the tragic fun-house lights in the dressing room at Kohl’s.

Do they do that on purpose? Is there a hidden camera show I’m not aware of that taunts middle-aged women with cute clothes, then lures them into a room with hideous lighting and crazy mirrors?

If there is, I was a contestant.

This battle isn’t over, but for now?

Shorts:Β Β  1
Sherri:Β Β  0


  1. I caved. Today I wore them. I shouldn’t have. but I did. and it was glorious. IT IS SO HOT!!!!

    • Sara,
      I understand yet when I read “I caved…I shouldn’t have” I am saddened that we are so hard on ourselves, particularly related to our bodies. No one pays attention to our legs like we do, they’re concerned about their own lives. Perhaps teenager snicker but they snicker at everyone, until they age.
      Warning: Swimsuits Are Hazardous To Your Health http://t.co/7BDD5gl is the post I wrote Monday. I hope that all of us can become gentler with ourselves, wear the shorts and have it be glorious like you did. Cherry

  2. Sherri, I feel your pain. I’ve never been able to wear shorts of any kind.

    Summer? I’d opt for summer dresses. Pretty, flirty, feminine, covers everything!

    Infinitely easier than exercise!

  3. Wow. You are like the bravest woman I know. Does that come with age? I would never in a million years disclose so much info about my legs. I’m sorta not lookin’ forward to it. But this post was really funny though. I hope you eventually win the war – before summer ends. =D

  4. I wear Bermudas.

    If they made a bathing suit bottom in that length, I’d wear it too.

  5. Once I saw an episode where the Duggars wore swimsuits. They were literally from 1920. I need to figure out where they got them. They covered the top AND all of the bottom…down to the KNEES baby.
    Then, my next step will be to have 19 kids. HA!

  6. I haven’t worn shorts in almost 10 years! I just can’t anymore. I get through these hot summers wearing knee-length flowy skirts and t-shirts. They’re my summer uniform!

  7. I’m totally the “comfortable trumps anything else” guy, and I wear shorts year round – even when it’s impossibly cold outside, if it’s bearable inside, I at least have some leg exposed.

    I’ve been thinking about self-image a lot lately . . . because while I wear shorts, I always try to hide my arms. I think, for my size, they’re impossibly un-masculine. I really wish there were simply a pill you could take for body image. That would rock.

  8. Two summers ago I vowed to buy sundresses and skirts and wear them all summer. And then I had a toddler to chase.

    I hate my knees. And my thighs. They are all…large. They do not fit into shorts. And shorts do not properly encase the “mother’s apron” the firstborn has so lovingly given me.


    Pants are just easier.

  9. The dressing room lights taunt women of all ages.

    It’s a cruel, cruel trick.

  10. I was always a fan of shorts. My legs were by no means long & beautiful, but they were muscular & toned. Yeah.. after 2 babies & not enough exercise- the muscle has gone to flab. And I really think the cellulite that used to ONLY be on my very upper thighs has been breeding. It’s now everywhere.
    And veins? I’m 31 & have varicose veins. Not horrible, but still there.
    So.. the bermuda short is my new BFF.

  11. You are not alone, Sherri. We all feel the same way. I loathe shorts. But I am wearing them sometimes this summer—-it’s too damn hot and I am too damn pregnant and can’t deal w/ the sweating.

    So I am wearing them—-purple veins, fat ankles and chubby knees be damned. At least I’m cooler when I”m wearing them. I just shove the bad thoughts to the back of my head. I’m a mother. That’s where those veins come from, after all—but the fat ankles? I’ve always had those. So I envy you your trim ankles—you should show them off!!!


  12. sundresses — baggy, loose, knee length.

  13. You need to get some maxi dresses!

    As always, you nail exactly how I’m feeling. Nobody told me Old Lady Knee Syndrome started in your 40s. It does.

  14. OMG. I didn’t realize there were so many women unwilling to wear shorts and some of you are young (it’s all relative, I’m 61). Some of my blog posts are about body image, like this one on Monday: Warning: Swimsuits Are Hazardous To Your Health http://t.co/7BDD5gl and I don’t escape from the feelings, although I fight them like mad.

    How do we change this?

    Sherri, I’m going to play devil’s advocate. You said “I find that even though I’m comfortable with myself, I’m not so comfortable subjecting other people to the horrors that age is bestowing on me.” The “he” in your bed wouldn’t be horrified. I wouldn’t be horrified. In fact I don’t know anyone that would be horrified. People may look, notice your veins and then they’re on to the next thing in their lives. Perhaps you’re not as comfortable with yourself as you think. I hope you can become more accepting of your body, aging (which is a gift of still being alive) and self. If there’s anyway I can help, drop me a line. Cherry

    • Oh Cherry, this isn’t quite that serious! My hubs thinks I look awesome, I feel confident, and I was trying to be a bit funny with this. Many women my age just find that they aren’t as comfortable out in public in shorts so I was just attempting to commiserate!

      I will be in those shorts eventually….it’s too hot to not give in! Thank you for commenting; nice to “meet” you today.

  15. You’re scaring me with this knee and vein shit. I’ve never even looked at me knees before! If the temperature goes over 65, I wear shorts πŸ™‚

  16. I understand about the veins. I will be 30 next month and I already have purple veins arriving. I am self conscious, but I am not going to suffer in the heat just because my veins are showing. screw all the judgemental assholes.

  17. Oh, you are going to win this battle, Sherri, I know it.

    If only because you will feel SO MUCH COOLER.

    I feel your vein pain. I do. But I just bought the Jergen’s self-tanner lotion called Glow something. Maybe a tan will hide them!

    You can do it!

  18. I don’t if you need to bother Sherri, I wear shorts all the time and it still feels like you are dying from the heat…there must be another option…like those people that live in the desert that wear layers and layers and turbans on their head AND drink hot tea, maybe THEY’RE onto something?

  19. To clarify: Old Lady Knee syndrome started for me by my 30th birthday. All those years as a lifeguard.
    Capris, you could pull of capris, with those long lovely legs of yours. But beware the pedal pusher or clam diggers.
    Does anyone call them that anymore?

    ALSO: You are so hot. LOVE the title!

  20. No shorts here either. Capris? Yes. Long skirts (past the knee)? Yes. Shorts. No way in hell. Sigh. I’ve got fat knees…no joke, it’s from my dad’s side of the family and I HATE them.

  21. I wear lots and lots of skirts/dresses in the summer. They are more forgiving πŸ™‚ However, I bought a single pair of shorts this summer, because my 18 month old is a tasmanian devil, and I had to choose between baring my legs and baring my lady business on the playground this year πŸ™

  22. The only shorts I wear are part of my pajamas. If I have to actually leave the house I wear bermudas or capris. But I am trying to work on that whole exercise thing. I find it’s difficult to make the time for it.

  23. OMG you still get dressed in front of your husband!!!!! Don’t tell mine that.

  24. I haven’t worn shorts for a couple of years–mostly because of the way they look. Also I’ve moved to one of the buggiest areas ever. The bug bites are so itchy, and when I scratch, they get all swollen up–which makes my legs look even worse. But it’s also a lot hotter than where I was living?

    What to do? I’m tempted to just get some shorts and wear them anyway.

  25. I can’t bring myself to wear shorts either, despite the weather. I wear capris & knee-length skirts.

  26. I’m all about capris. Though I’m short, so they aren’t my most flattering style. More leg is supposed to make you look taller, but I think I’ll just get some platform sandals for that πŸ™‚

  27. One word:


    Two words:

    Flowing skirts.

    Three words:

    Long, flowing skirts.

  28. so i hate shorts too. i have yet to find a pair that doesn’t ride up my inner thighs giving me that weird look like my crotch is slowly sucking everything into it. totally unflattering.

    so i was going to do all skirts all the time.

    then? those same thighs? rubbed together until there were welts from the chaffing. So I am forced to alternate.

    I am not pleased with this, but a skirt 3 days in a row? to painful.

    so i wear the longer, bermuda shorts. begrudgingly.

  29. I have met you.
    You can wear shorts…hands down.

  30. Sigh. I do not like to wear shorts either. I can’t stand my thighs or my knees. I get it from my dad’s side of the family. My mother so graciously called it “athletic legs” when I was younger but I’m pretty sure that was just to save my hurt feelings. No matter what I do, I can’t get that part of my body to slim down to my liking. And now? I’ve just given up. Skirts (knee length), capris, and bermudas for me.

  31. I’m not a big fan of shorts either – I have varicose veins at 29!! Stupid genes…

  32. Bahahaha – you have voiced what we all are thinking Sherri. I am in bermudas most of the time and just ignore/deny any old lady knees! πŸ™‚

  33. Oh honey we can all relate.

    Also? I’m impressed that you ironed your shorts!

    What exactly does *that* say about me?!


  34. I prefer sundresses, not quite as scary but have had to resort to those tinted moisturizers to take off the white glare of my legs. Something tells me you can probably wear shorts and look great.

  35. I too have lost the battle with shorts. I have a couple of pairs, but they haven’t seen the light of day or my thunder thighs in years. No way!

  36. I had talked myself into believing I was pulling off the shorts this year (I go for the longer style) until one evening my daughter was standing behind me and exclaimed (horrified, I might add), “EWWWWWW! I can see the veins on the back of your legs!” I’m not sure if any self tanner is going to conceal those suckers. I always figured, “Well, I can’t see them (um, ‘cuz they’re in back), so I’m sure nobody else can”