My Very Personal Battle With Mini-skirt-aphobiaBy Rachel Fierro
Mini-skirt. The word alone used to send shivers down my spine. That's what happens when you have a truly traumatic experience - and I did. At the young, impressionable age of 16 my mind and soul were scarred at the most unsuspecting of moments.
While still in high school, I took some college courses. I would spend half my day in high school and half at the local junior college. Though it was close to 10 years ago, this particular day is etched in my mind. It was Speech Class. I was sitting in my seat waiting for the rest of the students to arrive and for class to get started. Darlene, the most beautiful female student in the class, hands down, walked in. As usual she was dressed in the hottest, hippest of outfits. That day it happened to be a blue mini skirt, a short sleeved white blouse, a sweater, and a simple pair of flats.
She walked to a seat, one row in front of me. Then it happened. As she was placing her books on her desk, her pencils dropped to the ground! A hush fell over those in the immediate vicinity. She stared down at the pencils, frozen in terror. No one moved. No one spoke. It was as if we were all statues, unable to do anything but observe the tragedy unfolding in front of us.
The beautiful girl, the smartly dressed girl, the girl all the guys wanted and all the girls wanted to be, stood there, unable to act, incapable of performing the simplest of tasks. All the guys nearby, just waited and watched, trying to keep themselves from slobbering with anticipation. Her skirt was so mini, I didn't see how she was going to pick up those pencils on her own. Any move to bend over or reach for the pencils would have her backside waving hello to all the onlookers.
She started to bend over, and stopped. She tried to squat down, keeping her knees together. She couldn't do it. I could see what this moment was doing to her. Her face turned red, then began to fade to white. Sweat erupted from her brow. Her breathing became shallow and frantic. She was entering the realm of a full-on, panic attack. Her suffering was almost unbearable to watch. She kept trying different approaches, to the utter satisfaction of the hormone-driven guys in the crowd, but she could not reach her pencils without exposing herself to the crowd.
After what felt like hours to us, and an eternity to poor Darlene, a girl sitting two desks away shook herself out of the trance we were all under, and came to the rescue, grabbing the pencils from the floor and placing them on the desk. Darlene was never the same. She was always nervous, carrying the humiliation of that day. For the remainder of that semester, she was different, scared, afraid, missing the vivacious sparkle and confidence she once carried. She never wore a mini-skirt again.
Being a witness to such suffering, anguish, and pain, impacted me deeply. I couldn't look at, or even consider wearing a mini skirt. I was convinced it would only result in agony. Then one day, many years later, two very stubborn and determined friends made me face and overcome my mini-skirt-aphobia.
My friends convinced me that Darlene could have easily avoided the pain and misery she was flooded by that day in Speech class. They showed me that miniskirts are fabulous pieces of clothing for those who have the right techniques and tools. They don't have to be the cause of ultimate suffering if you know how to wear one.
Of course, I didn't wear my mini-skirt out in public until I had mastered two skills - sitting down without giving a show, and picking up things (like pencils) from the ground without flashing my backside. I have come a long way since that day in Speech class. I am a mini-skirt pro now, with years of agony-free experience under my belt.
I think of poor Darlene every now and then and can't help but pity the poor girl. Had she only treated the mini skirt with the proper respect, everything could have been so different for her. If only she would have mastered the skills of the mini-skirt before sauntering into class that day, all that trauma could have been avoided. Miniskirts are not to be taken for granted. On the hips of the inexperienced or untrained, they can be truly dangerous pieces of clothing, setting the wearer up for disaster.
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