It’s a corduroy pants kind of day

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Brrrrrrr. Today is definitely a corduroy pants day. When I was in school, I loved corduroy pants’ days.

Of course, I wasn’t sure how the powers in charge of dress codes decided it was one of these days. Didn’t matter; when it arrived I celebrated.

Maybe I need to explain why this was a joyous occasion. Way back in the old days, (that’s what I know my children and grandchildren think when I start talking about my childhood) girls wore dresses and skirts to school. This was true all the way through high school.

I remember having cute pleated skirts, dresses that tied at the waist with a bow and then straight shifts that hit just above the knee. (Mini skirts came later and that’s a completely different column).

Yep, we wore dresses and we did everything in those dresses, even climbed monkey bars. A few brave souls dared to hang upside down from the monkey bars. I don’t recall how they dealt with what gravity does to a dress when you hang upside down.

Looking back, I wonder how we played like we did at recess. We dodged balls, ran bases, chased each other and jumped ropes in our dresses. The boys, those lucky devils, got to run around in their jeans while we braved windy days that threatened our playground modesty.

When it turned cold, we broke out the knee socks and long coats. Don’t be fooled; even a longer coat and knee socks will not keep your business from freezing when the weather turns chilly.

And, then there was the sure enough cold day. The one that brought joy to my heart. As I said, I don’t know who made the decision about the dress code on that day. I wonder if there was a certain temperature or predicted temperature so low they knew even knee socks were not adequate protection against the elements.

All I know is someone decided, the announcement went out and I did the happy dance when I heard the news.

“You can wear your corduroy pants to school today,” Mother said, as she woke me up.

I always asked her to repeat that sentence to make sure I wasn’t still half-asleep and dreaming. When I realized I was wide-awake, I sprang out of bed and dressed with enthusiasm usually reserved for the last day of school or the beginning of the Christmas holiday.

So having heard the announcement, all us girls arrived at school wearing the clothes we played in at home. There were always a few who showed up with pants on under a skirt or dress. I suppose they belonged to parents who followed the “girls must wear dresses no matter what” philosophy. Thankfully, Mother was not of that persuasion.

Oh how I looked forward to recess on those days. It was a day when I might find the courage to hang upside down. A day when falling head-over-heels in dodge ball meant no panties peeked out.

Unfortunately, corduroy pants days were uncommonly cold days. Teachers do not like uncommonly cold days. They especially do not like being outside on a playground with a bunch of wild kids on uncommonly cold days.

So, most corduroy pants days meant we pushed desks back and square danced the recess away. How ironic that on the day we wore pants, we did a dance that works so well with full bouncy skirts.

As I promenaded and allemanded, I thought of the monkey bars sitting there in the cold, empty playground, waiting for me to hang from that top bar. Alas, as we bowed to our partners, my dreams of racing around that playground to the music of my corduroy pants legs rubbing together faded and died.

Brrrrr — yep, I hear the wind is going to be fierce today and the temperatures frigid. Thankfully, I have a supply of corduroy pants ready to go. Wonder if they have monkey bars out at Dream Park…