Three things in life are sure. Death, taxes and if you wear white, something will spill on it.
The white maxi skirt hung on the rack looking all snowy and flowy, whispering things to me about soft summer sunshine, barefoot walks on the beach and warm starry nights.
A maxi skirt has very practical qualities, the main one being length. It offers lots of coverage. I firmly believe the style was invented by a woman who didn’t want to shave her legs everyday in the summer. It also hides pale spring legs not yet tan enough for shorter skirts, and prevents the need for sunscreen up to your thighs. Finally, if you’re a mom, bending over to lift children, straddling a teeter-totter at the park or reaching for the last pack of diapers on the top shelf at the grocery store are all done more eloquently in a maxi skirt than in a pair of hot pants.
A maxi skirt is your best friend.
As long as you don’t buy a white one.
The ethereal skirt was bargain-priced at $15.99.
I brought it home on a chilly day in April, and placed it in my closet anticipating all the summer frolicking we would do together, my skirt and I.
The first opportunity came on my birthday when we went to South Haven, a little town on Lake Michigan. I lived out my fantasy of walking barefoot on the beach in the skirt. Then about 45 minutes into our excursion rain came in across the lake. We headed inside to a pizza parlor for lunch.
No, I did not end up with pizza sauce all over my skirt. But as we descended the stairs of the building to leave, the back hem of my long white skirt skimmed the steps, creating a dirty, gray ring around the bottom. Then my oldest son decided to dash across the wet street, adding gray speckles above the ring.
On the way home that evening we stopped for Mexican. I ordered a Wet burrito. With red sauce. My three year-old decided to stick his finger in the sauce for a taste, didn’t like it, then used my white skirt for a napkin.
At home as I changed out of my battle-scarred skirt, my husband informed me that my unmentionables, though white, were visible through the fabric.
“And you’re just now telling me after I walked around all day dressed like this?”
“Well, I didn’t mind.”
After treatments with Spray-N-Wash, a Clorox bleach pen and two rounds in the washing machine, my summer dream was again alabaster.
I wore the skirt a second time to David’s First Grade concert. This time with white Spanx and a white slip underneath. It was the first time I wore a slip since 1993. Do you know how hard it is to find a slip at the store these days? I might as well have shopped for bloomers.
There I was, young and hip on the outside, Grandma’s lingerie underneath. Three layers. It was hot. Sweaty hot, not pretty hot.
One more time I wore the skirt to coffee with a friend.
I really love this skirt. I’m not about to be deterred by logistics like multiple layers of warm underthings.
I spilled coffee — a lot of coffee — on my white skirt about five minutes after I sat down.
After some more Spray and Wash and two more times through the wash, it’s white again.
And I think I know why the white skirts were half the price of the same in black.
It still looks like summer to me.