Becky Says...

2000-08-06

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Skirt Tales

Bear in mind that when I tell humorous anecdotes about my parents, the stories are ones they told on themselves, even the ones that could perhaps be considered embarrassing. They both had the ability to laugh at themselves.

Today I'm going to tell you a couple of stories on my mother---the first of which got reported in Stars and Stripes. It seems there were a couple of times when she had trouble keeping her skirt on.....

During the stateside portion of her WAC days, Mother was stationed for a time in Virginia. There were inspections held every Saturday, during which personnel were expected to be perfectly attired. Mother had been warned about not appearing for inspection with her uniform skirt wrinkled, so she developed the habit of waiting till the last minute to put it on. She would be otherwise dressed during those last few moments when straightening up her living area, but the skirt would remain free of possible wrinkles by being left in its freshly-ironed state.

This no-wrinkle method worked quite well until one Saturday when the inspection began just a few minutes early. I know you can see this coming: the inspecting officer entered the barracks, called the troops to attention, and there stood Mother in her uniform blouse and her slip. When asked where her skirt was, Mother replied, "On the hanger, Ma'am." Of course there had to be a punishment for being out of uniform at inspection: she was restricted to quarters for a week.

The second occasion of a skirtless Mary was one I witnessed. She standing at a lectern while calling roll in homeroom early one schoolday. There were about 30 of us in the room, getting our books and such ready for our first classes. Since we really didn't need to be looking at the front of the room to hear our names, not all eyes were on her.

At some point, though, I looked up and noticed that the hook-and-eye fastener on her skirt's waistband was not fastened. I also saw that the zipper was almost completely down. Before I could open my mouth to warn her, the skirt was completely unzipped and had hit the floor. Mother's response to this was to exclaim, "Oh! Look!"

And 30 extremely obedient high school students did exactly that.

Mother stood looking down at her skirt for a moment, then remarked, as she crouched to retrieve it, that she certainly was glad she had on a clean slip. That remark set off another round of laughter.

The story followed her the rest of her teaching career.

Text copyright 2000 Becky