The people in this city are so nice (unless you’re supporting Seattle). And even when they aren’t nice, they seem nice because they’re nicely passive-aggressive. It’s like attending church, just without the pews or Doxology.

You see: I do pretty much everything in a skirt. You would think that in 2014, this lifestyle choice would be unnoticeable. My ears are only pierced once and I have no tattoos. (Does that make me so much of a freak that we have to resort to sartorial interrogations?)

And yes, everything in a skirt. Tuesday I hiked in a skirt. No, not a running skirt. It was (I think) J. Crew. More power to me. If a man can wear a Darth Vader mask, a kilt, and unicycle all over this town while playing bagpipes and we smile and say, “Aw, hey, Portland!” then…what is up with bugging me about a skirt? If I want to hunt for rough-skinned newts in a knee-length skirt and I am not showing you my ass, what is the problem?

Right now, the skirts are usually navy (I just counted: I have six navy skirts of varying lengths, all but one purchased secondhand because I live for resale). I don’t know why it’s navy, except I go through neutral phases, and when I was done with black five years ago, I spent a couple of years in gray, and when I emerged from gray I picked navy. (Well, I do know: initially it had something to do with a hat–of course.)

So I am out and about in fair and foul weather in skirts. Foul weather? Tights. Fair weather? I’m so pale you could teach the circulatory system at 20 feet. I’m sorry about that: sunglasses are advised.

But this is Portland and we must talk to each other. This is what I hear in the winter: But it’s so cold.  This is from the same selection of women (viz. mothers with at least one daughter present) who would ask, “So are you breastfeeding?”  (No, I’m not and for good medical reasons, but obviously it’s your business–and I dare you to say something about my daughter’s health, height, or intelligence. Come on. Do it.)

That is why I am wearing tights, I say, when I am feeling polite. When I am not I say, I must handle the cold better than you do. (It’s very, very, very rarely cold here.)

Sure, it would be nice to have jeans that were comfortable. I have a single pair for when it’s raining so hard I have to wear boots, but they were expensive, a hold-over from two income days that I discovered about a year ago in the box of skinny clothes.  But on me, even good jeans have to be altered and that is a pain, so I don’t buy them.

I can buy skirts off the rack. And in the summer, I don’t know why everyone isn’t in skirts (that goes for men, too). It’s cooler. It’s convenient. It’s cuter.

So yes, yes, I am hiking this trail in a skirt. Glad you noticed. Since we don’t live in a place where we have to worry so much about insects or snakes, why not? My grandmother would have done it in heels, but look at these sensible KEENs I’m wearing (not the actual fabric).  Yes, maybe the skirt is going to catch on a branch or something. Thanks for your concern.

And here, have a newt.

Rough Skinned Newt (photo by Jsayre64, licensed under CC 3.0, unaltered.)