We Wore Skirts

We Wore Skirts by Elizabeth Vidas

We wore blue skirts, short skirts, plaid skirts, blouses. We rode the subway through stares. We went to chapel, ran laps around Central Park. We took piano, we drew. We studied in the morning, and we studied at night—some of us went gray from studying. We dated baristas; we dated waiters; we dated boys who wore brown suede loafers. At dances, we danced together. We sang in French, we wrote in Spanish, we visited our sister school in Australia. “You are all women of the Sacred Heart,” they told us.  

We went to parties in abandoned warehouses. We drank tequila at bars downtown. We wore white dresses; our teachers put rings on our fingers. We went to college in small towns. We met eligible young men and even more eligible professors. We studied in Paris, and we studied in Rome (“Dracula is très sexy, they told us). We kissed in the catacombs and under the colosseum. We got jobs and boyfriends and boyfriends with jobs. We got engaged at twenty-seven—a serious age. We got promotions, we got babies, we got houses in the Hudson Valley. Our husbands left us for the girls we’d been, and our children left us for the cities we’d seen. We retired spectacularly to the South of France. We died lighting our cigarettes over the stove. We were commemorated as pioneers; we were commemorated as mothers. We were remembered as Convent girls. We were buried in blue skirts. 

Elizabeth Vidas is a writer and teacher living in Montpellier, France. Her fiction has appeared in Shooter.