I would like to apologize to all the people in the grocery store last Tuesday night that witnessed the unthinkable: me in my for-home-only-short-shorts. I would especially like to extend my apologies to that nice gentleman in aisle four who didn’t know where to look when I dropped the cookies. Poor guy. I promise that it will never happen again.

I know how it occurred so I offer it not as an excuse, but more as a reminder to myself for future events. I was having one of those days, unorganized and on deadline, so when dinner snuck up on me, I realized I had nothing to prepare. Of course, that’s exactly when the Carpenter sent me a text to tell me he was going to be late, again, which meant I was now the carpool to little league. Was the uniform washed? Add that to the list. It all had to be done, stat. I grabbed my keys and off we went.

I got to take our two unhappy children grocery shopping. This was fun because a summer without bedtime routines and school schedules has made them hungry, restless, unruly little creatures with manic episodes of boredom turned to sibling rivalry on high. Everything has become an argument, including the logical need to purchase food to feed them. Geesh.

So, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this is how I managed to leave the house without realizing I was wearing my self-proclaimed “hoochie Mama” shorts. For the record, I never wear these outside my home.

Once a woman reaches the age of forty, she involuntarily starts using phrases like “age appropriate clothing,” of which these short-shorts are most certainly not. It’s not just that my body has weathered two kids, or that my thighs share my chip dip obsession, making things a little more jello-esque (my new word). It’s just that showing that much flesh seems wrong now, somehow. It didn’t seem to bother the two whiney children who were being dragged up and down the aisles with me while I talked to myself aloud trying to conjure up a grocery list on the fly. Neither one of my sidekicks pointed to my obvious fashion faux pas. Retaliation? I wonder.

However, all in fashion is fair when doing housework. Nobody should ever drop in when you are bending over toilets or cleaning floors, hair askew and wearing short shorts with your old, thread-barren college t-shirt. While you curse your domestic life, don’t you reflect back to a time when you could stop traffic in those shorts? (which in my case was only because I chased a Frisbee into the street, but it counts).

When I returned home, I saw my reflection in the mirror and realized the trauma I had surely caused all the dear shoppers of my local market. Gasp.

My daughter caught me looking horrified into the mirror. I had to explain what seemed like an obvious issue, but I was about to learn an important lesson.

“Mom, do not say bad things about your self,” she said sternly over her glasses. “In my teen magazine it says that eighty percent of girls think there is something wrong with their bodies, which makes them feel bad about themselves and it’s simply not true. It’s not okay to do that. Girls need to love themselves just as they are. You should too. I love you the way you are.”

I stand corrected, short-shorts and all.