Tartanry

KiltIs Scotland the only country that does not force its Catholic schoolgirls to don tartan? We got to wear bouffant light blue taffeta frocks and straw hats at my elementary/primary school, though, so we didn’t get off… Scot-free. In high school/secondary we wore a yawn of grey items, stripy green and yellow ties and green blazers. We really didn’t wear tartan for anything. This is the only picture of me, aged three, in which I am in tartan attire. It’s the earliest  – and only – picture of me wearing a kilt.

In chapter two I was forced to wear a floor length kilt. And a puffy blouse. And a velour waistcoat/vest. There is video evidence. I shudder at the memory. When I flounced out of the changing rooms (in the Kilt and Thistle Shoppe, Salem, Oregon), the middle-aged customer over by the well-stocked bagpipe CD section of the store suddenly started ogling me. It was as if I had just stepped onto his tartan radar.

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