I haven’t worn anything on my legs besides pants since 1990.  That is to say, no stockings, no panty hose, tights or other torturous forms of gam confinement.  I find it hard just typing the words so profound is my hatred of such things.

I didn’t think much about it until I was forced into having dinner at a very exclusive, very formal, very old money golf establishment.

My girlfriend told me there was a “blazer” rule.


“Women have to wear blazers”, she told me.

I did not believe her.  She, too, endured one of these invitations but hers was a lunch.

Lunch is different from dinner.  Maybe at lunch you had to wear a blazer but surely not for dinner.


I did not want to attend this dinner.

It means I have to pull out the St. John knit dress that is reserved for funerals or the like when I have to look respectable.  No cleavage.  No alluring features. Just a straight black and white knit dress albeit one with a hemline that sits well above the knee.  It was from a collection designed during Angelina Jolie’s tenure as spokesperson so it had to have at least one edgy feature. I suppose an above-the-knee hemline could technically be considered edgy for a brand like St. John.

The night of the dinner arrives.

I look appropriate.

I wear killer shoes which makes me feel better about the dress.

I am bare-legged as I have been since 1990.

I’m wearing eye-liner.

I am feeling okay.

We climb into the car.

We are halfway there.


A wave of panic sweeps over me and I can feel my face get hot.

“The tattoo”, I wail.

“Oh, bullshit. No one will even notice”, my husband assures me.  “You look fine”.

I believe him.

And we arrive.

The women all wear jackets of some sort.

(Note to self:  believe what your friends tell you.)

All conversation stops.

For a moment I feel like a terrier that’s been lured into a pack of coyotes.

All eyes migrate south and land on a tiny speck of real estate just above my right ankle as if it’s lit up in bright green neon.

Are these people just hard-wired to zero in on the unacceptable as soon as it walks in the door of their pristine environment?

It’s not an obnoxious tattoo.  It’s small. It is not satanic in nature.  It is a petite hieroglyph. A small expression of personality not nearly as gaudy as the massive diamond boulders that hang from the ring fingers of just about every blazer-wearing, blue-blooded female in this joint.

But it’s a tattoo none the less and it has no place here.

A few eyes linger on that little patch of controversy.

And it makes me want to get another one.