Have you ever been to a Catholic school? If so you will probably have:
- reasonably acceptable handwriting;
- a love of Holy Days of obligation (school kids going to Ash Wednesday Mass today would agree that it beats Double Maths hands down);
- a lingering fear that masturbation will lead to either hairy palms or your private parts falling off; and
- a lifelong curiousity about whether or not boys can see your knickers if you wear black patent leather shoes.
There is an entire novel devoted to the lengths that Catholic school boys will go to to see your pants. “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” by John Powers set in 1950s Chicago covers first confessions, love, patron saints, sex education classes and the importance of wearing knickers under your school uniform plaid pleated skirt. It has been turned into a musical with songs featuring lyrics like:
Don’t touch yourselves
no matter how you yearn
not even just a little
or you’ll burn burn burn
you better leap into an ice cold shower
and don’t pay attention to your
(*whispers*) Private parts”
If you are Catholic you will probably be used to people telling you that you are a bit odd. For example, today I missed Ash Wednesday Mass (there, I’ve said it and crossed myself) and wondered out loud to my friend Nomes Messenger if getting someone to put a cigarette ash cross on my forehead would absolve me.
She now thinks that I am even more mental than she did previously.
Ex-Catholic school children take a looong time to get over thinking that if we are playing with ourselves (or anyone else) that we will have an audience of deceased relatives looking on. For years I was convinced that my deceased Gran there at the great iMax Cinema in the Sky of a Saturday night to watch “Me Up to No Good with Boys”. To this day, I can imagine her stage managing my love scenes from afar. Occasionally, I catch myself arranging my limbs in the mirrored wardrobe as if for a close up.
Nowadays, I am long past the stage though where I expect to find men laying on the floor to get a keek of my knickers mirrored in my shoes. Notwithstanding this patent shoes still strike me as vaguely forbidden and I am still drawn to them accordingly.
One of these days I would really love the Mythbusters guys to go hell for leather and find out whether in fact you can see an underwear image reflected in patent leather shoes.
The way to scupper them, of course, would be to go pants free.