Attention Scottish people in shorts: socks are not allowed! – Susan Morrrison
My husband has taken to wearing shorts. It’s giving me PTSD-style flashbacks. It’s probably two things: 1970s Scottish footballers and my dad.
In the 70s, Scotland turned its team out fashionably in micro-mini sporting shorts. Those young men risked their chances of fatherhood every time they turned out on a jaggy pitch. I seem to recall we got gubbed a lot.
Things had not improved much by the time Ally’s Army went to conquer Argentina (ahem). Shorts-wise the hemline had lowered slightly, but the team had boldly re-focused the fashion gaze by enthusiastically embracing perm lotion.
The squad swished that bouncy coiffure. Slo-mo shots of successful goals looked like L’Oreal adverts. There weren’t many slo-mo shots. Yes, alright, Archie Gemmill against The Netherlands, I’ll give you that. Notably not sporting curls.
Not much upper-thigh friction burn danger in modern football, I note. The beautiful game now prefers the knee-length option, although I see interesting hairstyle choices still feature in top-flight football.
Off the pitch, we are unfamiliar with shorts, so we don’t do them well. We’ve struggled with them for a while. I still have nightmare visions of my father on early Spanish holidays.
He favoured the sort of shorts Eric Morecambe used to wear as a joke. They were long, with a wide voluminous leg arrangement which seemed strangely starched and stuck out sideways. I think this was because my mother ironed them before packing.
Spain survived the Civil War and Franco. There was no need to inflict those shorts on them, or indeed, the entire ensemble. Like any good Scotsman of the time, my father insisted on pairing his shorts with sandals, and, of course, socks.
My mum and I were pure mortified. On a holiday in Italy, we made him walk ahead, hoping that people wouldn’t realise he was with us. As my mum pointed out, through gritted teeth, he hadn’t even bothered to put on his holiday socks. The ones he was wearing had holes in them.
My husband is banned from wearing socks whilst he wears shorts. There are only so many flashbacks a girl can take.