Dear Lola,

My daughter was playing with her new mermaid doll and invited me to join in. When I asked her to pass the mermaid’s pants so I could help her dress the doll, my daughter instantly corrected me that mermaids don’t wear pants. Apparently, mermaids prefer to wear skirts. As we studied the mermaid’s fashion choices, we realized that we didn’t know if we should call them pants or skirts since they don’t look exactly like either. Lola, can you help us with this mermaid dilemma? My daughter is very excited that a bulldog knows the answers to these important questions.


A cartoon rendering of Lola riding a scooter saying "I'm on my way to help the humans!"

Dear Mermama,

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to receive your letter. Mermaids are a fascinating subject and I found myself facing a day of boredom thanks to my Netflix privileges being revoked by my Mommybeast.

All I did was take notes during a documentary about a serial killer.

Trousers, by definition, are an item that covers each leg separately, usually from waist to ankle. Obviously, there are variations on the acceptable length of trousers thanks to numerous fashion houses (leading to a mind-boggling number of word variations to describe them all), but the core idea remains the same.

Mermaids do not wear trousers because they do not have legs.

Skirts are items that fasten around the waist and hang down to cover the legs. There are no guidelines on length, which sounds like it could cause chaos amongst humans – you seem to enjoy assigning 18 different words to every object in existence. While this method of fashion would be practical, the mermaids have banished all skirts from Merland after a disastrous incident led to their society’s near collapse.

A wide tail and a thin pencil skirt – I’m sure you can infer the rest.

Instead, mermaids wear custom fitted garments that are the exact shape of their tails. (Perhaps this is where the human word tailor comes from.) There is a zipper running all the way up the back of the garment for easy swapping in a fashion emergency. Thanks to skillful designers, the zippers are nearly invisible and rarely seen by humans. After all, mermaids typically swim quickly away from the ocean interlopers.

There is one plight that has plagued the mermaids for far too long.

Pockets. Rather, the lack of pockets. Imagine going thousands of years without ever having a pocket to carry your wallet in. The poor mermaids are swimming with their arms weighed down by all the random bits and bobs a human thoughtlessly shoves into their pockets.

Where are the mermaids supposed to put their shell phones?! 

Obvious pun aside, I am a canine and even I have pockets to carry my treats! That’s why I tolerate the costumes that are forced upon me. Tell your daughter to call the mermaid clothing whatever she likes, as long as it isn’t trousers or a skirt.

Maybe your daughter can call it a skailer.

Get it?! Like a skirt for tails?! Ok, I’m going to stop while I’m ahead.


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2 replies on “Dear Lola – Mermaid dressed in suede…

  1. Dear Lola,
    You’re just brilliant and I am amazed that you can solve this tricky problem for a miniature human!
    I also liked your pun. My husband makes a lot of puns, and that was definitely a great one!
    Keep up the good work.
    Love you,

    Liked by 1 person

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