I have managed to dress myself for 3 (maybe more) years without looking in the mirror (even though I have huge mirror wardrobes in the 'dressing area' - sounds posh, it ain't), so when trying on bras in M&S in their evil changing rooms with the double mirrors it was a terrific shock. Who was this flubbly woman with back rolls. I gag just to remember.
I left in disgust and did not have the heart to get the bigger (no, please, not the 38 DD) size that I so clearly needed. I decided to try BHS for the style I wanted and yes ok then the bigger size. The mirrors were less evil, but I was completely disheartened and the bra styles I eventually found were still so hideously fitting that I realised because I had not looked in a mirror for so long that I hadn't seen how ghastly I looked. There is no false modesty here people.
My daughter is petite with a good shape and can in my opinion wear anything, but she is insecure about her looks. I told her so, that some of the clothing she puzzled over would suit her, and that I envied her youth and figure and she could with complete confidence carry off anything in the shop. That lifted her spirits somewhat, yet she does not follow the crowd and dresses individually but with style.
I came home empty handed, disappointed and empty pursed. Dear (not so Dear by the end of the day) daughter was disappointed too. Cannot get shoes because she is a 5 1/2, cannot find much she likes in New Look because we have shopped in the cheapie Primark/Matalan shops that normal prices shock her. She has precious Xmas Vouchers and yet cannot find anything in her size of the few items she likes. She was seriously channelling Grandma today.
The weather was vicious, with a driving bitter blizzard in our faces. Today was the only, only time that The FW did not offer a lift. Hmmm do you think the snowfall had anything to do with that perchance?
The bus journey home was ghastly with a major accident blocking the only route the driver knew and who then had to ask us passengers how to get on to the dual carriageway by another way. It took half an hour, two wrong lane changes before we could get half a mile the other side of the incident which happened on the roundabout just outside town. The daughter's tolerance level took a huge nosedive and she spent the journey not speaking and turned away from me. The complete opposite of the outward journey when we chatted and laughed.
I turned inward and wondered what I was doing that was so wrong. I had to tell myself that it wasn't me necessarily but that she is so genetically like her father's family, who also used to make me feel as if I could do no right, that to even be existing in their presence was a major faux pas on my part. I know this sounds paranoid, unreasonable even, but no other human beings on this planet make me feel so.
She says (after encountering a girl from school who had asked a question about the bus at the bus station, calling her by her full name - daughter's name is hyphenated - and who seemed pleasant enough) that she cannot wait to leave and not have to deal with the bitchiness any more. I wondered at her reaction to this girl, she did not answer (I gave the information) and became, not hostile as such, but almost closed down. I wondered if, due to her own insecurity, she gave out negative vibes that the other girls reacted to by dark looks, cold shoulders and bitchy comments.
My heart cries out to the fact that she may have a lifetime of few friends as has her father's family, but my head wants to tell her to be more open, more smiley, less sensitive and less intolerant about people and their individual characters.
I feel a failure as a mother just because I am quite aware of her personality and maybe I should be more loveblind to her character, treat her as precious and fault free. Or would that not be honest, to myself if not to her. I never criticise her and sometime close my mouth instead of guiding her about people and their motives/personalities as I have been able to with her brothers, who have used my advice and found it useful in their life experiences.
I wonder at our future relationship as we both age, I am scared of losing her and yet I do not want to become a passive 'victim' (too strong a word perhaps) to her lack of tolerance and tact as I was to her father for so many years. I love her so desperately that I weep for our mother/daughter attachment that in reality may have more distance than closeness.
Tomorrow or maybe Monday as it is still snowing here, I will have to return to the Big Town and return two items she was excited about as one does not fit (probably my fault for saying get a 10 instead of an 8) and one that does not suit her. Another disappointment.
Later, much later, she will deny any of the negative feelings and disappointment of the day if the subject were to arise. Quite vehemently if I were to challenge it. This is a familiar pattern of behaviour. Then she expresses bitter disappointment in me for thinking or saying the opposite to her opinion. I often do not say anything, perhaps I should, but I do not want to be the sort of mother that rows with her teenage daughter (I am remembering an article I read about Shona Sibarry who admits to hitting her teenage daughter which I found shocking). Being a teenager is a difficult time and I hope does not set in stone a person's character. It may offer a hint though.
I have said to her (when speaking of one of her few friends) that sometimes a girl's negative behaviour may be hormonal or may be their character, only time will tell. And that a bit of leeway may be given for hormonal reasons. I hope that she absorbs some of my gentle words and reads more into it than generic advice.
On that note my friends, tomorrow is another day, que sera sera and all that jazz.
Love you lots,
Have just woken this morning and feel the need to add that she is bright, funny, intelligent (all those As!), talented ('tho secretive and covers her work when I go in her room), liked by every adult who know her, and is hugely loyal to the close circle of friends she has. They are good kids and I am pleased to say that all my children have made good choices in their friends.
I feel better now.