Yesterday, I talked to my mother on Skype. She was all, “Oh, you look amazing! Your hair looks fantastic! And what a beautiful dress! And the watch is beautiful, too! And look at Klara! What a wonderful child! You are really raising her right.”
In reality, I don’t look that hot because I’m sick and I’m not sleeping. The dress is an ancient house dress I dug out because I’d been cleaning all day. The hair is eagerly awaiting tomorrow’s visit to the salon. The watch is a simple Fitbit. And Klara is wonderful by nature and not because of anything we are doing.
What’s really funny is that before psychoanalysis (mine, obviously. My mother never considered seeking help) I could be sitting there all beautifully put together and hear, “You don’t look good. What’s up with your skin? Aren’t you too old to break out like that? You really let yourself go. Aren’t you afraid your husband will find somebody fresher? And God, that hair. I keep telling you to do something about it. Oh, and you really need to try this new diet I heard on TV because your weight is out of control.” And then I’d hear from other people how worried she is that my child is malnourished, unkempt and forlorn.
In case you suspect these are age-related changes in her, I need to mention that she is her regular self to everybody else.