Today Aisling was upstairs getting ready for church and I was downstairs loading the dishwasher. She came clomping down to the kitchen in her high heels and said, "How does this outfit look?"
She was wearing a very cute black and white herringbone skirt with a black scoop-neck sweater with a white camisole underneath and black heels. So far, so good. Then I noticed that her legs were bare.
"You look fine, you just need to put on some hose," I said, turning back to the sink to rinse a plate.
"I don't have any hose," Aisling said. "They all got holey and I threw them away."
I turned to look at her. "Well, you can't go out with nothing on your legs! It's forty degrees out there! What about your black dress pants?"
"Then you're going to have to find another outfit because you're not going out like that," I said with finality, channeling my own mother through some means that has either conferred great wisdom upon me or totally creeped me out, I can't decide which.
Aisling, who often complains that she doesn't have a shred of clothing to wear, like, EVER, in spite of a rather large closet (for our house) that is crammed so tightly you'd be hard pressed to wedge a Q-tip in there, immediately set up a noisy protestation: "I DON'T HAVE ANOTHER OUTFIT! I'M LIKE THE LITTLE FREAKING MATCH GIRL! MAYBE I SHOULD JUST CUT UP MY BLANKET OFF MY BED AND SEW A DRESS OUT OF THAT, WOULD THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY??!!"
I heaved a sigh and gave her the Mommy Glare. "Go. Find another outfit. Now."
She turned persuasive, a talent that all teenage girls possess in one degree or another: One moment they're shrieking and their heads are flaming skulls shooting around the room and the next minute, they're calling you Mummy Sweetums and unicorns approach them to be petted and brushed and have ribbons tied around their tails. You just never know.
"Mummy sweetums, could you just hop in the van and drive down to Walgreen's and buy me some hose while I do my hair? Please, Mommy? Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease?"
I heaved another sigh, this one resigned. "Okay. I'll go. I'll be back in ten minutes."
She threw her arms around my neck. "Oh, you are the BEST MOMMY in the whole world! I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful mom!" and I swear, a dozen butterflies flew out of her ears.
I went to Walgreen's, found the aisle with the pantyhose display and spent a grumpy ten minutes trying to locate Aisling's size and the color she needed. She is about 5'5 and weighs about one hundred and five pounds and the size that fits her is in short supply. Of course, there were no pantyhose in her size in the brand that cost $1.88, nor in the brand that cost $2.49. The brand that had her size was priced at $4.98 and I blanched, knowing how Aisling is with hose: she jams her little feet with the sparkly purple toenails into their delicate fibers like she's putting on a pair of wellies and ordinarily, I would never allow her to be alone in a room with a pair of $5 panty hose, but it was either that or bare legs, so I bought them.
Upon returning home, I handed her the Walgreen's bag and said, "Please be very, very careful with those. They cost $5."
"Okay," she replied and went into the downstairs bathroom to put them on. A couple of minutes later, she came back to the foyer with her heavy coat, which she shrugged on as she leaned over to pick up her purse. Two seconds later and she was squealing, "Look what the buckle on my purse strap did! It totally ripped a hole in my new hose!"
Yep, there it was. A hole. About as big as a silver dollar and getting bigger by the second. I stood there with my mouth hanging open for an eye-blink and then I launched into a tirade that was so concise, so purposeful, so TO THE POINT that it was like I'd rehearsed it. The theme of my rant was I TOLD YOU JUST NOW TO BE VERY CAREFUL AND NOW LOOK AT THOSE HOSE! YOU OWE ME FIVE DOLLARS, YOUNG LADY!
"It was an accident!" she hollered.
"AND I'LL THANK YOU NOT TO RAISE YOUR VOICE AT ME!" I shouted back.
Meelyn, who had been watching this whole thing with one raised eyebrow, herded us out the door and into the van, where our argument continued nearly all the way to the church, I standing firm on my insistence that she pay me $5 and Aisling countering that the buckle on her purse strap just reaching out and GRABBING her new pantyhose? Could have happened to anyone.
So what do you think? Should she pay me $5 or should she not?
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