- GET TANKED. First, she tells you that you MUST wear one of those tight tank tops (aka camis) under your top. It has to be long enough to show below the hem of your shirt or sweater. Now I’m no prude, but those things are hot. And TIGHT. I feel like the boa constrictor that ate the alligator, sort of overstuffed. Maybe that’s where they got the term “muffin-top.” Now I know I have one.
- NO HOSE. Next, your beautiful adult daughter (or niece or granddaughter) says you are NEVER to wear pantyhose again. EVER. Unless you’re wearing opaque tights, which are an entirely different thing. I don’t know about you, but my legs are not only blindingly white, they, uh, jiggle when I walk. Just a smidge. On the other hand, not wearing L’Eggs would have prevented me from saying, over national Christian radio, “You know, like when the crotch on your pantyhose slips down.” I’m still getting over that one.
- YOU OLD BAG. Dear sweet female who’s so much younger than you are says you really ought to carry a purse that’s as big as a Volkswagen. “It’s in style,” she croons. I always thought the size of one’s handbag was directly proportional to one’s age, as in the older you get the bigger the purse. At least I’ll have a decent weapon when someone makes a joke about my legs.
- WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY UNDERWEAR? Last, this precious girl who’s preparing my body as a living sacrifice, says the ultimate: “Mom, you really should get some cuter undies.” Say what? I hotly reply that I’ve only used one safety pin on this pair of white cotton hi-cuts and besides, who’s going to see my underwear? My daughter, shakes her head, as if I’m hopeless. Which of course, I am.
I have a beautiful young adult daughter who loves to help me get ready for classes I teach, book-related appearances and conferences. I so wish she’d been helping me that first disastrous book event. But sometimes her “new generation” sensibilities make my teeth ache.
I know I’m not alone here. Other writers and editors have told their horror stories of what happens when your daughter manages your public persona: