When she turned 16, she asked for a car. It could be a used one. I thought that generous of her. She didn’t get a car. I wanted buy her one, just as much as I wanted to pull a unicorn with wings out of the sky when she turned three. When my husband works at home, she drives my car. When he travels, I use the car. A few weeks ago, I drove her to school & I dropped her off at the front door. After she stepped gracefully as one can while slinging an 80 pound backpack, she stuck her head back in, with furrowed brow, snarling & spewing venom,”ALL I WANT FOR MY BIRTHDAY IS A CAR.” I sent her a nasty text & ruined both our day.
As the days drew closer to her 17th birthday, I tell her, ” You are not getting a car, can you let me know what else you’d like, I can do that, maybe…or you can get nothing” “I will try to think of something” A few days before I received her list, I had to bring her to school, I ask, “Would you like me to drop you off in the parking lot so no one will see your mother driving you to school, your Grace?” She answers, “No, Peasant, drop me off at the front door.” Peace & humor restored.
I got a two page list of items she would like. Both pages contained pictures cut out from magazines, models with red hair in different styles…
‘-eyeliner-pencil-brown.’ ‘- mascara.’ ‘-necklaces-long.’ ‘$$$.’ ‘skinny jeans.’ ‘Robert Downey Jr.’ WHAT? I think I asked for him for my 17th birthday too. I called my mother to share this wish on her list. My mother said,” Too bad, I claimed him before both of you.” Three generations of woman find this man sexy as hell, eewww, gross. The next thing on her list was ‘to be as pretty as Selena Gomez.’ Hannah has ivory skin, freckles & red, curly locks. & in a million years, I could not be convinced that Hannah does not outshine that girl. No offense, Selena.
‘Rite aid gift card.’ If they had gift cards when I was 17, I would have wanted a drug store gift card too. They sell potions & magic there, that will make us all beautiful, tall, big boobed, no zits etc .
She asked for a ‘Tom Hiddleson cardboard cutout’. I wondered why not the man himself, like Robert?
‘Bigger feet.’ I feel for her, she wears a size 5. I offer big, fat gym socks. ‘A tan.’ ‘Princess drapes over her bed (???).” $$$.’
‘Combat boots.’ I’m not really sure she could lift combat boots off the floor to propel herself forward. ‘Skinny jeans’ (again). ‘American Eagle Gift card.” Purse.’
‘Ryan Gosling.’ I don’t get that, doesn’t he have a receding hair line? Not that thats a bad thing, but she is 17.
‘High waisted shorts.’ (really?). ‘Marilyn Monroe poster’ (really?). ‘Jade colored eyeshadow.’ ‘Eye primer.’
‘An Australian bodyguard.’ (I can understand this)
‘A skull, I want to recite Hamlet.’ God, she’s brilliant.
I’ve been given lists from her before that have made me laugh. Some had made me sad too, because she has pictures of blond models. But this year, I find two red headed models. They have notes beside their pictures, “this hair” I tell her she has bangs. “oh, never mind ” she says. ” I want her hair” she says pointing to another model. “She had her hair put up in hot rollers.” “Oh, is that hard?” “I don’t know, we could try it, I think Bubbe has some” I decide she just likes Selena Gomez, otherwise she would have had brown/black haired models.
The list is a truce & a mature understanding on her part. She is beginning to understand how money goes out faster then in sometimes. Hannah will not get a car right now, but she will get one someday soon. I told her if I was rich, she would have what ever car she wanted. She believes that I truly mean this. The pictures of red headed models means that at 17, she doesn’t want to be totally different then who she is. She is becoming comfortable in her own skin. That is a first. I know she will doubt herself & her choices all her life. Finally liking her red hair is a wonderful thing for a me to see. I’ve always told her it’s her crowning glory, people have complemented her, her whole life on it. When she was little, she believed the strangers & me. I think she is perfect, even her itty, bitty feet. I know they will take her far. Because I know she is beginning to believe in herself.