The Latest Lost in Suburbia Column: What Not to Wear When You’re a Mom

“What d’ya think?” I asked my daughter, proudly displaying my freshly manicured hands.

blue nails2“Think of what?” she asked without looking up from her phone.

“My nails!”

She glanced over and frowned.

“Ugh.”

“Ugh what?” I wondered.  “You don’t like the color?”

“I don’t like the color on you!” she responded before going back to her game.

I pondered this for a minute. “You don’t think they go with my hands?” I asked.

“I don’t think they go with your AGE!” she said.

Ouch.

I glowered at her and then surveyed my royal blue nails.  True, they weren’t subtle.  But I thought they were different and cool and a fun departure from my usual French manicure.

Apparently though, what I thought was cool was different than what my daughter thought was cool.  And clearly blue nail polish… on me… was just wrong. 

Now, this wasn’t the first time we had a difference of opinion regarding my fashion/beauty choices. My daughter was also not a fan of my:

-red leather motorcycle jacket (I looked like “a washed up biker chick en route to the Early Bird Special”),

-fringed cowboy boots (an “over the hill cowgirl who fell off the Metamusil wagon”),

-black leather mini skirt (an “escapee from a nursing home for retired hookers”).

Since I vehemently disagreed with her assessment, I kept wearing my jacket, boots, and skirt. But when they mysteriously disappeared from my closet, I had a feeling it wasn’t because the fashion police had come to my house to seize the evidence.  After a quick search of the house, I found the missing items in my daughter’s room. I realized that while my daughter thought my clothing choices were awful for me, apparently, they were totally cool enough for her.

“Do you have any idea what my leather jacket was doing in your room?” I asked her innocently after I picked her up from school.

“I borrowed it,” she replied.

“Borrowing involves asking the owner if you can use an item temporarily and then returning it when you’re done.”

“It was just as much for you as for me,” she explained.  “I’m saving you from the embarrassment of people judging you negatively for wearing something that is inappropriate for your age.”

I shook my head. “I’m pretty sure that the only one who is embarrassed by what I’m wearing… is you,” I said to her.  She pondered this for a moment. And then finally said what was on her mind.

“It’s just not what moms should wear,” she declared.

I thought about all the things I had worn in public since I’d become a mom, including harem pants, hideous flannel shirts, shirts with peanut butter and jelly stains on them, hair scrunchies, a fluffy yellow ducky bathrobe, and the mother of all fashion offenses… mom jeans, and I realized that age appropriateness non-withstanding, my recent fashion choices were a vast improvement over what moms typically have to wear.

“Tell you what,” I said to her.  “You can borrow my leather jacket as long as you stop making fun of my nails.”

“Deal!” she replied. “Now can we talk about Dad’s chinos…”

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16 Comments

Filed under Growing old ungracefully

16 responses to “The Latest Lost in Suburbia Column: What Not to Wear When You’re a Mom

  1. Yesterday my 13-year-old daughter said to me, “That top is not doing you any favors.” This from someone who buys things with cats in hipster glasses on them.

  2. Love it! You’re never too old to rock blue nails. My signature look is bright blue French tips. Plus it rocks to embarrass your tweens & teens. After all those years of diapers, puke & sleepless nights of early childhood, paybacks are FUN.

  3. I love your nails! However, I also love your daughter’s sense of humour – does she have a blog of her by chance?! ;-)

  4. BWAHAHA. I’m reading this and disagreeing with your daughter and laughing, because I’m the one at our house who always gets my 15- and 18-year old daughters’ iffy looks when I wear navy blue nail polish (AS I AM RIGHT THIS MINUTE–no lie). But I dressed mine up by painting the tips with large holographic irridescent glitter. I will probably keep wearing any color I feel like, for as long as I feel like, and I tell them to keep their opinions to themselves because, hello–being a ex-valley girl from the 80s means their rules don’t apply to me. We INVENTED cool. lol

    Love this-

  5. Dear God, never, and I mean NEVER, take fashion advice from a teenager. Blue is In. The teen years are Out.

  6. Carol Baron

    Does that mean as a 75 year old grandmother, I should not be wearing my red Uggs ( which my kids sent me for Valentine’s Day). No wAy! I love them, wear them and if my peers or younger have a problem withi it … that’s their problem!

  7. Sharon

    Great story, Tracy. Every time I’ve seen you, you look cool.
    To Carol: Our age gives us permission to dress as we wish. The kids just think we have Alzheimers and dismiss our appearance. Though I’ve seen some women (and men) where I work that make me wonder if they have a mirror in their house.

    • Of course you think I look cool Sharon… you’re my peer. It’s the teenagers who think we are uncool. But then again, I don’t get the “pants so low you can see their butt crack” look either, so I guess it goes both ways!

  8. I have seen those nails first hand – and you rock them royally. In other news, at our age, we still know all the words to ‘Lorde’s – Royals’ … this makes us cool.

    • It’s ok if we know the words as long as we don’t sing along – out loud – in front of our kids. I learned that lesson the hard way and was met with a “Sssh – jeez mom – just please don’t sing, OK?”