People are strange. Life is strange. My kids are strange.
My 12-year-old daughter came home with a few classmates to finish a project. I cooked their dinner, washed the dishes and, as I was finishing up in the kitchen, my daughter came in, touched my back and checked if I was wearing a bra. What the…???
When I was a kid, I hated how my mother would always check whether or not I was wearing a bra. I wore shirt and shorts in the house all the time but I wasn’t allowed to face male visitors unless I had a bra and a skirt on. See, she was of that generation. She never went out of the bedroom without a bra, wore those kaftan costumes at home, never went out of the house without getting all dolled up — dress, shoes and bag that matched (including jewelry); full make-up and her hair done.
And I was just the exact opposite. I liked going out in shorts. I liked hanging around the house without a bra on. I still do. Except for a short time in high school, I never cared about make-up or my hair when I went out. Well, except when there was reason to get all dolled up — just use your imagination. I mean, do you really need to set your hair and carefully apply make-up if you’re going to play tennis or go shopping or just eat out? My mother had her penciled eyebrow on even when we went to the beach. I mean, honestly.
So, anyway, my kids grew up seeing and knowing I was like that. And then I noticed, as they entered adolescence, that they had this attitude about bra that reminded me so much of my mother. They often sleep with their bra on, for goodness’ sakes. I know that was the kind of “discipline” that Halle Berry was subjected to by her mother (heard her say it on Oprah) — for reasons very much other than modesty — but my kids don’t know that. So where is this bra attitude coming from?
I’m stumped, really. I go back to the nature vs. nurture debate. I remember a conversation with the administrator of the pre-school that my daughters attended. I said physical traits were inherited but character traits…?? I said I didn’t think so. She said, “You’d be surprised.” I am surprised. Now. About the bra connection.