So the other day I was out getting my lunch at the complex down the street from our embassy that houses several other embassies, and this non-Thai guy in front of me was wearing suspenders. Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing suspenders. They are, in fact, an effective way to keep ones trousers from falling down around ones ankles. But suddenly I was transported back to my junior high school years, when suspenders were cool. But you didn't actually wear them over your shoulders--you wore them hanging down off the waist of your pants. Yes, I fell victim to this fashion tragedy.
And that got me thinking about how patient my parents where with my various grooming and style choices as a teenager--remember the bleached bangs and long hair shaved up and under, Mom and Dad? I'm pretty sure the last haircut that my mom actually approved of (aside from my missionary years) was the flat-top I rocked in eighth grade. I am proud to say that I've never sported a mullet, however, so that should count for something (by the way, thanks to my parents--and Mali--for letting me do all sorts of silly things with my hair and still loving me). There were also plaid shirts (sleeves rolled up, of course), pegged pants, and white socks with Teva sandals (honestly, I should be flogged for that one, but wool socks with sandals would still be acceptable).
But what really scared me was thinking that I am just a heartbeat away from where my parents were--watching my children make clothing and hairstyle choices with which I might personally disagree, but that are not matters of life or death or eternal salvation. Our oldest is 12, and fortunately for us, up until now she has not been particularly interested in the latest fashion trends. But that can change in an instant, and I think I'll have to learn to hold my tongue as well as my parents did. It might be a challenge, but I think I can do it.