by KJ Hannah Greenberg
Stephanie rode the up escalator toward the beauty salon. Despite my admonitions, she still intended to get her nose pierced.
My wonder at her behavior was ill-placed. As a nursling, she had determined the schedule. As a toddler, her naptime had necessitated her placing dozens of animals “correctly” along her bedrail. As a school child, she had refused to wear any clothing lacking a blue-purple hue.
Mom had tried to caution me, claiming that Stephie was payback for my youthful intransigence, akin to my serving as Mom’s cosmic settlement for Mom’s adolescent obduracy. At the time, I had shrugged and had asked Mom to tell me again about her climbing the cherry tree, against Grandma’s will, to provide the village’s children, especially herself, with fruit.
Mom had obliged, highlighting that the sight of her, without proper bloomers, in turn, had resulted in my conception and in her hasty marriage. She then addended, it had been of small surprise that I had been rejected by the beautiful Ivy League university of her dreams. After all, I had written about the value of women’s traditional roles instead of espousing how I could fit in among men.
Hours later, Stephie and I rendezvoused in the linens department. Though her face was literally veiled, I noted the new patent leather, salmon-colored belt girding her waist and her fresh, chartreuse nail polish. At home, after my child removed her wrappings, I gasped; she had also gotten her hair frosted.