She Always Wanted A Girl

She Always Wanted A Girl

When I was six, I fell off an eight foot fence and into my first rose bush.  When I was 12, I knocked out my two front teeth while playing basketball.  My history of roughhousing, daredeviling, playing in mud, and generally failing to give a second’s thought to what happens to my body is well known to my mother.  She also knows I care even less about polish around the edges.

“I always wanted a girl,” she says.

So, we fight about whether I should try to keep my hair under control (while she controlled my braids, she also controlled my hair).  We argue about when t-shirts are appropriate evening wear.  And, she surreptitiously throws out my old sneakers and sweatshirts when she thinks they’ve come to the end of their meaningful lives.

Today, when I dropped my car off for a smog check, I suggested we kill time by getting manicures and pedicures.

“Que te ha picado?” she asked.

No mom, I haven’t been bitten by a rare Northeastern L.A. bug, I just like how red fingernails distracts people when I use my hands to speak during meetings.


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