I have this lovely pair of diamond hoop earrings that I got as a Christmas gift one year. They’re small and sterling silver, which I prefer over gold, so of course they are my favorite pair.
I noticed the other day that they were missing from the bathroom vanity. I only wear them when I’m going out or traveling so when I didn’t see them where I left them, I immediately panicked and started checking the sink drain, the register grate next to the bathroom vanity, and even my dresser in the bedroom though I was positive I hadn’t put them there.
Enter The Girl. She’s 11 now and being the only girl in the house (besides me), she has a lot of girly things… including my earrings. In. Her. Ears.
Given that I am prone to lapses in memory I took a moment to remember if I had offhandedly given her permission to wear them to school that morning.
Nope. Nothing registered in my short or long term memory. No photographic memory log of her making her pouty “please mom” face. It was evident that she had borrowed without asking.
I knew this day was coming but I thought I had a few years before it hit me full in the face. She isn’t quite the age where she wants to borrow my clothes (at least I still have those to myself!), but I can recall a few instances where she’s asked to borrow my lip gloss and has remarked how she can’t wait to wear makeup (I’ll be locking up my makeup bag soon).
I never gave pause to her using my shampoo and conditioner because somehow I expected her to use those things.
The girl and I had a brief discussion about borrowing without asking, aka – taking something that isn’t yours, because that’s really what it boils down to right? I’m leery about making the laws of borrowing mom’s things too strict because of common items like shampoo but I do want to drive the message to her now that there are some things you can borrow and some things that you can’t borrow (hello purdy earrings!) but to be on the safe side, we always ask. If it’s a common item then it’s courtesy to let mom know if you’ve used the last of the conditioner BEFORE she gets in the shower.
I think that women are borrowers by nature. I borrowed my sister’s clothes (she had better clothes than I did) and she borrowed my makeup until she was old enough to start buying her own. I’m sure you can remember swapping clothes with your BFFs and even “borrowing” your boyfriend’s sweater or jacket from time to time. When I first started traveling for conferences, I activated the fashion phone tree and lined up a wardrobe that was suitable for sessions and cocktail parties. Borrowing is what women do; as little girls playing dress up when we’re toddling about in our mother’s pumps to being on the verge of a young woman looking ever so grown up in our mother’s silver hoops. We borrow.
However, it’s the panic attack that I nearly suffered over the thought of losing my favorite pair of earrings. It's seriously making me consider trading in my jeans and peep toe booties for Muumuu dresses and sensible shoes before things get seriously out of hand here and I’m wading through her closet just to find a long lost t-shirt.
These are new waters I’m traveling in. Strange new waters that will require constant communication and patience as the girl moves from girl to young lady to young woman. I’ll help her along the way, teach her borrowing etiquette, and maybe, just maybe start wearing undesirable mom jeans in an effort to keep my clothes all to myself for a little while longer.
While I’m working out the particulars of padlocking my closet, I’d love to hear your opinions and experiences with borrowing – be it your own daughter or maybe when you were young?