Mothers and daughters, man! When I was growing up my family ran Catholic girls camp, to which a number of wealthy Puerto Rican families sent their daughters. Winter in U.S. boarding school, summer at Came Fernwood in the Berkshires. We had Carmen, we had Isabel, we had Marisol and so on.
This last one, Marisol had a wide friendly face and, like all the girls, heavily accented English.
On Parents Weekend when all the families arrived for the festivities, the campers would be gathered on the porch of the dining hall waiting for the bugle call that would let everyone go inside for lunch. It was the perfect spot to watch for arriving parents.
My mom told the story about one such time, when on the parents of a number of these exotic Puerto Rican kids seemed to arrive all together, as they probably would have, having just checked in to the swanky Crane Inn in nearby Dalton.
In a phalanx now, the women were walking together, ahead of their men, eager to see their little girls. There were four of them, all in designer dresses and clinking with jewelry, chiffon head scarves protecting their perfectly coiffed hairdos. They almost looked like these ladies, only like 40 years ago.
Marisol with her little round cheeks stood beside my mom watching their approach.
“Which one is your mother, honey?” my Mom leaned down to ask.
Marisol regarded the four handsome women, three as tall and slender as those Berkshire birches all around us and the third ….much less tall.
She said something my mother couldn’t quite hear.
“Once again Marisol? I didn’t catch that.”
“My mohther,” Marisol said, her eyes on Mom Number Four. My mohther ees de leetle fat one.”
And there it is. Travel the world and you’ll see it. Far and wide at a certain age, all daughters give their moms the critical eye.
Now just for fun, here is a small segment of the cast of The King and I. Marisol is in here. See if you can guess which one she is. Gad! A dozen little girls in their bathrobes with Joan Crawford makeup! I’m in there too, I see.
And here’s another play featuring the drama geeks of Camp Fernwood. Marisol again I see. And Yours Truly too. (You don’t suppose the MOTHERS were embarrassed by the DAUGHTERS ever, do you?