I never expect to see supermodels in Target, but there she was: hair carefully arranged to look 10 percent tousled 15 would have been overdoing it eyes expertly lined and shadowed, hemline positioned exactly where it should have been.
She was maybe four feet, four inches tall, and almost certainly no older than ten or eleven.
This sort of thing has been bothering me since before she was born:
She might have been ten, she might have been twelve; it would never have occurred to me to ask. And she’d chosen the middle swing from the row of three, because there was much more room to swing, not only to and fro and up and down, but also side to side. I smiled at her as I stumbled down the hill towards the “cluster boxes” that the Postal Service finds so endearing and the postal patrons find so annoying.
“Whatever happened to my youthful exuberance?” I muttered to no one in particular while I pulled bill after bill out of its dingy receptacle. I mean, I don’t have the urge to clamber onto a swing and get myself airborne or anything; the cruelty of gravity is something I’d just as soon not face. But here she was, a pretty girl on her way to becoming a beautiful woman, seemingly paying no attention whatsoever to the unending pressures from a culture she barely knows. “Grow up! Find romance! Spend money!” Who needs this sort of foolishness? Let her fly while she can, and let her grow up when she’s ready.
Besides, heavy makeup is a serious drain on one’s allowance, even at Target prices.