American Girl

I always gave my daughter what I never had. I went without so she could have everything. So lucky! My mother never did that for me. In fact, she wouldn’t even let me pierce my ears—and I was eight already! “I don’t want you looking like a gypsy,” she said. So I was the only girl in school without pierced ears. I could never live it down.

            I made sure my baby’s ears were pierced at one month. So cute! And I got her cut-off tube tops and short shorts. She wore them at her first birthday party, her big baby luau, what a bash. And her other birthdays were so special! I made sure of it. When she was three, I had her friends wear all the colors of the rainbow and she got to wear black—so sophisticated—with patent leather high heels on her teeny little feet. And she had this cute slave anklet—fourteen karat gold. Her hair looked amazing against the black. I had the hairdresser lighten and streak it, and perm it into a cascade. Baby was a little doll. So cute! And all the kids had mani-pedis at the party, what a hit! You should’ve seen.

            I spared no expense, though it was always difficult money-wise, being a single parent. Teeth-whitening and eyebrow-waxing before age ten— when we got her that pink heart tattoo. The first couple of artists wouldn’t do it. Too young, they said. But I found somebody. She was the very first kid in her grade!—a really cute little hot pink heart with I Love Mommy in curlicue-cursives. Really hot!

            I entered her in beauty contests. Dance lessons, voice lessons. Modeling school. I bought her lots of denim cut-offs and I even found a black lace push-up bra in her size! So hot! You need to shop all the time, at all the malls and on-line, to grab all the special items—and they don’t last long, you know.

            When belly dancing was in, she took lessons. Then pole-dancing. I had trouble getting her into that class, but I persisted. You’re never too young to get into shape, that’s what I always said.

            But after all that—all that investment—she up and left without saying a single word! I had no clue. She just ran off with some punk from Public Housing.

            That ungrateful little slut. After all I’ve done for her.


First published in Windward Community College’s Rain Bird: Love, 33:40-41. 2013.

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