>My dad’s little comment regarding my short hair cut and my need for Husband’s permission to keep it that way reminded me of something he told me a long time ago when I was in high school.  Back in those days, I was on the more than just a bit chubby side of the body type spectrum, I dressed in some crazy clothes (like a plaid pair of pants with a striped shirt, for example), and I wore no makeup (which is no different today).  I was also frequently depressed.  Like many teenage girls, I was also eager to have a boyfriend, and not having one was often what led me to being depressed.  (The other main cause for being depressed was my unhappiness at being fat.)

As an aside, I have to say that my outfits were so strange that people often stared at me when I was out and about.  I am usually oblivious to these things, but my mom and sister always noticed.  The funny thing is that usually teenagers are embarrassed to be seen with their families.  That never bothered me, but my parents and sister had every right to be embarrassed to be seen with me.  I think they just got used to it, though.

Anyway, one day I was minding my own business, doing some homework on the family computer.  I vaguely remember wearing some outfit that had a long peasant skirt, which was certainly not fashionable at the time, but also not amongst the most horrifying of things I wore in those days.  My dad came into the room and confidently told me that he was sure that I could get a boyfriend if I “just lost some weight, wore makeup, and dressed better.”

I know that he was only trying to help me, and give me some friendly parental advice that would lead to my happiness, which he desperately wanted me to be.  I knew that back then, too.  And at least he didn’t tell me to change my personality, right?  Still, it was about the most insulting and hurtful thing you could say to an insecure teenage girl.  It’s not like I didn’t already know I was a fat ugly weirdo.  Sigh.  

The moral of this sad story is that sometimes people mean well and have no idea how to express their concern properly.  While my dad accepts me as a smart and opinionated person, I have learned to accept him as a loving parent who wants the best for me but sometimes shows it in odd ways.

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