Jewish World Review March 26, 2004 / 4 Nissan, 5764

Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman
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Consumer Reports

Clothing wars every mom for herself | The fiercest battles known to family with two or more daughters are undoubtedly the Clothing Wars.

These skirmishes between sisters can be triggered by borrowing an article of clothing without permission, a wrinkled return, or a spaghetti stain on a T-shirt visible only to teenage girls and neutron microscopes.

Conflicts are sometimes resolved quickly and quietly with a minimum of mediation; other times they escalate to an intensity that warrants activating the National Guard and summoning special forces.

As a observer of the Clothing Wars, I was intrigued to arrive home and find a letter from one daughter to another, attempting to repair the damage created by what we veterans refer to as an unauthorized loan:

"Dearest Sister in all the World,

(Mother's editorial note: With a start like that, you know this is going to be good.)

"I have a confession to make and hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me and love me (your only sister whom you will miss dearly when you are away at college next year) more than a pair of old pants.

"This morning, I let you borrow my shoes (yes, they used to be yours at one point) and I was taking my time to get dressed. Once you left for school, I missed you and thought maybe my longing for you would diminish if I wore a pair of your pants today. I thoughtfully chose a pair of pants that you don't wear much. They are old, and you've given me permission to wear them before. (Mother's editorial correction: No sister borrows an article of clothing to feel close to her sister, she borrows an article of clothing because it looked good on her sister and may look even better on her.)

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" These pants apparently did not go through the dryer and felt brittle and dry. When I stepped into them they were uncomfortable, but they reminded me of you, so I kept them on.

"I went to put my shoes on and I heard a big RIP. Because I recently lost all the hearing in one ear (poor me) I didn't know where the sound came from. I looked in a mirror and saw (to my utter horror) that your dear pants on my dear exposed back side had ripped the entire length of the seam. The old, very old, pair of gray corduroys are no longer wearable. I was as much shocked as you are as you read this now.

"By all means, I want to rectify the situation. If the pants are still for sale, then I will buy you a pair. I am also more than happy to give you money or buy you another pair of pants of your choice, in return for your forgiveness.

"I seriously think this was a case of wardrobe malfunction, unlike Janet Jackson's unfortunate premeditated predicament. But I want to make it up to you. Please let me know what it is you want in return.

"I love you so much and trust that you love me more than a pair of thin, worn three-year-old pants that weren't that flattering on you to begin with.

"So sorry from the bottom of my heart. Your sister.

"P.S. By the way, I don't think it's necessary for Mom to be involved, she's so busy with other stuff.

Mother's summary: The Gray Cord Crisis was resolved without intervention from the SWAT team or the use of WMDs. As for the Clothing Wars, we are presently enjoying a lovely, albeit temporary, peace.

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JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Pass the Faith, Please" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.

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© 2001, Lori Borgman