It only becomes obvious when the little girls come home for the summer holidays.....
The rest of the year I am secure in the belief that a) There is something wrong with my mirror and b) that my clothes shrink in the wash AND C) that we have strong moral values in our home !!
But when the Little Girls come home - the TRUTH EMERGES !!
It is the festooning of the bathroom that really gets to me. Our staunch Catholic family traditions are being horribly eroded by our underwear.
I can cope with the shoes sizes, we are all identical - a perfect English Size 4. I can cope with the bra sizes, we are all virtually identical apart from a few gravity problems and under-wiring needed in the matriarch, but the broekies in the bathroom make me want to rush off to confession - literally....
Now most Zimbabwean mothers from the olden days were known to give broekie washing lessons to their offspring and at age three, my Little Girls were to be found perched on the wee little stool that grandpa made, leaning over the basin carefully washing their broekies every evening before bath-time.
These days I am pretty sure the little darlings toss theirs into the washing machine and tumble dryer when they are away from Mother's eagle eye, but they dutifully wash them at home and hence the festoonation of the bathroom which makes father duck and cluck and makes me cringe.
The reason being those awful things called "thongs" !!
Now in my day - a broekie was a broekie.
Good quality cotton was imperative, anything else was unhygienic, and of course, they always had to keep the kidneys warm to ward off the common cold !!
Now, I ask you, what good does a thong do medically, physically, and mentally
Mother would always insist that our underwear was in pristine condition "just in case we got knocked down by a car". Any errant piece of lace (modest in size and of course beige or white ONLY) was immediately and carefully hand stitched.
And trust me those bloomers lasted an awful long time so we probably only had a few pairs.
Nowadays thanks to Victoria's secret, the Little Girls' broekie drawers are overflowing, mind you they are so minuscular (the broekies I mean) you could probably get a hundred of them into the family chest of drawers that used to take half a dozen. !!
In my day there was etiquette in a pair of knickers - our revered headmistress (we were at an all girls' school) would insist on impromptu broekie inspection, and woe betide anyone who was wearing anything but the regulation wooly brown pantaloon that took a full yard of fabric to make. Anyone found in something a little more risque was branded as a strumpet and outcast for days on end !!
Now being of the old school, I have always been of the beige, cotton, full-cut broekie set...... But my strumpet daughters wear ( blush) all manner of unladylike undergarments. All induced by the High Priestess of the Pert Bottom - Kylie Mynogue no doubt !!
Unmentionables like tangas, g strings, thongs in all sorts of garish colours like red and lime and even (shudder) black !! Festooned with slogans and even shriek (lace that is not beige )!!
What is the world coming too I shudder to think.......