I was waiting for the elevator the other day next to a family of three: mother, father, teenage daughter. Each was holding a few shopping bags. They were silent for a few moments, shifting as we waited, and then the mother reached to take one of the daughter's bags. "Stop, mom," the daughter snapped, "I've got it." She looked down and turned away from both parents. "I was just trying..." the mother started, before shifting into mumbles. Meanwhile, the dad looked like he was daydreaming about a coffee mug.
The elevator opened, and the four of us entered. Just as the doors were about to close, a Real Housewives-y cartoon of a woman in a fur coat
slid her way into the elevator with us, along with her small dog. "Make
way for my little Frankie," she announced, even though none of us were
even remotely in her way. The elevator doors closed, and Fur Coat took in the mother-daughter pair. "Oh my god, you guys are adorable.
Matching outfits! So cute." The mother and daughter looked down
sheepishly at their red coats and then they made reluctant eye contact, unable to conceal barely perceptible smiles. "Yeah," the mother
said, "I guess you're right." "So it wasn't planned?" asked Fur Coat,
as she picked Frankie up from the ground and began stroking his fur.
"Nope," the mother said. "I guess when you've been living together for this long,
these things just happen..." As she said this, the
daughter rolled her eyes semi-dramatically for show but, simultaneously, she took a small step toward her mom, as if pulled by a string.