daughters, techniques for revision of

When Margaret's mother slams the door, it is not with a quick thunder loud sharp bang, but with a bank vault entrance quality, a ponderous, judgmental acceleration, creak and clang. That slam, typically directed at Margaret, though not unknown to her brother and father, can turn its target's most righteous, haughty rage into isolated, trapped fear, whether the target is inside or outside the house at the time.

Whenever Margaret makes a pun, the corners of her mother's mouth twitch just so, then smile a small, tired smile.

Indeed, her mother has developed a complete and precise body language of restraint. Minor upward motions of her shoulder blades mean she is not criticizing Margaret's posture; a slight tilt of the head and wrinkle of the nose means she is refraining from commenting on Margaret's latest rudeness; casually rocking back and forth on her heels implies she doesn't approve of the current boyfriend, but wouldn't actually say so.

Margaret's reciprocal body language, on the other hand, is not nearly so finely pointed. But then, she's just a daughter.

Of course, simply calling her "Margaret", then smiling that Listerine mother smile, is the most basic revision technique of all.

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