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
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
Margaret's reciprocal body language, on the other
hand, is not nearly so finely pointed. But then, she's just
Of course, simply calling her "Margaret", then
smiling that Listerine mother smile, is the most basic revision
technique of all.