Mariko is sitting on the apartment balcony with her notebook, diligently writing out her thoughts for the day. She doesn't really feel like it, she's got a bad cold and would sooner lie in bed being brought miso soup at regular intervals, but she knows she'll feel better if she sorts out her thoughts even if those thoughts are mostly that she hates being sick, and wishes she could assign the part of herself that wants to do things literally every day come what may to her immune system its own body to do this for her.
"What does pretending consist of besides saying you taught me and letting your sons pick my outfits?"
"Can you help with that?"
"I'm not sure I'm innately talentless but it's not something I've paid attention to before."
"Sure. What are the basics I'll need to know to fast-talk people about it? And if there's specialized vocabulary I'll want to know it in English too, in case anyone would otherwise be suspicious about the gap."
"Mom," they say in unison.
"Sorry. I can self-teach if there are books?"
"As long as you don't get really obnoxious."
"I don't think of myself as really obnoxious but I admit I'm not sure what you have in mind."
The twins shrug.
"You seem fine."
"If you do get obnoxious we can throw books at you then."
"I'd rather you tried verbal reprimand first."
The twins laugh.
They give her a brief summary of terms and current trends. They're a little distractible, but not terrible teachers and they seem genuinely enthusiastic about the subject.
Mariko takes diligent notes and asks intelligent questions about semisynthetics and shades of indigo and the use of ruching as appropriate.
There's enough that they can't get through it all at once, especially since she'll be expected to know the details of their brand and some fashion history as well.
A few hours in the twins decide that they're done. They leave her with a pile of fashion magazines and some websites.