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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall (#1)

       While driving my son to school today, I noticed how he kept looking at himself in the passenger-side mirror above the dashboard. I was the same way when I was a teenager. I wanted to make sure my hair was perfect, nothing was stuck in my teeth, and the big dab of Clearasil was covering the huge pimple on my forehead that wasn’t there the night before. I looked over at my son, smiled and said,

"Adam, why do you need a mirror to see how you look? I thought that was what mean girls were for."

     I think mirrors were invented, either by a narcissist, or someone under thirty. I’ve learned over the years that the older you get, the less you like mirrors; especially full-length ones. I figure, I have enough problems without the extreme shock of seeing my middle-aged body completely naked. A few years ago, I did place a portable defibrillator in my bathroom, just in case.
     If you’re anything like me, after taking a shower, you’ll turn off the bathroom fan to keep the mirrors fogged up. You’ll also have a robe handy, and learn to meticulously rub off just enough of the glass to see only your face. Oh, I almost forgot. If you wear glasses, don’t put them on in front of a mirror. You might not like what you see.
     Take a good look at the man in the picture above. He had been blind since birth, but recently had eye surgery, which miraculously restored his sight. For the first time in his life he's seeing his image in a mirror. If we could read his mind, we might hear something like,

"What the heck! I'm Asian? My names Stan Pawlakowski for Heaven's sake. I don't like Chinese, Thai, or Vietnamese food, and sushi makes me sick. I wonder why my parents never told me I was adopted."
     These days, except for shaving, I don’t really need a mirror. I just ask my wife how I look before leaving the house. She’ll say fine as she holds her hand over her mouth to hide her smile. She’ll then proceed to comb my hair with her fingers, straighten my tie, fix my collar, tuck my shirt in the back, use a lint brush to remove cat hair, wipe oatmeal off my chin, painfully remove a two-inch hair growing out of the top of my ear, remind me my eyebrows need a trim, and send me on my way.
     Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a world without mirrors or any type of reflections? I think we spend too much time and money worrying about our appearance. Imagine if we depended, not on mirrors, but the reactions of other people to determine how we look? Hopefully, if I wasn't looking my best, people would be kind, and not freak out, scream, and run for the nearest exit while yelling,
“For the love of God, what in the world was that? I hope it was a Halloween mask, and not that poor guy’s face!”
     I was thinking of breaking my bathroom mirror, throwing it in the trash and replacing it with a beautiful, tranquil painting of nature. I then realized it might not be such a good idea. I doubt I could take another seven years of bad luck. Years ago on my wedding day, I accidentally broke three mirrors being loaded onto a glass truck. This past month I celebrated my twentieth wedding anniversary. If my math is correct, I only have one more year of extremely bad luck.

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