My old mirror was loose at its base, so I figured I’d just pick up a new one during the move. Trouble being, Bed Bath and Beyond only had mirrors with a measley five-times magnification instead of the high-powered eight I was used to. No big deal, right? I mean, it’s only three times less. That’s what I thought — until I got it home. Less magnification together with poor lighting and the fact that the mirror hangs a bit too high meant I was missing all kinds of supposedly important details.
I’ve revised my opinion about what’s important.
“Do you really want all that information?” a friend asked me, when I picked out the mirror.
I thought I did, but I can say now that I definitely do not.
My self esteem is much better with the new mirror that tells lies. Well, not outright lies. Just lies by omission. Don’t ask, don’t tell. That’s our policy. I was wondering why I looked better in my new place. It seemed like a miracle. Dark circles faded and blemishes disappeared. Was there something in the water here? Was I getting better sleep? Had I suddenly stopped sprouting rogue chin hairs? Then I remembered the new mirror. Three times less. I still had chin hairs. Heck, I was a billy goat. I just didn’t know I was a billy goat. Ignorance is bliss.
One of my favorite characters is Scarlett O’Hara who can look tragedy in the face and declare, “I can’t think about that today. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Tomorrow is, after all, another day. And one of my favorite ending lines to a book is in The Sun Also Rises when Brett says, “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”
Yes, it is. It is pretty to think my brows are perfectly tweezed and I’m not sporting spinach between my teeth when I leave the house. (Just kidding. My new mirror isn’t that bad.)
But really, why is it important to know these things? Other humans aren’t running around looking through bionic eyes with eight times magnification capability. Why should I have to give myself the once over with anything more than the naked eye?
I will say that sometimes you walk into a place with super-duper florescents, like an office building or a drugstore. Or the sun will back-light you in a way that exposes every hair that God and age have bestowed on you. The only advice I have in these situations is — move. Get the hell out. Of the drugstore or the office. And avoid the sun. It’s bad for you anyway. Besides, everyone knows candlelight and dusk are more flattering.
But if you happen to catch me in bad lighting that shows all my flaws – don’t say anything. I don’t want to know. I’m feeling pretty good about myself these days. But do feel free to tell me if I have spinach in my teeth.