My Mirror

Miroir-ovale“How do I look?” my wife asks.

“Fine,” I tell her.

“You’re a liar!”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because,” she says from across the room, “you are wearing your reading glasses.”

Busted.

She demands honesty but even honesty cannot always be completely honest. Sometimes honesty needs to be harsh and other times more gentle. It comes in a package of facts and opinions and what goes into the box depends on what is warranted by the situation. In this case, she wants to know how her new outfit looks.

“Turn around,” I say, stalling for time, as if time will save me.

“Well?” she wants to know.

After trading glasses, I tell her, “You look good.”

“Be honest,” she says.

It is my first indication that she is having doubts herself.

“I dunno,” I say, reflecting her own doubt back at her.

“You think it is…” She hesitates, searching for just the right word.

“too…”

The word she chooses drifts on the air like gunsmoke and I best be careful, least I invite a bullet. “Too… what?” I ask.

“Too…”

This time the word flicks across the room like a fly cast over a trout stream. I rise to take the bait. “Too not you?”

Ah-ha!

She almost had me, but I dodged down an avenue where every road leads to escape.  “I guess I am not up on fashion,” I add, sprinting toward freedom.

She tries to drag me back in. “But how does it look?”

“Expensive,” I say.

Now the ground has shifted completely in my favor. We are no longer talking about what looks good but how much it cost to look good.

“But how does it fit?” she asks. This is not a question. It is retaliation for having dodged all her previous questions – but by this time, it is too late. I am already off the hook and in a position to strike back.

“Ask your mirror,” I tell her as I put my reading glasses back on.

She goes back into the bedroom to consult the full-length mirror, but I know and she knows that this conversation is not over. She will have the last word and all I can do is wait for it.

In a few moments, she emerges but this time not to ask my opinion. “You know,” she says, “you could use a little time in front of that mirror.”

She is right. I could because my mirror has been talking to me lately and I don’t like what it is saying.

It tells me that I am in desperate need of a haircut.

It says I should shave more than twice a month.

It informs me that the summer has not been kind to my favorite road-safety yellow t-shirt, and last summer was not kind to the blaze orange t-shirt I wear when the yellow one is in the wash.

The mirror is also saying that my stomach is pushing its way through both t-shirts.

My mirror tells me the unvarnished truth and I trust it to be honest. But that doesn’t concern me because like the evening news, I twist this way and that until it shows me the truth I want see.

Author: Almost Iowa

www.almostiowa.com

42 thoughts on “My Mirror”

    1. Sometime I think that Dan and I are like two guys who spend their evenings in a bar solving the world’s problems, only to leave and have to re-enter the world of problems.

  1. Your wife is a jewel and so are you. I am looking at you both with a bright shiny smile and a sincere smile of delight.

  2. I think it was Roseanne Barr who once said that during her heaviest phase she learned to look at herself in the mirror only from “the neck up.” In my case, since the advent of crepey skin on my neck, I look from the chin up. And only you could nail the analogy of looking at ourselves in the mirror and our reaction to the daily news….twisting to suit our personal views for sure!

    1. I often hide behind the door when I look in the mirror. All I see is a guy peeking out, which is just fine with me. It is kind of like the news, just the press peeking around the corner while covering their eyes and peering through the cracks in their fingers.

    1. The question presents itself in two ways. If it is about appearance, the sirens go off. If it is about reassurance, the answer becomes an act of love.

    1. After all these years, there is little risk of revealing strategies. It is like two people who have been playing chess for years. Despite having witnessed every possible move, they still enjoy the game.

  3. Well there’s a scene that plays out in our house almost every day lol. I would hide my mirror, but both of our closet doors are just two giant mirrors. And we rent so I can’t replace them! Booo. Great read! 🙂

  4. Funny. That’s how I used to deal with weather forecasts. As an aside: it’s somewhat ironic that the expression used to describe a perfectly glossy, smooth, reflective coat of varnish is “mirror finish.”

    1. On cars, they call it “the wet look.”

      There is something about a well varnished boat that speaks to more than beauty. If I were to sail beyond the sight of shore, especially into weather that meteorologists hedge their bets on by talking about 30% this and 55% that, I would want to be on a boat where every detail reflects a refined sense of perfection.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Audrey. I looked at them from this angle and that until they were really, really flattering. It is going to take me the rest of the day to contain my ego. 🙂 🙂

      We do have fun here, don’t we?

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