Mirrors. When I need them to tell me the truth, they lie; and when I really, really want them to lie, they tell the truth.
I’ve found that it’s important to adjust my expectations based on which mirror I’m consulting. The ones in our bedroom and bathroom are very slimming, which is a nice boost to my self-esteem on a daily basis, but it sets me up for disappointment when I look in any other mirrors.
The mirror in my workout area makes me look as though I’ve strapped a life preserver around my middle, but I’m pretty sure that mirror has an odd distortion at stomach height. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
And don’t even get me started about the mirrors in bathing suit stores. Those ones tell the brutal truth about all the worst features of my body; and then they go ahead and pile on a bunch of ugly lies about my best features, too. I’m pretty sure store mirrors were designed by Satan himself in the fiery depths of hell.
I was reminded of all this the other day. No, I wasn’t buying a bathing suit – I don’t need that kind of trauma in my life. I was looking in my magnifying mirror with my middle-aged eyes (wearing reading glasses, of course, because otherwise I wouldn’t see anything but a pink blur).
And I thought, “Well, those whiskers aren’t too obvious. Guess I’ve got another day or two before I have to pluck them all out again.”
Then I realized the unfortunate truth: Nobody my age will see my face-fur unless they’re peering at me from close range with reading glasses (and I’m pretty sure I’d notice that in time to take evasive action). But younger eyes can see crystal-clear detail at any distance.
So those bristles I’ve been pretending “aren’t too noticeable”? Yep, you guessed it. To anybody with normal eyesight, I’m well on my way to a playoff beard. Sadly, there’s no victory in sight.
Dealing with reality would take too much effort, so instead I’ve decided to invent the new and exciting “Middle-Age Mirror”. For women, it’ll have subtle distortions at boob and waist height to bring back our hourglass figures, along with a nice soft-focus face area. For the guys, the mirror will broaden the shoulders and minimize the beer belly, while providing a flattering magnification zone in a strategic place.
Now I only have to convince our legislators to make the Middle-Age Mirror mandatory in all public places.
Ahhh. I look better already!
Book 14 update: I’m almost finished Chapter 4, and those headstrong characters are surprising me already. This is why I love writing – I never know what’s going to happen!