No, I don’t think I’m a man in my mind. I don’t strap on a tool belt, hang out at truck rallies and call myself Joe. Not that there’s anything wrong with that however, I’m referring to my magic mirror.
A girlfriend recently came over to my house for a cocktail before we headed out to an event. As we prepared to leave, she went into my bedroom to check her makeup.
Suddenly, I hear her high pitched, British accent squeal, “Darling, I love your vanity mirror.”
“My what,” I responded, heading in to investigate.
“You know dear, like the circus— it’s one of those trick mirrors.”
“Like the circus” the words reverberated in the air, like an echo in the Grand Canyon. At that moment, my world collapsed.
As a genetically blessed Southern woman, mirrors had always been my friends until a few years ago. It began in my mid 30s when my jeans started to feel tight. A few years and two babies later, the squeeze turned into a winch and I began avoiding my reflection. Instead of checking myself out in store windows, I avoided the less than stealth image following me down the sidewalk.
At home, all was still ok, because apparently, I have been dragging around an 80-pound gold gilt, wrought iron circus mirror for decades. In my magic mirror, I look good. And, if I ever need reassurance, I snap a few well positioned selfies and the dream lives on.
Of course, it’s no coincidence that women take selfies as if from an aerial view. The raised and slightly tilted perspective skews reality just enough to keep us sane.
If you want a real selfie, take one with your phone sitting in your lap. The under the chin angle is something no woman over 40 should ever have to see.
Speaking of horrors, have you ever taken out your phone to capture a moment and the camera is turned toward you? For a second, you actually frighten yourself. Yikes! Who’s the scary woman staring at me? Oh, that’s me, how reassuring.
So anyway, my imaginary life is shattered, and I must now face the facts that in order to get my magic mirror self in sync with my real self, I need to step away from the refrigerator and head to the gym. But maybe, I should jog by a plastic surgeons office for a little chat. After all, my Mercedes needs a tune up every 10,000 miles, surely my mummy tummy has earned some professional intervention.
Too bad there isn’t a service package that comes with birthing babies. When you check out of the hospital, it could be the extended warranty offer you’re presented with along with the birth certificate.
“Here you go ma’am, and with this option, if you are unable to lose the ‘baby weight’, you can come back and we will cut it off at no extra charge.”
“Yes, please, sign me up.”
Since this was not an option offered to me, I will be keeping my magic mirror. I do check real mirrors occasionally for a reality check that my skipped desserts are paying off. But mostly, I prefer to live the dream.
Growing old is challenging enough for women in this youth obsessed culture. As for me, I plan to lug my reflection of deception to the grave. You can have my magic mirror, when you pry it from my cold, dead, chubby hands.
By Jules Lewis Gibson, Founder of GRAVITAS