Good thing I’m not very superstitious.
I admit, however, that when the hand mirror fell off the windowsill in the bathroom, bounced twice, and landed on the tile floor unbroken, I did breathe a tiny little sigh of relief. After a summer of a broken toe in July and a late night visit to the ER after being attacked by hornets in August, I’m afraid that seven years of bad luck would probably mean traction for this gal.
The mirror above the bathroom sink used to be the object that stood between me and my losing an eye to my mascara wand. However, as my eyesight has worsened, my collection of mirrors has multiplied. It now includes two tiny magnifying mirrors and the hand mirror that tried to commit Mirrorcide today. Magnification, a cruel and necessary tool, is essential for plucking stray eyebrows and those pesky whiskers that appear after a good night’s sleep. Often, wearing bifocals WHILE looking into the magnifying mirror is the only way to locate these annoying little suckers.
These days, the mirror above the sink serves only one purpose. It allows me a chance to see myself in a soft, blurry haze. Kind of like having dinner by candlelight. I do not wear my bifocals for this exercise.
Snow White’s neurotic step mom spent a lot of time asking her own mirror hard questions. In my fiftieth decade, I am less and less inclined to care about the answers. When I see photos posted on the Facebook pages of really young women, the most beautiful ones are those who have not altered themselves through the Magic Mirror of Photoshop or Instagram. And then there are the women in their thirties and forties. I remember those years of being too careful and too sure about how to do things “right” before I realized what a waste of energy THAT was. I would not go back there for five minutes. It was exhausting.
But you know what is really great? I’m learning that women of a certain age, especially the ones I’ve known most of my life, post different photos. We are holding grandchildren, or hugging husbands we’ve somehow managed to continue loving despite the toothpaste in the sink. Our swimsuit shots would never make the the cover of Sports Illustrated, but we are relaxed and at ease and smiling broadly in spite of our laugh lines and gray hairs and sagging body parts. I have known many of these women for the better part of my life, and they are all, each one of them, more beautiful than they were decades ago. Time does that. Being less sure does that. Loving hard and deep and long does that. Loss does that. Laughter does that.
Some good wine shared with some good women does that. A smattering of good luck doesn’t hurt, either.
These fair and lovely friends of mine are the mirrors that matter to me most of all.