Last week we volunteered at the Harvest Festival at my Aunt’s church. The Harvest Festival markets itself as the North Fork’s largest yard sale. I believe this to be true. Pretty much as soon as the Festival ends, the church is collecting and planning for the next year. This year I purchased a small desk for $4 which turned out to have been handmade by the Pastor’s uncle and used extensively throughout the years by his family. And a stand alone mirror with a wooden frame for $6. It absolutely looks like something out of a horror movie. So far we have experienced no haunting.
We really needed a full length mirror. Although, given that I work from home, I frequently find myself at Starbucks still semi-clad in my pajamas. Maybe this will change now that I will be able to see what I actually look like before I head out the door. My son had taken to using the reflection in the large window in the front door to see what he looked like so he is happy with our purchase.
A funny thing about mirrors. Sometimes, they just don’t actually reflect what you think that you look like. Anyone who knows my mom, knows that she frequently says that while she doesn’t mind getting older, why does she have to be “reduced to a prune.” I used to sort of poo-poo this kind of talk from her but with the new mirror placed in a spot that is awash with natural lighting, I found myself looking into it today wondering who the hell that old lady was.
For me, it’s not so much the wrinkles that have got me down. It’s more the jowly mouth and the turkey neck. It’s the way my lip seems to burrow into my face on one side which lends to my overall look of asymmetry. Something that I have always sort of dealt with anyway.
When I think about this too much, this me in the mirror, it makes me not want to go out. It makes me not want to be seen. It makes me think of plastic surgery (not that I could afford to or would even do it, if I could). And that soon I can wear scarves all the time to hide my neck. Makes me want to not return to Hawaii because those people have a frozen in time memory of my face which would be shattered if I showed up. And I know that this sounds shallow. And I should just be happy that I have an older face. That I am still around to see an older me in the mirror. In my heart I know this. And I know this because I am older. All of those things that people said to me when I was younger, I was like eh. But now I know.
But I question the lovely mirror purchase. The small low light bathroom mirror is so much more forgiving. Everything is so much harder to take in in the harsh light of day. And I find my mom’s “reduced to a prune” comment coming to mind over and over. I suppose the only recourse is to put a brave face on about my face and just get out there.