The truth will set you free.
But what if I don’t want to know the truth, I thought, as I stood there in my bathroom staring down at a counter filled with various hair essentials, a bag of makeup — half of which I never use, a toothbrush, a ball point pen ( I don’t know why), and a half empty bottle of Jergens lotion. I love the smell of Jergens lotion, only the original kind because it reminds me of my childhood somehow.
But I digress.
There was one more object on the bathroom counter, round and shiny and on a stand about yay tall. In it lay the truth. A truth I’ve been needing to face for quite some time now. A truth no one else was willing to tell me, I am convinced.
A truth only a magnifying mirror can reveal.
A quick glance can’t hurt me, I thought, and so I picked up my newly purchased mirror and brought it toward my face. That’s not so bad, I told myself. I don’t see a thing. Maybe because my eyes were closed, perhaps? And then it happened. I opened them.
Oh, sweet Mother Mary. When did I get so old? As if the wrinkles didn’t bother me enough before, there they were magnified 10 times. My face was like a map of someplace with a lot of rivers, and I would name that place if only I could think of a place with a lot, I mean a lot, of rivers. My wrinkles had wrinkles that, I am sure, would be giving birth to even more wrinkles at any moment.
“I hate this mirror,” I said out loud, and put it down on the counter amongst the other stuff there, which is where it sat until the next time I walked into the bathroom and it drew me in, called my name…
“Oh, wrinkly one,” it said. “Don’t you want to see other parts of your face?” It was like a train wreck. I couldn’t not look. I just couldn’t.
Oh, sweet Mother Mary. My eyebrows look like Chewbacca from Star Wars. How could my family let me walk around like that? How could my husband not turn over in the bed at night and scream out in surprise at thinking he was sleeping next to Big Foot? This was not acceptable. Where are my tweezers?
Sweet Mother Mary. Now look at what I’ve done. I don’t think they’re even. Now I look surprised on one side of my face, and sullen on the other. Sullen. I looked it up. It means ill-tempered and sulky. I was definitely ill tempered after learning I had been walking around like a Wookie for the past week. Maybe I could walk sideways until they grow back straight. I could be surprised or sulky, depending on who I’m talking to. This isn’t going to work. I have to try and fix them.
Okay, that’s better. Now I look only half surprised on both sides. At least I don’t have to worry about being cast in the next Star Wars movie. But wait a minute … what is that?! Is that what I think it is? Is that … my … neck?
It couldn’t be. My neck used to be up here … and now it’s kind of down here … and a little over here … Maybe if I grab the back of my neck and tug on it a little, it will bounce back to where it was. There. That’s better. I wonder if I can walk around all day holding the back of my neck like this? Maybe I can get one of those big binder clips and put it back there under my hair.
Put down the magnifying mirror. Put it down. I should have known better than to buy one of the darn things, anyway. I knew in the back of my mind it was only going to depress me. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when it really did. Do I look surprised? What’s that you say? Only on one side?
Dang it. Where are those tweezers?
Email Mandy Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.