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Mirror in the Bathroom

Mirror in the bathroom, please talk free, the door is locked, just you and me. Can I take you to a restaurant that’s got glass tables, you can watch yourself while you are eating. – The English Beat

Girls can spend hours in front of it with no shame. It’s your morning companion to comb, shave, brush your teeth and primp yourself for prime time. Most of the day it remains idle — waiting for a fresh face to show up. It’s also ready for late night stints of aspirin or Advil popping.

The sacred mirror in the bathroom.

More than anything, that mirror is a reflection of ourselves. It showed me who I was as a toddler. I flexed newfound muscles in front of it when in high school. It revealed my lowest point in life when cancer arrived.

On that day, the mirror showed an image of a grown man that the grim reaper was ready to take hold of. A scarecrow at 95 pounds, it showed in detail a bony rib cage, a spinal cord clinging to wafer-thin skin, and a face so hollow and discolored it made me look away. It was a me that I didn’t want to be or see!

My vanity bathroom mirror is a biggie, taking up a large chunk of valuable wall space. It’s difficult to keep clean, and no matter which direction you move, it’s got you covered from the waist up. So, don’t be modest. The mirror doesn’t care.

For that reason alone, females cherish my bathroom mirror. They plop on the purple Formica around the sink and strike a pose to themselves. Play with their earrings and toss their hair. Practice a seductive smile. Take a “selfie” of their reflection.

I don’t regard the mirror as highly as they do. Most men use them as a tool; they don’t “camp out” in front of them. I have better things to do.

Lately, staring in the mirror, I see what a lot of men my age are seeing; we are morphing into what our fathers look like. That is, a graying, balding man who winces with occasional pain, but lives day to day and gets by. We need to moisten our skin more. And workout more.

I often wonder if people look deeply into the mirror and like what they see. Or do they think otherwise of themselves? Either way, the mirror doesn’t lie. It’s who we are, at least looks wise, to the world. Red and rosy cheeks, big blue peepers, oversize nose, and don’t forget the cold sore on your lip and the receding hairline.

There are days I wish I could cover the mirror. Days that I’m sick and look (and feel) lousy. Nights that I stumble to the commode, resembling a drunk in Times Square on New Years. That mirror is laughing at me.

Is a broken mirror really bad luck? Throw a brick at yours and let me know how it goes! Perhaps easier than befriending a black cat.

Mirrors and vain people go hand in hand. If you’re impressed with yourself, you probably have a mirror in every room of your home. And one to pull out of your pocket too!

What about “mirrors away from home”? The ornate ones in hotels, lobbies, restaurants. The plain Jane ones used in public restrooms and airports. Same results, new location. Not much has changed in your physical appearance since you left home.

But you still might want to adjust your tie, comb your hair (what’s left) and put on some lip balm. Let’s face it (no pun intended) mirrors pull no punches, takes no prisoners. It’s going to show what you have to offer. Or maybe lack of.

Mirrors show things that we didn’t notice just a few years back — wrinkles that just seem to have popped up, sun blotches, and dark moles that probably should be checked for skin cancer. A pouch at the midsection that a kangaroo would trade you for. Tired eyes. Unkempt nose and ear hair follicles. Mirrors reveal transitions.

Let’s not forget the mirrors in your car. I like them, mainly for the reason it shows me what I’ve passed. Or who wants to tailgate me.

As mentioned, the battle scars of life come shining through via your home mirror. I try to wear a shirt each time I get near it. If not, that nasty six-inch incision running from my belly button down my pelvic region shows what’s buttoned up after colon cancer surgery. Ironic that in college, the hair that covered that same path was called the “happy trail.”

My parents’ house features a large, framed mirror in the dining room. I wish it had a “replay” button that turned it into a highlight reel movie screen. It would show all the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. The birthday and graduation parties, and all who smiled and attended. The toasts. The relatives. A true reflection of good times.

Maybe you are a “mirror image” of someone else. I am not. But ask this to yourself. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”

If it so happens to be you, plant a fat kiss to yourself via that bathroom mirror. Please, just remember to remove the smudge marks when finished. You just never know who is going to use it next.

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