Saturday, September 28, 2013
VOICES IN THE MIRROR
There are mirrors all over my house—in the bathrooms, in the bedrooms, in the hall. These mirrors do their work for others, reflecting back the image that can be altered, disdained, admired. My personal mirror is the mirror of the ear. It has many voices. Some I like better than others. Sometimes I ask them questions. “Tell me the truth now,” I will say, fishing, perhaps, for compliments, “do I look fat in these pants?” Sometimes I will check for the signs that will most surely give me away as a blind person the moment I walk out the door. “Are there any spots on this blouse?” Sometimes the commentary on my reflection comes to me unbidden, but welcome in a perverse way. “Oh Mother, your roots need rescuing.” How else would I know when it was time for the chemicals? They say blondes have more fun. Nobody tells you anything about the fun ratio for blondes with telltale roots. In the most perplexing of all events, the voices of my reflection fight with each other. One will say, “You can wear this top with those pants.” Then another will chime, “No she can’t dad. Those don’t go at all.” Who, I wonder, decides how colours blend? Looking good, I have concluded, is a matter of taste. How often is my appearance the reflection of someone else’s taste? If yours is the mirror of the ear, then you trust somebody first. On the best days, your trust is rewarded with back up from sources who have nothing to gain or lose. Sometimes somebody who loves me will help me pick out a new dress, and then I’ll wear that dress to work, and even before I get there a stranger will say to me, “That dress looks so good on you. So bright and cheery.” That’s what happened with this dress that I bought in Texas, on a day when I wasn’t actually shopping for anything, which is why I wear it on occasions when I need to look good. That’s why I like it so much. Somehow, it just seems to suit me.