“How confusing the beams from memory’s lamp are;
One day a bachelor, the next a grampa.
What is the secret of the trick?
How did I get so old so quick?” Ogden Nash
“Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.” Mark Twain
“Nothing is more beautiful than cheerfulness in an old face.” Jean Paul Friedrich Richter
“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” American Saying
A long-time friend and I recently experienced similar horrific experiences while driving. Please learn from our near tragedies. You may have noticed the warnings on your car’s mirrors that state that “items may be closer than they appear.” When you look in the side mirrors or the rear-view mirror on your car you never can tell how close or far away the objects in the mirror really are. Reality is tricky.
First, have you noticed that when you look in your bathroom mirror while brushing your hair or applying make-up that your skin appears flawless… no wrinkles, pores seem barely discernable, and you barely notice the hair on your upper-lip or on your chin? Plus, we live life using our memory camera — remembering how we looked when we were younger. You do realize that we manage to never age in our mind’s eye.
So the other day, after walking my laps down at the waterfront in Poulsbo I returned to my car all hot and sweaty. Plus, the humidity had frizzed my naturally, curly hair up to look like a Brillo-pad. I needed to do something to repair the havoc nature had created as I wanted to run some errands at the grocery store. My rear-view mirror was positioned too high and too narrow to see my entire image so of course I decided to pull down my visor and open up the mirror on the back of my visor. BIG MISTAKE!
Reality smacked me right between the eyes and I’m convinced my head spun from the shock. YEE-GADS my facial pores looked like vast sink-holes and the lines on my face challenged the Grand Canyon. The worst part of my shock is that somehow I had grown a white beard between the time I had put my make-up on in the morning to the time that I had been crazy enough to pull down my visor.
I was wondering if someone had pulled one of those crazy candid-camera jokes on me. Someplace outside my car, someone had to be hiding and laughing their head off as surely they had replaced my visor mirror with some clown’s face. Surely I don’t look THAT bad… do I?
So in talking to friends, I learned that they had experienced the same situation with their visor mirrors. We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. One friend did suggest that “We could make a fortune if we could develop a pore-filler with a consistency just this side of wood putty.” However, ultimately we remembered the printed warning on the mirrors “objects may appear closer than they appear.” BEWARE of visor mirrors… they don’t tell the truth. Ok, in my case, denial works!