Mirror! Mirror!

“Oh, heck no!” Those were the first words that rolled off my tongue and tumbled out of my mouth as I used a new Christmas gift this morning. Seriously, someone clearly missed the memo on Christmas. Granted, I was raised Jehovah’s Witness and was thoroughly versed in the evils of celebrating birthdays and pagan holidays. Thus, I may not be as experienced as others may be on traditions and etiquette, but this thing is not a gift and how it was mistaken as one escapes my imagination. It definitely does not conform to my childhood fantasies of Christmas morning when I desperately wanted to believe Santa was real and that mom, dad, and the Kingdom Hall were wrong.

When I was nine, I recall arguing the point with my mother. After all, I clearly heard the Brother in the pulpit who was delivering the talk to the congregation that morning. He mentioned the name Santa multiple times. As I sat in the pew, my heart jumped for joy. I was ecstatic, equipped with knowledge and prepared for battle. Santa did exist. I heard it from the preacher standing up at the podium. Isn’t he always right?

Sadly, it was a short-lived dream. My shoulders dropped in unison with my fledgling hope as my mom explained that I had not heard the name Santa. She explained that what I heard the man say was Satan. My heart wanted to whisper, does it really matter? We just need to rearrange the letters.  (Sigh)  I digress, back to the story.

This present, if one can call it that, is an illuminations mirror. A magnification of one is depressing enough. The ten-time magnification, choose the expletive of your liking as they all qualify! Seriously, though, how were we ever deceived into thinking a magnification mirror of this caliber was essential? If I wanted to examine anything at amplification levels of this magnitude and detail, I would have become a scientist or astrologer. I did not and I do not! Furthermore, if the magnification did not deliver a big enough blow to ones ego, there is a bonus feature; it has a light! Nonetheless, it was like watching a train wreck and I could not look away.

When did my eyebrows turn gray? More importantly, that single unruly brow that I plucked yesterday, how could I have ever known it was a comb-over brow? I could have been perfectly happy had this mirror not illuminated and magnified that little bald spot shining in the middle of my right brow. That new skin I had developed around my eyes, turns out, it isn’t new. It’s old, it has a name, and its name is wrinkle. Today, I lamented these findings to a friend. Bless her heart, she tried to comfort me by saying, “When I got my mirror, I found a glob of make-up under my nose.”  My words dripped with bitterness as I responded, “Oh really? Well, I found a mustache!”

Whoever coined the phrase, “The devil is in the details” was certainly accurate in his estimation. When the initial shock and awe wore off, I recognized more subtle attributes. Every time I peered into it, the mirror displayed reflections of my mother. However, when Blaire gazed into it, it replicated my likeness. I do not wish to expound on other less flattering attributes, but they were numerous. However, I do have one final thought.

Could they not have installed a feature to acclimate oneself, a phased in magnification to allow for slowly adjusting to the aged reflection of the recipient and a possibly even add a dimming feature for the light? At the very least, make it a boxed-gift-set by including a bottle of Grey Goose complete with a straw to ensure the recipient of this ‘non-gift’ does not lose her Christmas cheer!

Sharon Buhman
January 2016