Mirrors in Every Room

My house is full of clocks that chime. None at the right time. I am always told jokingly that even a broken clock is right once a day. Mine are not right for a reason. I set them ahead so that when I hear different chimes I know different things. If I am busy and hear a certain clock chime, I realize the news or a favorite TV show is coming on. I have time to get to the TV because the clock chimed early. Another lets me know in the middle of the night what time it is without having to look. Each clock has it’s purpose. Though they are set to go off at different times, some have a mind of their own if they are clocks I have to wind. They will still go off near the time but as they unwind they start to catch up with the present.

I also have mirrors in every room. For someone who does not like to look into a mirror, I have a lot of mirrors. It seems I cannot look anywhere without seeing a mirror. And it is not just one mirror a room, in some rooms there are many. I open a door and see mirrors on shelves as well as walls. The one that bothers me most is the one in my kitchen. It is behind my stove, so when I cook it is impossible not to get a glimpse of myself. Everyone said that the stove mirror would be dirty and were putting odds on how long it would remain clean. After ten years it actually is the cleanest mirror in my house. Probably because I have stopped cooking as much as I once had.

There are also many makeup mirrors, none that I use. I bought the first one thinking it would be nicer to paint my face with a mirror that was magnified. I did not expect it to magnify what I consider my imperfections. I thought maybe because it was not lit, it was not a good mirror. So I bought a makeup mirror that lights up. This was even worse, now my perceived imperfections had a spot light on them. After many different makeup mirrors I came to an important conclusion. When someone looks at me, they do not look at me through a magnifying glass or with a spot light, nor do they see my imperfections. So the need for magnification and lighting is not really needed. Someone who does not see well, might benefit from the lighting and magnification, if they wanted. When I came to this realization, I put a mirror in each guest bedroom and bathroom for others if they wanted to use them. The remaining mirrors, I put back in their box and put under the bathroom cabinet.  I should note, I did not buy all those mirrors. I bought two. My husband, trying to be nice bought me the others when I complained after using each one. Had someone asked my husband if I needed a mirror, he would tell them I was perfect just the way I was. Had I asked him how I looked, he would give me the criticism or approval for how I looked. I wanted him to always be truthful. He must have been as I would not have received as many compliments as I did through the years. I know others want their significant others to lie and tell them how great they look and if they do not hear what they want, it leads to arguments. This to me is silly. Why bother asking if you do not want the truth. Does the person asking want to be told they look nice/skinny/pretty when in fact they do not? Do they want to go out into the world thinking they look great when in fact they look awful? I do not know. As I said, I have always wanted the truth. I do not understand how anyone can want deception or sugar-coating. It is none of my business. So if it makes them happy, it is not for me to say it is wrong.

When my husband died, arriving home after my flight from his funeral, the first thing I did was throw away a mirror in the shower he used to shave. He had not been able to use it for several years, but the hope was there that he would one day be able to use it again. He had a few small hand-held mirrors he used in the last years of his life. Near the end of his life, I had to hold the mirror for him as he was getting weaker. I threw these too. I had no need for them, they were his and he would not need them. It is perplexing to me why the mirrors were the first thing I threw when he died. Did I not want to catch a glimpse of myself in his mirrors? Or was it too painful to see his mirrors knowing he would not be looking into them again.

As for the other mirrors throughout the house they will remain. I will not look into them. In fact, I probably walk out of my way to avoid many mirrors. Many rooms have their doors closed so I do not see the mirrors. Though it might be easier to throw some of the mirrors, I have no desire to. Many are there for decoration. Some are there for friends and family that visit. Others are for me to glance at, to be sure I look okay before I go out into the world alone. The mirror I need the most, is not an actual mirror, it is my husband’s eyes lighting up when he sees me or my husband telling me what I look like, even if I do not look good. My husband was my mirror of truth.

As I contemplate my drive towards my new future alone, I am left wondering. Am I like the clocks I set ahead? Am I hoping to mirror them? Will I unwind to the present? I have no answers to these questions, only my desire to not forget the past, while I move toward the future. Or maybe just move towards the present for now, it still hard to leave the past.