You know those bad memories that you feel compelled to dwell on just to punish yourself. Like the time you peed in your pants (you were 32) and the time you got drunk and told an ex his wife was ugly? Bad mirrors are the same. We are inexorably drawn (sucked, almost) towards truly terrible mirrors through which we see all the pores, those weird white spots (hello new crop) and OMG is that a wart? Wow, since when were my cheeks are covered in down like a duckling? Maybe it’s the angle, the density of the glass, the magnification, the lighting around it, how close you can get to it if one foot is balancing on the loo and the other on the bin. It might be at work (the lift, a curse upon the lift), it might be in your own bathroom, or in your friend’s house. It might be expensive, forged by elves, or bought in Ikea. Whatever its provenance, this mirror is evil.
And you tumble through the looking glass every time because you believe it is the one true reflection of you. The only one that doesn’t tell you lies. The one that shows you as you really are. No alternative facts here. Easier to believe the bad stuff.
Isn’t it awful what we believe about ourselves? We trust one dirty little mirror rather than all the other reflections – from shop windows to loved ones. We tell ourselves we are being unflinching but actually we are buying into another set of distortions. Just another warped view. It’s an act of self-harm. Incidentally a Midult friend tells me she has a best mirror (I have yet to find one of those). It’s in the downstairs loo at her mother-in-law’s house. Karma.