In the living room of my parent’s old house hung a mirror (probably 3 X 4 feet). In 1949, an aspiring interior decorator from the neighborhood convinced my grandmother that to make the living room appear larger she should hang a really big mirror on the wall.
It remained on the wall until 1998 when my parents moved out.
One of my favorite memories is my Dad standing in front of the mirror – combing his hair, adjusting his tie or straightening his collar while he talked to his image.
“You’re great, Boy. Great.”
“You are one good looking son-of-bitch, Monk Wagner.”
“You look good, Old Man.”
For years, I would sit side legged on the arm chair and watch and listen. On a particular day when I was about sixteen I started to rag him about it. As he was looking in the mirror – in an admiring way – he said something I thought was dumb and, then, later true.
“You gotta like yourself, kid. You gotta look in the mirror and say, ‘I like you’. No one else can do it for you.”
Something I know my Dad would appreciate is that Thorin loves a mirror. He loves looking at himself. He can get lost in it. I call him “Narcissus” but I shouldn’t. It is a good thing he loves his image. Good for all kids – more good for his kind of kid.
What made me think of all this was an article from the NYTimes this week (I have subscription on my Kindle so sue me.)
The title was ‘Mirror Fasts Help Take the Focus Off of You’. A major part of the story is this woman who went a year without looking in the mirror. The rationale was she looked in mirrors only seeing her flaws so she stopped looking in mirrors. To apply her make-up she allowed herself to look at only one piece of her face at a time. A book is being published about her experience. And she isn’t the only one out there concerned about such things. This very minute numerous bloggers are writing about this very issue.
More than one professional weighed in – “Dr. Eric Hollander, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. … gave the example of a 20-something patient addicted to looking in the mirror the way others might be addicted to alcohol or drugs.”
“Are you shitting me?” Come on. Really? Somebody switch my Times subscription with The Onion, right?
What’s next – “Stop Throwing Your Cell Phone at the Help – A Lesson in Empathy?”