The Darling Daughters often complain that we don’t have enough mirrors in our house. My response is generally to say that this shows that, whatever else we may be, we are not vain. Vanity is a Mirror in Every Room.
Next time they come to visit, they will be startled to find that we now have a rather enormous mirror on the wall in our living room. You can’t miss it - it really
is a Mega-Mirror. The Mega Mirror isn’t actually new; in fact up until about eight years ago it held pride of position above the fireplace. I was never completely happy with it there, always aware that I should have asked Mr B to hang it landscape, rather
than portrait but, as he had expended considerable effort putting it up in the first place, I deemed it inadvisable to ask for it to be repositioned. I am quite sensible like that. Don’t strut the small stuff, someone once said, even if the small stuff
is a Mega Mirror.
Before I retired, seven years ago (how long!?) we gradually decorated throughout the house, with the living room the last to receive a makeover.
Down came the Mega Mirror, to be replaced by a rather splendid canvas of a jazz band which we had bought, in anticipation, some months before. It set off perfectly the set of jazz players which Our Foursome bought me on my fiftieth birthday and which have
played merrily away on the hearth ever since. Fancifully I like to imagine that the three musicians on the hearth have somehow escaped from the picture above the mantelpiece to carry on making music for us.
The displaced Mega Mirror was tucked away in the spare bedroom and more or less forgotten about until yesterday. That was when Handyman Chris came to call to attend to the fitted cupboards in one of our bedrooms and I had
the idea of getting him to hang the Mega Mirror in the living room at the same time. Handyman Chris, who is the most obliging of fellas, was happy to, well, oblige.
asked Mr B to keep an eye on work in progress from his wheelchair, on account of the fact that, with his keen printer’s eye, he would be sure to note if the Mega Mirror was even the slightest bit wonky. Let’s face it, a wonky mirror would aggravate
us every time we looked at it - as it is, Mr B can confirm that it is perfectly aligned in the centre of the wall.
The Mega Mirror has had two quite unexpected
benefits for me. Being the size that it is, and in the position it is, it is impossible not to look at myself literally dozens of times a day as I move about the living room. You might think that must be most disconcerting and, indeed, it is - except that
I am finding it makes me straighten up, lift my head high, and walk that much taller simply because I can’t bear to see myself slumping about like a Very Old Person.
Similarly I find I have to smile when I see myself in the mirror. As I have told you before, I am not one of those lucky people blessed with a smiley face - the kind of face which looks as if its owner is smiling even when he or she is not. I can look
decidedly miserable even when I’m not. Now, with the help of the Mega Mirror, I have more or less attached a smile to my face. Who would have thought a mirror could make such a difference?
No, you won’t hear me chanting “Mirror, mirror on the wall / who is the fairest of them all?” like Snow White’s wicked step-mother. I have always held the opinion that it is better never to ask a question
unless you are certain that you will receive the answer you want. Certain politicians might like to ponder on that. Incidentally why are the step mothers in fairy tales always wicked? I’m not a step mother myself, but as far as I know wickedness isn’t
nor ever has been, in the job description...
Mirror, mirror on the wall - am I standing straight and tall?