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  • Rear View Mirror

    June 13, 2006

    Everyone needs someone in their life that they can count on to level with them, to tell them when they have spinach in their teeth. The only reliable source of truth in my life right now is not my mother, not my best friend and because he has learned better over the course of nearly ten years, certainly not my husband — it is the rearview mirror in my car.

    Even on those days when I leave the house thinking I look not that bad for a 46-year-old woman with a toddler and too little sleep, my rearview mirror is only too happy to set me straight.

    AM: Hi RVM! I’m looking hot today, doncha’ think? I got me a new tube of Tropical Pink lipstick at the grocery store for my new summer look. It looked great on Cindy Crawford on the display. I’m going to look like Cindy Crawford!

    RVM: Um, Cindy is an exotic 6-foot tall brunette. You’re a non-descript pasty white 5’4 blonde with gray highlights.

    AM: Tropical Pink too bright?

    RVM: Just a tad. You could be trying too hard. Didn’t you used to have lips?

    AM: Oh. Well, okay. But I’ve got a great attitude. It’s great to be alive! (big smile)

    RVM: Speaking of…. Have you heard of this new tooth whitening toothpaste stuff? I’m just saying…

    RVM: And while we’re on the topic, do you even own a pair of tweezers?

    AM: That was a topic? Tweezers?

    RVM: Check the chin sister. It happens.

    AM: Okay. Sure. I see what you’re saying.

    RVM: And Buff Puff. Buff Puff is your friend. Exfoliate and say goodbye to dull lifeless skin!

    AM: Okay tweezers and Buff Puff and whitening toothpaste and lipstick. Anything else?

    RVM: And is that tissue paper under your eyes or did a gift bag just explode in your face?

    The bright lights of that much truth makes me want to pull the car back into the garage, close the door and leave the engine running. But then I look in that same mirror and catch the gaze of a little boy in the backseat. He is watching me indulge myself in this bizarre ritual of self-inspection. He is giving me a big toothy grin and waving his hand at me like he is washing a window. He’s calling “Hi Mommy! I see you!” to the mirror. He does see me. He sees me. He could not care less if his mommy is 26 or 46 or needs to exfoliate. I resolve to spend more time looking beyond the mirror and less time looking into it.

    Then I put the car in drive and head to grocery store for tweezers, toothpaste, Buff Puff, lipstick and a toy for my good boy, because he has taught me the difference between reality and truth. And he makes me feel like I’m 26 again.

    18 Comments »

    1. That Girl says:

      What is with the chin whisker? I’ve got just one but it can grow three inches in an hour if I don’t watch it!

      June 13th, 2006 at 6:43 am

    2. Code Yellow Mom says:

      Great post! They do tell the best truth, don’t they? The children, not the mirrors.

      June 13th, 2006 at 7:52 am

    3. Tess says:

      NO WAY! Your RVM talks too?

      June 13th, 2006 at 8:26 am

    4. Angela says:

      What a hilarious post. “check the chin sister, it happens”. Your RVM is wry.

      June 13th, 2006 at 8:42 am

    5. owlhaven says:

      awesome post! Let me add, a sure way to feel REALLY pasty and washed out is to look in the mirror while cheek to cheek with one of my beautiful Ethiopian daughters. Thankfully they look at me just the way your son looks at you,and it’s all OK (But I’ve got to get some sunless bronzing cream!)
      Mary

      June 13th, 2006 at 9:08 am

    6. kim says:

      Thanks for the much needed laugh. I think you’re beautiful inside and out.

      June 13th, 2006 at 9:13 am

    7. Rabbit says:

      Ya know, they offered us that talking rear view mirror option and, after reading this, I’m glad we decided it wasn’t necessary.

      June 13th, 2006 at 9:44 am

    8. Tina says:

      You know the truth is not a problem when you already know it. The problem is when you think you’re looking pretty good and then someone at Sam’s tells you what a cute grandson you have.

      June 13th, 2006 at 9:57 am

    9. Romancing Simplicity says:

      Ouch, that someone at Sam’s is alot harsher than your rear-view mirror.

      June 13th, 2006 at 10:00 am

    10. chelle says:

      That is so sweet! You are right, our kids just see us! No matter what!

      June 13th, 2006 at 10:17 am

    11. Fraulein says:

      Mary, I’m with you on the looking-in-the-mirror thing. I am a pasty white person married to a Chinese-American guy, and our daughter has gorgeous golden skin. I look in the mirror while holding her next to me and I feel like the Crypt Keeper.

      And AM, in the pictures on your blog, I’d say you look about 30. That Sam’s person is clueless.

      June 13th, 2006 at 11:32 am

    12. Kristin says:

      I keep tweezers in the car for this very reason… that damn RVM is a bitch of a critic!

      June 13th, 2006 at 11:35 am

    13. Paula says:

      So refreshing to read life from the point of view of another forty something mom!

      June 13th, 2006 at 1:50 pm

    14. Lauren says:

      The Chin-Hair Club for Women, I’m not only a member, but being over 40 with a hair sprouting scar and hair sprouting mole, I am sooooooo the president! Tweezing has become a full-time job but on the brighter side I suppose I now qualify as a working mother.

      June 13th, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    15. Susan says:

      Funny stuff! When did we start growing these stray facial hairs? I used to point my mother’s out to her. Now it is not so amusing anymore.

      June 13th, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    16. June Cleaver Diaries says:

      About the chin hair— at least it’s not on your boob. Hey, it happens. Er, not that I know from experience, um, no…

      I’ve recently noticed the brown spots from pregnancy that have not only remained, but mulitiplied.

      And due to being overdue for highlights, I’ve discovered, from my roots, that I am over 1/3 grey.

      And I’m 34. Your 46? Please. You’ve got it all over me, hot momma.

      June 13th, 2006 at 7:39 pm

    17. Blog Antagonist says:

      Gosh…I think we must drive the same car. My RVM is a real groove buster too. I know this, and still I look. My oldest son asked me the other day why I look in it every. single. time. we.. get. in. the. car. Masochism is the only answer I can come up with.

      June 13th, 2006 at 10:32 pm

    18. Tina says:

      I’m convinced that the same people who make the dressing room mirrors at the department stores, make the rearview mirrors. And fun house mirrors.

      June 13th, 2006 at 10:43 pm

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