Mirror, Mirror, on the wall…
Who’s the trashiest of them all?
I went wedding dress shopping with a friend the other day. I was late getting out of work, so by the time I screeched to a halt in front of my house,
threw the kids into their carseats loving placed my children into the car, dropped the DragonMonkey off at the sitters and arrived after driving through evening traffic, I was pretty frazzled.
The Squidgelet was howling with hunger by the time I pulled up to the first boutique.
Thankfully, I’d planned ahead. While my work shirt wasn’t very nursing friendly I’d brought along a nursing tank top. I burst into the door with my howling infant and asked a startled employee where the dressing room was.
When I laid the Squid down on the ground to change into my tank top, it sounded like I was setting him on fire, completely drowning out the peaceful instrumental music they had piped over the speakers.
Oh, well… it was wedding dress shop. Pretty much everyone in there was either married or planning on getting married, and odds were that they’d probably end up pregnant at some point. I was just doing them a favor by preparing them for the reality, right?
After changing as fast as I could I popped the Squid onto nurse, covered up politely with a nursing cover, and then went to go paw through overly-expensive dresses.
Unfortunately, while I may have been discreetly covering up, the Squid didn’t really get the memo. It was way past his meal time, and he was slurping it up and going to town.
And by slurping I mean SLUUUUUUUUURPING. You could hear him gulping and sucking from ten feet away. Forget the discreet little nursing cover – everyone knew exactly what was going on beneath the blanket. He might as well have been holding up a little sign saying “HELLO. I HAVE A NIPPLE IN MY MOUTH.”
The problem with wedding dress shopping is that it entails a lot of waiting. Each dress has an enormous amount of buttons, ties, stays, laces, and clasps to wrangle with. That would have been okay, except for one other problem:
Wedding dress boutiques have lots of mirrors.
Many, many, many mirrors.
I’ve never been a fan of mirrors.
It’s not that I have low-self esteem and can’t stand to look at myself. Oh, no. It’s the exact opposite.
Every time I get around a mirror I turn into a large, human, parakeet.
Look! My eyes notice my reflection gazing back at me, and it’s all downhill from there.. It’s ME! Hello, me! Look at you! You’re me! Look at my hair! Look at my eyes! Hello, eyes!“
I mean, aside from some weight gain and a couple of funky hair cuts, I haven’t really changed all that much in the past decade or so. Why am I so enthralled?
I try to ignore the siren call of the mirror, but it’s futile. I flutter and fuss in front of my shiny reflection as if I’m the most interesting thing ever created.
Look at my pants. They are blue. Hello, blue pants! Look at my hair! It has a crooked part. I must fix that. There, all fixed. Hello, hair! Hello, eyes! I must get closer, so I can see myself better. Hello, me!
What the heck IS it about mirrors? It makes no sense. It’s not like I wear tons of makeup that I need to keep an eye on. It’s not like I have lots of accessories I need to constantly straighten. Why do I even bother looking? I try to keep a level head about the whole thing, but it seems impossible. No matter how much I try to be strong, any time there is a mirror in the general vicinity you inevitably will find me edging closer and closer, twisting my head this way and that as I preen and stare at myself.
The wedding boutique was no exception.
Even though I was doing my best to ignore the mirrors, the primitive parakeet portion of my brain instantly woke up. Look! A friend!
No, it’s just me. Be quiet.
No, seriously, look! It’s a friend! Go study this friend!
Look, I already know what I look like. I don’t need to stare at a mirror like some self-absorbed socialite.
Becky! Go! LOOOK! It’s a FRIEND! How neat! Hello, friend! Becky, go look at her! Go study her! What an INTERESTING-LOOKING friend!
Hmm. You know, you may be right. She does look kind of cool.
And with that, the mirror had sucked me in again.
Gone was the boutique.
Gone was the nursing baby cradled with one arm.
Gone was my real-life friend who was about to emerge from the dressing room at any moment.
Parakeet-Becky took over completely.
LOOK! It’s ME! Hello, ME! Hmmm. Your skin is looking rather nice to day.
Any pimples on your nose? No, no, you’re looking nice. It seems to be a good skin day.
Is that a bit of mascara under your eye? Here, let me take care of that for you.
Huh, if I crane my neck just so, I give myself a double chin. I wonder, if I squeeze my chin in really hard, does it make three chins? No, no, just two… Eww, are those blackheads on my chin? Yes, they are, aren’t they?
Weird, they seem really obvious from this angle, but not that angle. I should probably get rid of them.
Hmm. That one was easy. What do I do with it? Oh, well. That’s what pockets are invented for, right? Huh, there’s another one… maybe I should try to get that one too…
All of a sudden I came back to myself.
There I was.
Standing two inches from a mirror.
Cradling a baby schlurping loudly on one boob.
And using the other hand to scratch at blackheads and wipe it my pocket.
WHAT. THE. HELL. WAS. I. DOING?
I used the mirror to glance behind me…
There was the owner and the salesperson, mouths slightly agape as they stared at me in horror.
Flushing red, I crept back to the little waiting room chairs. Great. Now I would forevermore be known as that-creepy-pimple-lady. And I still had about an hour left of interacting with these people and trying to seem normal.
Ugh. How embarrassing.
Writhing in discomfort and daydreaming of disappearing, my eyes happened to catch my red-faced reflection from across the room.
Look! A friend! Hello, friend!