Reflected Addiction – Blogfest

When I read that August McLaughlin would be hosting Beauty of a Woman Blogfest on Friday, I just knew I had to join the party. Last September, I wrote a very personal account about my sick relationship with a magnifying mirror. Now this was no ordinary mirror, but one that I picked up at a garage sale  because someone else was most likely trying to break their addiction. This evil 2ox magnification mirror should have been destroyed, but instead I bought it for $2.00…. Since my only commenter was the GoodGreatsby, I knew he would be a sport and wouldn’t mind if I posted it again.

mirror

Self-Portrait with Mirror by Susie Lindau

Last fall, when my 19-year-old daughter informed me she didn’t want to take her magnifying mirror back to college since she would stare at almost non-existent blocked pores and proceed to unblock them, it made me think. “Whoa! I don’t know if I could give up mine.” Then it hit me. “Am I addicted to the magnification like a junkie in a back ally? Would I be crying out for a fix at the end of the day?”

That horrid instrument of ego destruction has bound me to my cast reflection more times than I care to admit. Blocked pores have been the least of my concern since gazing for the first time into a high-powered tool mounted on a wall of a hotel. It nearly ruined my vacation! My epidermis seemed like an alien landscape complete with pot holes, peaks, and valleys. “How could this be my skin?” I thought in horror.

Years have gone by and the slow deterioration of my close-up vision has hastened my growing addiction to my own magnifying mirror. The fear of errant nose and eyebrow hairs, as well as failed attempts at applying eyeliner has kept me glued to this specialized looking-glass.

“Come on! For God’s sake you don’t need it.” With that thought, the intervention began. I took one last look, careful to tweeze any unwanted hairs for I did not know what fate awaited me in a brave new world that didn’t include enormous image inspections. Sobered by my decision, my heart began to race as I anticipated life without it. Gazing at my enlarged reflection had been like having my nose pressed up to my own image on an IMAX movie screen. I had become numbed to scrutinizing my moon-like surface with small wrinkles that appeared like huge crevices among my crater-esque pores. My self-image had been bruised and battered over the years of self-examination.

At that moment I split in two. The strong-willed tough Susie said, “It’s time,” to the pitiful wimp inside of me which sighed while taking one last look. Then I picked up the offending tool of terror and placed it on a high shelf where it could be forgotten.

The next morning I peeked into my old free-standing mirror. “Geez! My head is really tiny!” I thought. My entire body part fit inside the small mirror! I applied my make-up somehow without looking like a cast member of A Rocky Horror Picture Show. I stood back, smiled at my reflection and said, “I can do this!” (Of course I may have looked like Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter and didn’t know it.)

That evening went well too, but I tried a new gizmo that started my demise. I had purchased a battery-operated skin buffer at the grocery store. “What a deal!” I thought, “A good sanding is what my skin needs.” My fatal mistake was made when I used the granulated cream that came with it. I always have an allergic reaction to anti-age creams, but for some ridiculous reason I get it in my head that this new miracle cream will be, “The One!” - Angels sing in background -

The next morning I looked in the mirror and even though a pinhead-sized reflection stared back, I could see that my skin had begun to react. A rash had formed, only now I could not execute the usual recon. It just about killed me to ignore the magnifier to see what devastation had arrived in the wake of the newest anti-age treatment, but I was strong.

I strode by that high shelf and did not glance over at the mirror once that day! I treated my ravaged skin the best I could;  in braille.

I had to go to a party the next night. By then the redness and peeling had taken over my entire cheek. What would I do? I tried to cover it up, but could not see what I was doing. I was weak. Weak I say! My 20x magnifying mirror barely had any time to collect dust on that high shelf before I grabbed it and plunked it down on my counter with a resounding, “Bang!” Armed with caulk, filler, and paint I began to reconstruct a somewhat presentable version of myself before going out although I hung my head in shame for the addiction had raised its ugly head and I had fallen off the wagon.

The cold turkey approach shocked my system. Like so much we experience in life, moderation is the key to balance. 

I am happy to report that I have left that nasty mirror alone on the shelf for months now. Seeing my shrunken pea-sized head staring back at me is no longer a surprise. I have a better self-image knowing this is how everyone sees me anyway! If I need a closer look, I am satisfied with a 3X magnifier. It’s good enough.

After all, beauty is only skin deep…


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Be sure to go to August McLauglin’s blog tomorrow and check out Beauty of a Woman Blogfest. She is giving away prizes including an I-pad!
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Should I donate my 20x magnifying mirror or destroy it?
Are you trying to give up any bad habits?
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About susielindau

I am a Boulder, Colorado writer and artist who loves adventure both real and imagined. Come with me. It's always a Wild Ride!
This entry was posted in Humor, Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to Reflected Addiction – Blogfest

  1. Anonymous says:

    Excellent expression and detail with minimal lines. Great job. :)

    Like

  2. Jean says:

    I have a magnifying hand mirror…buried somewhere among my belongings. It was just the flipside of the regular mirror. So I didn’t buy it for that purpose.

    Honest, in the past decade, I look at myself less and less in the mirror. I’m not kidding. Partially because I bike and that means twice a day I’m in a hurry to change into clothing for cycling, so I can’t be bothered.

    But don’t get me on about full length mirrors. I’m more interested in them. I’ve been thinking of installing one at home since I’ve moved.

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      Thanks for stopping by Jean!
      My husband did a funny video tape of me last night and when I watched it, I noticed the cowlick at the top of my head was really nasty from wearing a helmet skiing yesterday. I thought, “Geez! I really need to check the back of my head once in a while!”
      It is always something!
      I hope you’ll stop by again soon…
      BTW- Cant’t wait to get back out on my bike. Good for you that you are training like that!

      Like

  3. Hi,
    I have been given the Sunshine Award for my blog. I now want to pass this award onto you. Your blog does bring sunshine into my day, and I feel it fitting that you should be given this award. Congratulations!
    -Cindy

    Like

  4. You are an amazing writer! I competed in swimming for several years, and you tricked me. Keep writing.

    Like

  5. Pingback: ROW80 Update 7 + Grammar Song « Fabio Bueno

  6. Sharon K Owen says:

    a 20x mirror should have never been created. sometimes my bathroom mirror is more than I want to peer into.

    Thanks for the chuckles and the insight.

    Like

  7. Kara says:

    Oh my gosh, I looked into one of those magnifying mirrors once at a hotel and was scared at what I saw, so I decided to never look at one again if I can help it:) I love your story and you are right no one looks at us that closely so why should we?

    Like

  8. I hate those magnifying mirrors! LOL My dream home would have that lighting that makes everyone look as stunning as possible, purely on the sake of how it makes us feel… What a fabulous story, Susie!

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      I agree. I have been to parties where they have the lights turned all the way up and the room is only down-lit. Talk about frightening!
      Thanks August for hosting the blogfest party!

      Like

  9. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    I’m so glad you reposted this. I can sure relate and I only have a 5X mirror, but how depressing to look into it. I can’t imagine looking into a 20X. Yikers! I think our eyesight starts to fail over age 40 so we can grow old gracefully. That self-portrait is very cool.

    Like

  10. I now rely on reading glasses to do close-up work and take them off before I look in the mirror. Every imperfection blurs. It’s heavenly.

    Thanks for the laugh, Susie. I’m glad you quit that 20x mirror.

    Like

  11. CynthiaC says:

    Maybe it’s because I’m a style blogger who is frequently in front of the camera – I post outfit pictures several times a month – but I really don’t understand the whole anti-mirror thing. To me, they’re really important, just as looking presentable is very important. You just have to learn to like what the mirror or camera reflects – even if it takes time (unlike the more well-known style bloggers, I don’t have a photographer. I rely on my camera’s 10 second timer to get my shots, so often, one look requires 5 or 6+ takes (either it turns out blurry or something’s just not quite right…)

    Like

  12. “Put the mirror down! Step away from the mirror!”

    Good for you Susie, you overcame your fear and look how beautifl you are now! You couldn’t see the beauty inside because you were too close to the mirror. You have to stand back a little ways to let the light really shine!

    Thanks for being part of this honoring women’s beauty day and sharing your story!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      There was nothing so ego deflating as looking in that horrendous tool of terror! Every time, I would find some new line or spot.
      I think as women get older they should buy mirrors with lower magnifications, not higher! Once a woman hits 50, we should accept ourselves wrinkles, lines, spots and all!

      Like

  13. gingercalem says:

    Oh my goodness, what a hoot! Ok, Susie, you must back away for anything that magnifies 20x unless it’s a glass of wine or gourmet chocolate!!

    Like

  14. Stephanie D says:

    Loved this post! I think it’s one of my favorites from this blogfest. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Like

  15. Loved this Susie. My addiction was to the scales. I remember the day I took it outside and used the sledge hammer on the offender. (When I quit something I do it with style. There’s no going back.) It was tough to give up my five weigh-ins per day, but I did it. Three years later I checked again at the doctor’s office. I was down about four pounds. That was about ten years ago. I’ve since lost another pound.

    Like

  16. I’ve been looking for a 5X mirror – don’t know if I could handle a 20X!! I remember when I was much younger and had a 3X mirror and good eyesight, getting addicted to plucking my eyebrows. When your HUSBAND even mentions that maybe you should lay off the tweezers, it’s time.

    Now, having to wear reading glasses to pluck ANYTHING, I feel your pain – but I do run away quickly when I pass a collection of 10X-plus mirrors!

    Thanks for the post! I’m really enjoying this blogfest!

    Like

  17. Pingback: Beauty of a Woman BlogFest « August McLaughlin's Blog

  18. Oh, my gosh! That’s my problem! It’s the evil mirror. LOL! But, I am weak – oh, so weak. Maybe if I wean from a 20x to a 15x to 10x . . . . Do they make a patch for magnified mirror withdrawal????

    Like

  19. LOL what a fun post BTW the image about eye liner ya its straight :lol:
    oh please dont give away or destroy you mag. mirror…I have one ,I am addicted too and we may think we got rid of them but they have a way of coming back just like mask…..
    we should form a magnifying mirror anonymous :)

    Like

  20. You’re sooooo right! Those mirrors are pure evil!

    Like

  21. A 20X magnifying mirror? Girl, what were you thinking? I shudder at the thought. glad you’ve been able to get beyond that thing.

    Like

  22. Julie Catherine says:

    Susie, that was so funny! (Personally, I think you look beautiful and never needed it anyway!) I have a 10x mirror for plucking – and it’s regular on the other side, which I need, because architects and builders seem to forget that people under 5′ tall can only see the top of our heads in regular bathroom mirrors! LOL, good post! ~ Julie :)

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      You are so nice Julie!
      Danny and I rented a condo in Aspen and he laughed when he walked into the bathroom because the counter was about 40 inches high! I am 5’4 and Danny is 5’6″ on a good day! What were they thinking? Kids would need a ladder to wash their hands. Hahaha!
      Thanks!

      Like

  23. This is too funny, Susie. I’m so happy you were able to break that bad addiction. You’re more beautiful without it. :)

    Like

  24. Do they make magnification mirrors for your account down at the credit union ?

    Like

  25. Donate it! There are some of us out there that don’t have this addiction and would love a bargain 20X mirror. Me, for one.

    I’m thinking if you’re that good with spackle and paint, you should be a makeup artist. 30 odd years and I still have trouble blending my foundation and concealer. That’s why I like powder, I guess. Glad you broke the addiction and love you pea-sized head. That’s hilarious, by the way.

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      Hahaha! Tameri that’s what I thought before using the evil 20x mirror……..heed…. the…… warning………………………………………..
      It really was a shock to see my entire head in a little mirror!
      Thanks!

      Like

  26. Really funny. (This is a re-post of a post about mirrors – double reflections: isn’t that funny, too?)

    Like

  27. magsx2 says:

    Hi,
    I have never heard of these mirrors before, but I know that if I ever see one, I would definitely avoid it at all costs, the last thing I need is a close up view of this old face. :lol:

    Like

  28. That made me pores for thought!

    Like

  29. nelle says:

    I avoid mirrors like the plague, not wishing to crack any by looking in them. ;-)

    Yay for your daughter abandoning hers, but don’t punish yourself too badly for using one. If we all made a list of things we do, should do, don’t do, shouldn’t do… it would be very humbling – and probably liberating.

    Like

  30. Ralph Tingey says:

    Susie, I was going to buy a magnifying mirror for shaving in the morning. I looked into one at Bed Bath and Beyond, and was terrified by what I saw. After reading your blog, I know I’ll never look in one again.

    Like

  31. Coleen Patrick says:

    Both of my sisters and my daughter have a love/hate relationship with those mirrors–oh the face picking!
    I’ve never been drawn to it, at all–and that is why other people are the first to notice that pesky hair that keeps sprouting on my chin. Yikes, right?

    Like

  32. Funny you should post about a 20-power mirror. In a comment on Myndi Shafer’s post this morning I suggested that ALL women throw away their 15-power mirrors. (I didn’t know they made 20-power.) No human’s skin is gonna look good at that magnification.

    Like

  33. I am always tempted to buy one of those mirror….NOT ANYMORE! Thanks to you. I only have one mirror in the bathroom and that should be good enough.

    Like

  34. My challenge right now is trying to eat healthier, but I am finding you can have chips and other things in moderation. Really do not feel like you are giving up too much. Thanks for sharing:)

    Like

  35. mcolmo says:

    Hahahaha, I only use magnifying mirrors to pluck my eyebrows. I get dizzy if I stare at them for a while. :-)

    Like

  36. kd sullivan says:

    This is hilarious! I enjoyed it so much! You are so right, we look at ourselves through a magnifying glass and at others through photoshop. No wonder we have such poor self image! I’m hosting a new meme called Painting Prose. I’d love for you to be a part of it! We need your voice!

    Like

  37. Spectra says:

    I wouldn’t even consider tormenting myself with one of those evil things. Because it all looks blurry now anyway, I assume I ooze with classic, silent-film era glamor, shot through a cheesecloth filter under sensual lighting. Yep. That’s how people see me. Because 2 of the 3 lightbulbs blew out in the bathroom, and the lightings better now.

    Like

  38. You know Susie.. I no longer have a full length mirror.. just a small bathroom one that helps me pluck my chin hairs like the one I wrote about in my blog.
    I just do not want to know whats down there as I have a damn good idea.:)
    Better to forget and ignore..:)

    Like

    • susielindau says:

      For several days I felt a tickle around my eye. Finally, I looked in the mirror and found a very fine hair that was growing in the crease of my eyelid! Hahahaha! And I was pretty young. Scary……………..

      Like

  39. I have a 10x mirror.. I use the regular mirror to pluck any “unsightly’s” and then I go to the 10x and every time I scare the crap out of myself when I look at the reflection.
    I mean, really. Does anyone look at me with 10x vision?

    Like

  40. I haven’t got one but as my eyesight is getting I might have to :) Well done for stepping back!

    Like

  41. Laura says:

    I recently bought a 10x mirror, and looking into it is truly a horrifying experience. I can’t imagine what would happen if I saw my 20x-magnified reflection — I’d probably never leave my house again.

    Like

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