Facing some uncomfortable facts

Where the f*ck did THAT come from, and HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN THERE?

This is a question I have asked myself almost on the daily since receiving an illuminated magnifying makeup mirror from my darling son-in-law for Christmas.

My sweet Javi (my son’s husband) and I were strolling the aisles at Costco during Christmas when one of these mythical mirrors caught my eye. Since I only go to Costco about four times a year, I was like a little kid at Lego Land – marveling at everything. I wheeled over to the coveted possession of every woman who has moved into the “reading glasses” crowd and wondered aloud, “Javi, do I need this?”

Ugh. I really wanted it, but it was somewhere around $30, and the economy being what it is, I was trying to focus on gifts for others and Christmas groceries. Reluctantly, I shrugged and sighed heavily and told myself I’d return after I had recuperated financially from the holidays.

My adorable Javito shrugged HIS shoulders, put it in the cart, and said, “Santa’s listening.”

I SWEAR, I was not pulling the passive-aggressive mother-in-law bit where I no-so-subtly hint that I want something so he would get it for me. So Javi’s gesture was precious beyond measure and true to “Santa’s” words, Javi wrapped up the illuminated magnifying mirror and put it under the Christmas tree for me.

From “meh” to FLAWLESS

I couldn’t wait to try my new mirror that would take my makeup game from “meh” to flawless. That was the primary reason I wanted one so badly – I was after “flawless face,” or at least as close as I could get to that for a woman who has been giggling for 52 years and has the lines to prove it.

Buy, lawd, what that reflection had in store for me.

I had no idea I was such a f*cking troll! I had BLACK STUBBLE around my upper lip that was otherwise indiscernible (at least to me because my 52-year-old eyes couldn’t see it).

I had not one but TWO, count them: TWO black nose hairs that looked like they had been growing since I was about three years old! They crisscrossed each other in a mocking fashion that had me wondering, “How f*cking long have THOSE been there?” Seriously. Was it a few weeks? A few years? Those nose hairs meant business – they had to have been there a while! I started wearing reading glasses in my early 40s. Had they been there since then, and I didn’t know it?


My only consolation in thinking these offending hairs hadn’t celebrated several birthdays was that my kids have NO problem pointing out any embarrassing ailments and blemishes I may have. My daughter went so far as to identify a nose hair when we were strolling around Farmers’ Market (read: in the presence of hundreds of people!!!) and started TO PLUCK IT for me, in front of God and everyone! I had to swat her away from my nose, grab her wrist, and walk her to the nearest restroom to remove it with some semblance of decorum. (In case you are wondering, I raised my daughter with a volume of Emily Post on Etiquette in my hip pocket, but as an adult, she lives and works half the year in the woods. As a result, some of the tenets of polite society that I attempted to raise her with have fallen by the wayside – it’s a long and ongoing story.)

No f*cking wonder sweet Javi put that mirror in the cart with lightning speed! My adult kids have probably been exchanging concerns behind my back about the hobbit hairs that have surfaced on my face, of which I was blissfully unaware!

Ladies, don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t cling to some youthful fallacy that your face is in good shape because you can no longer see it up close. If you need reading glasses, YOU NEED AN ILLUMINATED MAGNIFYING MIRROR.

If there is anything positive to be said about this – it’s this: there is something genius about getting to an age where you can no longer see all the gross tell-tale signs that come with aging. Your looks kind of become everyone else’s problem – you can’t see it, so who cares, right?

My adaptation of that mindset is slow, but in the works. For now, I still have just enough pride left to never leave the house again without first consulting my illuminated mirror to avoid being the topic of my adult kids’ whispered concerns. I can hear them now: “So who’s gonna tell Mom she has two intersecting nose hairs, battling for supremacy OUTSIDE of her nostril?”

Abby: “Not me. Look, I already fell on the grenade at Farmers’ Market. While you f*ckers just pointed and snickered behind her back, I actually tried to be part of the solution.”

Javi: “I did my part – I bought her an illuminated magnifying mirror for Christmas.”

Austin: “F*ck.”

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