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My mother a very long time ago.

Essay: Mom in the Mirror

Let me tell you a story about wrinkles, a woman I call Mom, and a mirror.

I pride myself on not yet having wrinkles. At 35, this is important because I am a vain woman, I only care about what’s on the outside and not the inside. Sure, when I laugh or smile or make a face, my fatty skin folds over itself and then I will have rolls on my face in those instances. But I don’t have wrinkles. Except…

You know that part of your face, the upper part of your nose, the part that is in between your eyes, the part that scrunches up when you furrow your brow? I noticed the other day that that weird part of my face in between my eyes has this look of just having had wrinkles. I can’t quite explain it as the skin isn’t exactly creased but it looks like it had just been creased. It’s like when you have a wrinkled piece of clothing and you stretch it out to see if the wrinkles will go away and you see the lines of where the wrinkles were even though the wrinkles are gone. Know what I mean? The reason this struck me is because I’ve noticed this on someone else.

My entire life, I’ve been told I look like my mother. That’s always been strange to me because, in my opinion, I look nothing like her. What’s particularly strange about that is my cousins and I on my mom’s side look a lot alike so I must get it from my mom, but I look nothing like her. Except…

…one day back in college (I think), I was back home and washing my face in the sink and when I looked up in the mirror, I saw my mother. I was shaken. Not in a bad way, just in a “oh my God, there she is, that’s what everyone has been talking about” kind of way. To the point where 15 years later I still remember it. That feeling hasn’t happened again…until it just did.

I was minding my own business in my bathroom, going about my life just like an ordinary person would, and I saw it. That weird place in between my eyes where wrinkles may one day go but shouldn’t yet because I’m still so friggin’ young but there they were. These non-wrinkles that make it look like that part of my face had just been creased but is no longer. And for the second time in my life, I saw my mom in the mirror.

This is all a really long-winded way of getting to the point, which is that I need a new mirror. Preferably one that’s vintage, like my face.

Photo taken most likely by my dad on a vacation at Disney World in 1989.

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