It began years ago of course, but like so many other things in life it just sort of ‘snuck’ up on me. The thing that took me by surprise this morning was ME.
My reflection in the bathroom mirror gave rise to a series of emotions, none of which were particularly comforting. For years I had operated under the delusion that my physical appearance never changed. Sure I put on a few pounds, but I’m basically the same person I was when I was in my mid-twenties – right?
Here's the thing, I believe that men and women view themselves 'differently' when confronted by a shiny-surface:
Guys -- Don’t you still walk by any (and I do mean any) semi-reflective surface, check-out your reflection and give yourself the, “Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about – all these years and still looking good” smirk?
Understand that this mindset applies to 100% of men. Having never been a woman; well, there was that ONE time when I first moved away from home and... Oh, never mind.
I draw this conclusion from information gleaned during my dating days, and two + decades of marriage.
Consider the following real-life conversation:
Her, “Does this shirt make me look fat?”
Me, “No, not at all…..”
Her, “Are you sure, I think this shirt makes me look fat…”
Me, “If it made you look fat, don’t you think I’d tell you?”
Her, “You’d tell me I look fat?????”
Me, “No, of course not.”
Her, “Well do I?”
Me, “Do you what?”
Her, “Look fat?!”
Me, “Have I ever told you that you looked fat in anything?”
Her, “Well, No…..”
Her, “Okay, how about these jeans, do they make me look fat?”
Me, “I would never tell you that you look fat…..”
Her, “You wouldn’t tell me? Do you feel we can’t be honest with each other?”
Me, “Have you considered ever dating / or being married to someone else?”
Her, “Not until very recently.”
Me, “I really like your shoes….”
Her, “You don’t think they make my feet look fat?”
And so it goes.
My theory is that women (or at least women that I have known, dated, or otherwise married) do not have the same level of limitless (and mis-placed) self-esteem as a “normal guy”. This morning changed all that. After many years of being a “guy”, I find that I have gotten in touch with my sensitive side. Either this, or someone is sneaking hormone replacement therapy into my Metamucil shakes.
This day started as most... I woke up, walked into the bathroom and brushed my teeth. I had just finished brushing when I looked into the reflection of the thing that was staring back at me. There was a deeply-creased, wild-haired guy leering back at me through the other side of the mirror. Was it a trick of the light, or something much more sinister?
I was born in 1959 and spent my formative years in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Coincidentally, a show called “Star Trek” made its debut in 1966. I was fairly tall with dark hair and had this inane ability to lift only my left eyebrow while keeping my right brow down. In physical appearance (except for the ears of course, mine were much ‘pointier’) I could be mistaken by a drunk, at night, as Leonard Nimoy, a.k.a. “Mr. Spock”.
The point I’m finally getting around to is this: I always thought of myself as being in my twenties and relatively ‘Vulcan-like’ in appearance. This, for fans of the show meant that I was a regular guy and with no major ‘alien abnormalities’. I awoke this morning to the realization that ‘Spock’ had been replaced through some kind of genetic engineering; in less than a 24 hour period. The face that looked back at me this morning was not Vulcan, but rather, Klingon. Not the tanned humanoid Klingon of the original series, but the harsh, hairy, ridge-forehead Klingon of the ‘Next Generation’ generation of Klingons. I had somehow morphed into Worf overnight.
I am now Enak Ekim, Klingon Warrior, and father of three. I’m more than a little concerned that nature is not done with its little ‘genetic pie in the face’ just yet. I nervously await the day when I wake up to notice that my skin has taken on an ominous bluish-green tint, my breasts swell, and my brownish-gray hair turns jet black, I’m young and beautiful, and all I want to do is dance (with Captain Kirk).
Come on, you remember the episode...
“Today is a good day to die”!
No wait, “Live long and prosper”!
Or perhaps, "May the Force be with you, always..."? Oh, sorry, that's Star Wars, isn't it? Well, you get the idea.