Wednesday 8 February 2012

I Just Putter

I guess that people have always wanted to see what they looked like. Long ago, the only reflection that you would be able to see would be a still pond in a swamp. You do get an image, but just when you are about to see what that bump on your cheek actually is, some water bug or a fish eating a water bug disturbs the surface of your “mirror”. Water was unpredictable and very hard to hold in your hands.

The next step in mirror technology was a highly polished piece of dark wood. They would kind of work, but like a still pond in the swamp, the image was dark and quite probably more like a funhouse mirror than the pond. Once again, this kind of mirror was not too satisfying.

The real jump came when mankind discovered metal and metal polishing. Since metal was mainly used for weapons initially, only the edge of a sword received a high mirrored polish, and unless you were very thin, the reflection was again unsatisfactory. It would be especially unsatisfying if you saw your reflection when the blade happened to be swinging through the air at your head. It wouldn’t have been too long before some general decided that he wanted to see how good he looked in his new uniform and would have a full sized mirror manufactured. Thus began our love affair with ourselves.

When I was in high school there was a large mirror mounted on the wall in front of my desk for some odd reason. I would imagine that it was my mom’s idea of good interior design or my dad figuring that he had this big mirror and I had a big empty space on my wall. I am going with dad. I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I spent looking at myself in the mirror when I should have been doing homework. I have often thought that I would still be there if I had been even remotely attractive. I would sing into the mirror, practice jokes in the mirror, comb my hair in a hundred different ways, look at my teeth/pimples/eyes/nose and I would always try to look at my ears without too much success.

Mirrors are used for everything now. It seems that everywhere you look there are mirrored surfaces. Buildings, phones, windows, cars, clothes and I am sure that someone somewhere has figured a way to make people reflective. I had an instructor once that would say the reason he was such an effective instructor was because he was a human mirror that would reflect your attributes back at you. Well, if that were the case, then I must have been a pretty big asshole, because that is all that I saw in him.

So, now I get to the reason for the blog tonight. Have you ever found yourself doing things that are strange even by your “quirky” standards? Well, I did today. I had just had my shower and was hanging around in the bathroom looking at the mirror and I guess myself in the mirror. We have a bathroom medicine cabinet that has a central stationary mirror with a hinged mirror on each side. When you bring the side mirrors out you start to get that endless image effect where the image just gets smaller and smaller and if you could follow it, I suppose that you would get smaller as well. We should ask Alice. Anyways, just before you get to the endless image there is a point where there are five images. On the second image in I found it very difficult to judge direction without touching my face. If you tried to move your finger image to your nose, it would go to your ear. If you tried to move your finger to the top of your head it went towards your chin. You get the idea. Everything was not only backwards, but it seemed to be topsy-turvy backwards. I spent quite a bit of time doing this and I have gone back several times during the day.

People ask me what I do with myself now that I am retired, and I am usually at a loss as to what I should tell them. When you say that you spent the better part of the morning trying to touch your nose and ear, they look at you like you are nuckin futs. So now I just say that I drink a lot of coffee and putter around the house.


  1. Sounds like another successful day in retirement to me, well done Ken us retirees are proud of you! B

  2. I try to set a good example for others to follow.

  3. I try to avoid any reflection...scary