The Inner Mirror


The dilemma. It’s raining, I didn’t plan for it, and while I have an umbrella in the car (one that should have already been replaced a year or so ago, but could keep some of the rain off me…if the wind doesn’t blow more than a slight puff). I also have an armload of things I need to carry into the building. I wait a few minutes for the downpour to subside. I check my phone. I check the time. Finally my window of time has run out. I have to make a decision. My decision is to just go. To leave the umbrella, get wet, get myself and my stuff inside in one trip, and deal with the consequences later. It’s always the choice I make, though it doesn’t seem to be the norm, or necessarily the right one. I spend more time bedraggled than the average woman. Doing anything else doesn’t seem to make sense to me at the time. Sometimes, afterward, I wonder if perhaps another choice would be better. When I look in the mirror….or someone looks at me in pity, I get the message. It’s not pretty. Yep, possibly not a good decision.

I think I missed  part of the gene of self-awareness. Oh, I am aware of some things. What I think, what I believe. I’m definitely aware of my faults….some blown out of proportion, some justified in my brain, some insecurities planted by other people.

But I have realized I don’t have a great grasp of my personal appearance. Am I wearing something inside out? Very possibly. Did I just put mascara on one eye? It happens. Did I just put in one earring this morning? Well, the phone rang. I got distracted. The bad thing is that I probably won’t discover these things on my own.

It’s why I prefer friends who are blunt but kind. I’m not sure if I prefer they be detailed oriented (in which they would notice) or not (in which they wouldn’t.) 

Several of these friends will always eye me as they greet me and it’s like a mother looking at their first grader before they head off for school. They tuck and pull and straighten and may even get out the wet wipes. (Not all of these friends are women. I have a love for Renaissance men and am lucky to have some as friends.) Embarrassment about this sort of thing has faded with time…. I now can usually accept it with amusement and see it as a gift of someone who cares. OK, maybe my cheeks are still a little pink. It may or may not be the blush I badly applied.

There is a side of me that would like to be different. Who would like to be the polished type. One who thinks it is a priority to iron clothes before I wear them and not just hopes that body heat will get rid of the wrinkles. I usually hope that everyone thinks I started my day looking way more put together, and something tragic happened along the way. This “put together” Kim doesn’t seem to happen.

I’d like to figure out what people leave behind so they can carry the umbrella. When I carry the really cute umbrella like they carry (which I don’t currently own, most of mine are freebies sporting an insurance company logo), I would like to look the magazine ad, carefree and relaxed and enjoying the rain…not like someone currently fighting a battle and losing. Cute rain boots….yeah, if I had them they would not be in the vicinity if it actually rained. They would sit beautifully unused in my closet. It’s not worth the investment. But I love yours!

I don’t check throughout my day to see how I look or consciously notice if something is out of place…it just doesn’t occur to me. I have no internal mirror. My brain isn’t trained that way, no matter how many times I realize the glaring consequences. Yes, it can make me cringe if I think about it. Those of you who always seem put together leave me in a state of awe. I don’t look at it as a possibility for me, for some reason. Will that change? I doubt it. It’s not like I just gave up, as I have heard some women say…l don’t think it has ever been part of who I am.

One of the great things about being unaware of the way you look? Usually you don’t notice those who are rolling their eyes when they notice the fiasco before them. Well, you notice….but it doesn’t even occur to you it could be related to you. (People have bad days and sometimes those eyes just roll naturally!)

The truth is if I happen to look OK when you see me, chances are it is by accident. Or someone dressed me. The mirror in my mind is a bit warped. But maybe you already knew that.

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