They’re one of those things, as men, we “don’t think about”. Mirrors. Especially bathroom mirrors. We’re trained to use them only to check our ties are straight (so that’s once a year for me), to check for food stuck in our teeth and to avoid injuries while shaving.
The story we hear from women (well to be honest, it’s mostly regurgitated quotes from “women’s” magazines and the like, not from any of the women I actually know in real life. Strange, that.) is that mirrors are there to be avoided. That they’re evil and to look into one is to have yourself transported to centre stage on the Jeremy Kyle show, naked, in front of a howling audience. You must never catch your reflection in the eye.
I was thinking about that today while wondering if I could be bothered shaving. I couldn’t be bothered, as it turns out, but I thought about looking in the mirror. I thought about peering into that awful reflection.
So once, when I was 39, I did.
And it seems that I now have double the number of grey hairs in my beard than I did before I last shaved in June. Is this what the panic is about? Is this the terrible promise of the mirror? Maybe this is the slowly encroaching horror of the looking glass, and I’m being turned to stone one beard hair at a time. Class. Maybe by the time I’m 60 I will have a beard made entirely from stone. People will come from miles around to see it. I’ll be a famous local attraction.
But they’d better not look in my mirror.