Thursday, July 16, 2009

Funny Man in the Mirror

My father wrote a "folksy" column called "The View from Pittsview" for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer newspaper during the 1980's and early 1990's. Daddy had always said he should compile all of his writings into a booklet, but he never did, so last summer, unbeknownst to him, I began this project and completed the first booklet for Father's Day 2008.
*Note* Last summer Daddy was very sick with lung cancer...
....he died at the end of August.
I only managed to finish the above 2 booklets before he passed away.
This column began the first booklet:
Funny Man in the Mirror: Oops, That’s Me!

I found out why people smile at me all the time. I mean total strangers. I thought they were just being friendly. They feel sorry for me.

I was in Opelika the week after Christmas and saw a sweater I liked on sale. I put it on and walked up to one of those three-way mirrors to see how it looked. I couldn’t look at the sweater for looking at myself.
The mirror was one of those that you can see the side view of yourself. You can even see the back of your head if you twist around and look out of the corner of your eye.

My hair is a lot grayer than I realized. I’ve got a weak chin, and my nose is sort of pointed. My posture is terrible in that mirror, but I stood up straight right quick and then I noticed that one shoulder is a lot lower than the other. I already knew that, but I always forget until I look in a strange mirror. And I hold my head over to one side, too.

Every time I get in front of one of those mirrors, I must look as though I have a big bug in my britches. I’m so intrigued that I’m twisting this way and that way trying to see myself better. I try to stand up straight, hold up my low shoulder, and then I’ll stick my chin out trying to make myself look better.

People in the store must think I’m crazy. I do get some funny looks.

I feel so badly about the way I look in those mirrors until I’m almost ashamed to walk out of the store. I sneak along and get to the door as quickly as I can.

Strangers do smile at me a lot. I like to think it is because I’m just a friendly-looking person. But after looking in one of those 3-way mirrors, I’m not so sure. Usually, though, within about 30 minutes or less, I get over my shame and go on about my business, forgetting what I look like.
I really think something must be wrong with those mirrors.
I couldn’t look like that.

(January 31, 1985, - the East Alabama Today section of the Ledger Enquirer)


  1. This reminds me of that Norman Rockwell painting (I'm a fan of his artwork) -- the one where he is looking in the mirror & painting himself :)