One of my favorite things to do while working is turn on some kind of cooking show or food show in the background while I am working. Nothing makes grading 100 English papers more bareable like learning how to make a smoked salmon frittata, the perfect risotto, or watching people gush over the most decadent chocolate thing that they have ever eaten. Often I will stop a minute, to indulge in the mixing, measuring or munching, and then jump right back into working.
I was doing just that the other day when a commercial caught my eye. It was a man discussing the many fascinating accomplishments of his ancestors, which were impressive I must add. However, he merely skimmed the surface of his ancestral majesty, giving only one characteristic shared by philosophers, inventors, and explorers, and that common trait pushed him to do something about the most important shared characteristic: the ominous double chin.
I sat in awe of this commercial while a second party comes on and speed talks through side effects and the don'ts of the medication until it ends. So, let me get this straight....we gather the best of our ancestors not to try to invent something, cure something, or even write a next level novel. but destroy a double chin? Wow.
This experience bought to mind a poem by Audre Lorde:
"Good Mirrors are not Cheap"
It is a waste of time hating a mirror
or its reflection
instead of stopping the hand
that makes glass with distortions
slight enough to pass
until one day you peer
into your face
under a merciless white light
and the fault in a mirror slaps back
what you think
is the shape of your error
and if I am beside that self
you destroy me
or if you can see
the mirror is lying
you shatter the glass
choosing another blindness
and slashed helpless hands.
Because at the same time
down the street
a glassmaker is grinning
turning out new mirrors that lie
at cut rate
We are constantly in the glare of the mirror, or shall I say the ubiquitous selfie. I once watched a student stare at herself for two and a half hours straight until she found the best selfie angle. We snap these pictures at a forced angle, search for the perfect filter, and then post it for the world to respond to. 'Cept now, we refuse to deny what the camera shows us, as Lorde said we do, and we seek cut rates on making the lie go away, or not be true anymore.
I have a double chin. Yep, it's true. It likes to look pretty in pictures too. Someday, I hope that my offspring reviews its lineage, sees my life as a beautiful one, and then seeks to duplicate the beauty while ignoring my chins. #imjustsaying