The Face in the Mirror
By Cindy Argiento
When I was young I swore I wouldn’t let it happen to me. But as I’ve aged and had kids it did happen. I don’t know when it happened or how it happened, but it happened.
I’ve turned into my mother.
I call my girlfriends “Doll.” I don’t know why. It’s not like I forgot their names and had to make up a generic one so they wouldn’t catch on. I was talking on the phone with my one of my “Dolls” the other day when I blurted out, “You made me forget what I was gonna say.” My mother said that to me all the time, only I thought it was her polite way of telling me to “Shut up.”
The other night I was out with my daughter when I told her to put on her jacket. “Why?” She asked. “Because I’m cold,” I replied. I’m cold? I can’t believe I said that! When my mother used to say that to me, I would think it silly for me to put on a sweater because she was cold. She could put one on and leave me alone.
At night when my mother would get ready for bed she would announce, “I’m going to take off my face.” I always imagined her literally taking her face off. As a kid it was mysterious as she never let me watch her do it. I would wait by the bathroom door and expect her to emerge with a new face; for those of you alarmed by reading this – taking my face off means to remove the makeup.
What amazes me now is I find myself making the same announcement. I stand up, clear my throat and in a loud voice proclaim, “I’m going to take off my face.” I give this proclamation the same importance as someone declaring, “I’m going off to war.” Only in my case nobody cares and sometimes I say it to an empty room.
When I look in the mirror to remove my makeup, I see my mother, myself and my daughter, and know there comes a time in every woman’s life when her reflection becomes part of her past, her present and her future.