The trouble with mirrors is they don’t care
It’s well known that I am a self-indulgent jerk; just ask any woman who ever raised, dated or married me. While you might be able to question the veracity of some of those ladies, the shear number of them willing to offer testimony lends some credence to the notion that delayed gratification is not my long suit.
To be honest, I probably am self-indulgent. I never really considered that to be a bad thing. If I want ice cream, and I have ice cream you can bet your bippy I’m going to eat some ice cream. It’s a pretty solid bet that I’ll have some chocolate syrup and whipped cream with it.
It’s true that I have always pretty much eaten whatever I wanted to. I’ve watched my peers watching what they eat, counting calories, checking their weight and monitoring their cholesterol as they got older but I never really gave that much thought.
Both of my sons were wrestlers so we have had a set of high tech scales in our house for the last 20 years, but I never use them. I have no idea how much I weigh, because I really don’t care.
The overwhelming consensus of the women I’ve encountered in my adult life, a major subset of those willing to testify to my self-indulgence, will also confirm that I have never grown up. No, really it’s true.
Again, I admit that I never really saw the percentage in growing up. I’m not expert in adult behavior, but most adults seem to quit doing all of the things that were the most fun when they were kids.
Think about it, if an adult didn’t stop them, kids would play outside, eat their favorite foods, ride their bikes and generally hang out having fun until they fell asleep in their chair while watching bad movies on late night TV.
That’s pretty much been my lifestyle since … well … since anyone quit trying to stop me.
One of the few advantages of not growing up has been that running, riding bicycles, playing football, softball, rugby and racquetball for all of these years has allowed me to indulge my healthy appetite for anything that tastes good without turning into one of those middle-aged fat guys who open their fly by braille because they can’t see it.
It turns out that there are actual long-term consequences for how we choose to live our lives. Who knew? A few years ago my body turned on me; both of my shoulders needed to be repaired, I needed four hernia surgeries, a tonsillectomy which revealed I had throat cancer, chronic back pain and things kind of went down hill from there.
While getting all of those ailments treated and fixed, my doctors told me to stop running, playing football, softball, rugby and racquetball with my friends and especially stop crashing my mountain bike.
That really changed my life; for the past few years I’ve avoided all of those activities while eating as much of my favorite foods as I want until I fall asleep in my chair watching old movies on TV.
My solution was to not put any mirrors in our new apartment. I did have some sense that a few years of ice cream, whipped cream and Irish cream mixed with a healthy dose of radiation treatment and an almost total lack of exercise might have some effect on my appearance; but I didn’t want to see it!
The trouble with mirrors is that they reflect a reasonably accurate two-dimensional image of your appearance without sensitivity to your damaged back or weakness for banana splits.
While on a business trip this week I was walking out of the bathroom in my motel room when I was surprised by a semi-naked grey haired fat man right there in my room! I wish I could tell you that a pervert had broken into my room … but it was a full-length mirror.
Jimmy Buffett wrote a song years ago claiming that his motel room featured, “a mirror that lies because that couldn’t be me in the gorilla disguise.”
As much as I’d like to claim that this motel room has a mirror that lies, that was me in the fat man disguise. I recognized the ruggedly handsome face that melted the hearts who consider me a self-indulgent child.
Luckily, I am even more arrogant than I am immature or self-indulgent, so I’ve resolved to reclaim the Greek God-like body that I’ve grown accustom to. I’ll keep you updated!
Rick Seley is an award-winning columnnist.