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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

August 28, 2008

I was on the terrace, watching cars and people passing by when I noticed something peculiar.  Most of the people who passed by the car parked out in front stopped for a moment, gazed lovingly at their reflection on the car’s windows, smiled then primped.  In fact, in my five minutes of “sightseeing,” 2 guys and 6 girls did just that.  One other guy on a bike did gaze at his own reflection on the car’s tinted windows, but he couldn’t stop, smile and preen like the others.  Probably too busy avoiding getting hit…

Three girls passed by the car on their way to the next-door building; on their way back, they did their stop-gaze-smile-primp routine once more.  I wonder if they thought they have grown horns, beauty spots, pimples, or some hideous facial hair since they saw themselves last.

What is it with humans and mirrors or anything reflective?  If you work in a high-rise building with a tinted glass-fronted lobby, observe people passing by.  Chances are you’ll see the same stop-gaze-smile-primp routine or a variation of it (e.g. stop-smile-primp-gaze, gaze-smile-preen while walking slowly, stop-gaze-pose-smile-primp, etc.).  A former boss had his head shaven clean; he probably oiled it for it did gleam so (it looked nice, by the way).  I’d see co-workers stop by his station.  They’d pretend to talk to him about some seemingly grave matters; all the while, they’d be peering down on his head, looking at their reflection.

I know someone who just has to stop whenever she sees a mirror or a mirror-like surface.  Anything goes; woks, pans, cooking utensils, salt-and-pepper shakers – as long as they can reflect light, she’ll use it.  She’ll strike a pose, which usually involved pouting her lips, raising an eyebrow and angling the face just so to get the best feedback (from the mirror).  Whenever she did this, I always thought she was trying her best (and succeeding quite beautifully) to look like a crushed soda can.  By the way, if you don’t know what I mean by this kind of look, you should browse friendster sometimes. 🙂

During my “sightseeing” venture on the terrace, I noticed something else.  Those who used the car’s windows to groom themselves are young.  How can I tell?  They were in their school uniforms, silly :).  A man on his forties passed by; he forged ahead and looked neither left nor right.  A woman in her thirties passed by next, and she also ignored the lure of the car’s reflective surfaces.  Older (or just more mature) people passed by, and all of them barely even noticed the car.

On another note, I believe that we lose this tendency once we become more mature or grow older – whichever comes first.  In the case of the former, we have more important things to think about than our reflection on a car window.  In the case of the latter, we know we probably won’t like what we’ll see reflected on the mirror (wrinkles, eye bags, dark circles, etc.), so why bother?  😆

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