Friday, February 28, 2014

Why a Magnifying Mirror Is a Huge Mistake

When I was a wee lass, I dreamed of being an astronomer. Then I found out astronomers need to be proficient in math. There went that dream. I still loved learning about the planets and stars, though, and my dad even got an acquaintance of his who worked at NASA to send me some beautiful pictures of Saturn, which I have framed and hung in my office. This is one of them:
Pretty cool, right? Thanks, Dad (and NASA).
You know what else is nice? Those closeup shots of the moon, of dreamy-sounding places like the Sea of Tranquility.
I don't know if the Sea of Tranquility is in this shot, but thanks, NASA, nonetheless!
You know what is NOT nice? Magnifying mirrors. Bear with me a second, because this will all make sense shortly.

You're cruising around through life, thinking you look okay. I mean, sure, you can accept that you're not a supermodel, but overall, not too shabby. In fact, a little like this:
Maybe with a *slightly* shorter neck, but yeah, this looks about right. 
One day, you're at the drugstore buying, oh, I don't know, hemorrhoid cream (BECAUSE YOU READ IT REDUCES EYE PUFFINESS, DAMMIT) and you see one of these:
And looky here! It's the BEST CHOICE OF THE YEAR! 
"Magnifying my face by 10 times? How fantastic!" you think. "I can use it to touch up eye makeup, perform eyebrow maintenance, and examine my freakishly long neck for suspicious moles."

You jam it into your basket, pay for your treasures, and race home, eager to use those suction cups to attach it to your larger mirror. You moisten the suction cups, press the magnifying mirror to the larger mirror, and lean in, eager to begin your examination. The mirror pops off. You re-moisten it, press a little harder, and it slides down about 10 inches. You dry off the suction cups, curse loudly, and smash the mirror onto the larger one AGAIN. You wait 20 seconds. Okay, this time it's holding. You lean in. It falls off.

"G*DDAMMIT!" you shout as you snatch up the miraculously unbroken mirror from the bottom of the sink.

By now you're red-faced and perspiring. But you're going to touch up your eye makeup, by gum! So you take a deep breath and bring the little miracle mirror to you.

"This will work just fine," you murmur, as you check your eye makeup.

Okay, a little smudging at the corners. No problem! You do some touching up and step back to see the effect in the larger mirror. Nice! Looking goooooooooooood.

"Hey," you think -- and here's where things go to hell -- "why don't I take a closer look AT MY ENTIRE FACE?"

Foolishly, you begin navigating the contours of your face with the little mirror and disgusting flaws come into immediate and unwelcome focus. Flaws that are magnified *10 times*. Holy CRAP, what is that hair doing THERE? You snatch up the tweezers for an emergency pluck. OMG, is this eyebrow hair...? YES, it's WHITE! YOU HAVE A WHITE EYEBROW HAIR! You clutch the tweezers in trembling fingers for another emergency pluck. It only gets worse. You will notice you have about 4,983 more zits, age spots, and wrinkles than you thought could even FIT on a human face. Glorious 10X magnification! Your face looks a lot like that closeup of the moon, with the occasional one of these moles thrown in for laughs:

On the bright side, and there's only one positive thing that will come out of this purchase: you can re-do your ruined-from-weeping eye makeup quite nicely now. So there's that.

I can't end this post without a word of warning: do not, under ANY circumstances, use this mirror of horrors to look in your ears or your nose. Such reckless actions will bring you only misery. And you already feel bad enough as it is....

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The 5 Types of People Who Visit the Bathroom

My mom (!) told me my last two blog posts (revolting bruises and cat farting) were a bit off-putting, so I've decided to switch things up a bit. They say you should write about what you know, and God knows I am intimately familiar with the bathroom. ("Wait! Mom, where are you going?!") Having MS makes me have to pee approximately 716 times per day. Okay, maybe not QUITE that many, but last Saturday morning, after two cups of coffee and one-and-a-half glasses of water, I went five (5) times in an hour. I know it was exactly five times in an hour, because after each visit, I bellowed to my lucky, lucky husband, "That's the SECOND time...that's the FOURTH time..." until he left the house.

At home, the only interesting people I run into in the bathroom are, well, my husband and me. Oh, and Capt. Nap, who for some peculiar and perhaps best-not-examined reason, likes to skulk behind the shower curtain and then leap out and watch the toilet being flushed. Not sure where he gets this fascination with the bathroom...

At work, I run into lots of interesting people (who probably wonder why I am always in there, but at least I'm not lurking behind doors and racing out to watch the toilets being flushed). How many of the following bathroom patrons do you recognize?

  1. The Cell Phone Talker: Really, this one is troubling. I mean, okay, probably everyone has taken their phone into the bathroom for a quick check of Facebook or to send a text ("Hey! Guess where I am?"), but the people who chatter away blithely while others tromp in and out, flushing, slamming doors...I don't get it! What must the receiver of the call think? Behavior Assessment: DISTURBING, with a generous side of WTF? 
  2. The Fake-Out Hand Washer: Not to be confused with the No Hand Washer (no explanation needed), the Fake-Out Hand Washer thinks people can't see her through the massive gaps in the doors. Yes, madam, I can totally see you turn on the water for the requisite 4.75 seconds and just stand there, gazing at yourself in the mirror, and then noisily snatch up paper towels and leave. Behavior Assessment: GROSS, and please do not ask to borrow my stapler.
  3. The Silent Shitter (SS) (sorry about the language, Mom): This one is a sneaky customer! You stroll into the bathroom and it's quiet. You have the place to yourself. Yay! You choose your favorite stall -- and then you see them: feet under the door across the way. No sounds whatsoever, just feet. You know she's in there, and she knows you're in there, and no one is making a peep. I hate SS! I mean, I appreciate that she's waiting for an empty bathroom, truly, but the utter silence renders me powerless to accomplish my business, because I know she's just WAITING for me to wrap it up and get the hell out of there. Gah! Behavior Assessment: ANNOYING, because I'll have to come back in 10 minutes when she's gone (and there's a 99.475% chance it'll smell bad).
  4. The "Oh, I'm Just Here to Blow My Nose/Wash My Hands" Trickster: This is one I've employed dozens of times. It's your "get out of the bathroom" card when, for example, you are stuck in the oppressive, bladder-seizing presence of an SS. If you've blundered into a stall before noticing SS, you need to take some kind of action and then scram. Here's where the fake nose-blow comes into play. If you see SS before you go into the stall, a brisk hand-washing works like a charm. These fake-outs backfire only if you return 10 minutes later and SS is still lurking. Behavior Assessment: PERFECTLY UNDERSTANDABLE, although everyone knows you didn't really come in there to just wash your hands or blow your nose.
  5. The Excessive Towel User: I kind of like the environment, so this one bugs me. But there's always that person who, after washing, proceeds to rip 37 paper towels from the dispenser to dry her hands. Really? I get that the towels are cheap and crappy, but I have first-hand (hahaha! Get it?) experience and can say with certainty that two towels will indeed dry your hands. Sure, it'll feel like you're drying them with sandpaper, but that's true of 2 -AND- 37. So how about using 2? Please? Behavior Assessment: IRRITATING, if you are a tree hugger; otherwise, this complaint is no doubt irritating. 
And that's my list. I could go on and on (the Overly Friendly Stranger, the Sullen and Beady-Eyed Stranger, the Mom Coaxing Her Kids into Going Potty), but I fear I may be driving off my more respectable readers. The rest of you, thanks for sticking around, and feel free to chime in with your own additions!