Midlife Cabernet: My Mirror Doesn't Work

 

When my eyesight became weaker, I purchased a new lighted mirror with a 10X magnification so I could apply mascara without guessing the actual location of my eyelashes. The first time I looked into the mirror I screamed and jumped back in horror because there was a ghastly old woman staring back at me! I want my money - and my face - returned!

The illuminated, colossal reflection exaggerated the erratic road map of lines, wrinkles, and crevices that sprouted around my eyes like jagged lightning bolts surrounding deep, bloodshot sinkholes. Why didn't someone tell me my face resembled a damp shirt that been forgotten in the dryer? At least my friends also have failing eyesight so they may not even notice.

I flipped the mirror over to the normal view and was relieved because my poor vision couldn't detect any flaws. I prefer that side now. For security and insecurity purposes, I have taped a warning label into the magnified side of the mirror.

It's called a vanity mirror for a reason, but I refuse to channel my inner Queen of the Snow White movie and ask the mirror on the wall who is the fairest one of all. I know the answer and not even a flamboyant skit by the jolly Seven Dwarfs could make me laugh now because that would just add more unwanted lines.

After surviving the shock of magnified reality, I looked again at my eyes. These green orbs have been dilated, examined, and corrected since I was ten years old. They have peered from dozens of ugly frames that included cat-eyes with rhinestones, black square nerd glasses, and delicate rimless beauties that cost a month's mortgage and broke every time I sneezed. My eyes survived surgery for holes in both retinas and continued to work after a failed attempt at laser treatment. Best of all, these irreplaceable body parts have allowed me to write and read books and to see the wonders of the world.

These eyes cried with joy when I held my precious babies, widened with amazement when I visited 32 countries around the world, leaked buckets over physical and mental pain, and focused with passion as I stared into my husband's loving eyes. Six decades of visions are stored within my memories as on-demand movies after a life full of adventure, tears, and laughter that I have been privileged to see and experience. I have earned each and every line around these well-worn eyes, and I intend to earn many more.

Next week I'll don my newest pair of spectacles and prepare the list for our family Thanksgiving dinner. I'll check favorite recipes and pull out the good dishes and silverware. I'll arrange festive pumpkins and colorful leaves into a happy centerpiece and imagine the cacophony coming from the children's table. Then on the day of the grand feast I'll witness the generations gathered around the tables squabbling over the last drumstick. With the blessed ability to see, I'll give thanks for the abundant vision before me.

Today's blog was fueled by a 2011 Jacuzzi Barbera from Mendocino County, California. I found this complex and vibrant wine on a recent trip to wine country and recommend the explosion of tastes with flavors of blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, and vanilla. Preview their wines at www.jacuzziwines.com. And, it's okay to pair red wine with turkey.

 

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