Mirror, mirror. Is it a chick thing?

Mirror, mirror. Is it a chick thing?

Please indulge a city mom, as she gets all self-reflective (sorry) again.

You see, my sons only recently got their own bedrooms, thanks to the fact their parents made this amazingly huge and quite selfless sacrifice: we now share an office (my husband used to use the guest room in the basement). But sharing office space with my husband is not the point of this blog (we’ll save that one for another day) my point is to talk about mirrors. Specifically, boys and mirrors vs. girls and mirrors. And why boys seem to give so much less of a crap about them than us girls.

When my son Ethan took over the guest room downstairs, it had no mirror in it. The only one close was in the downstairs bathroom, where, if he ducked down a little bit, he could actually see most of his face in it. When my other son Kyle recently moved some furniture around in his room to accommodate a larger fish tank (Gaa--yet another blog for another day) he had to remove the mirror from the dresser, leaving him mirrorless as well.

Being mirrorless was a hardship neither of my sons cared about. At all. However, it came as quite a surprise to me when I realized it. (and yeah, it took me a few months) Once I noticed they suffered from this reflective deficit, I was on it, purchasing two identical full-length mirrors at Target and installing them in their bedrooms that same day. Everyone has the right to check to see if their pants are floods before they leave the house!

I mean, I had a mirror in my daughter’s room within minutes of her arrival. I have a full-length mirror in mine, because after all, if I can’t torture my husband by looking over my shoulder at my backside in the mirror and asking him, “Does this make my butt look fat?” then what’s the fun of being married?

And herein lies the real point of all this, or the question, rather. What came first? The mirror or the girl. No, that’s not the right question. The right question is, Do women care more about mirrors, and by that I mean how they look in them, because we’re taught to care? It certainly can be a love-hate thing, a woman’s relationship with the mirror. Sometimes, it can be mostly be a hate-hate thing. Why is that? Is it in our DNA, part of having the two X chromosomes, that we care so much about appearances? Or is how we look so important to us because it’s important to men?

Men are visual creatures, the husband tells me, usually after I catch his eye being caught by another, shall we say, one of us less visual creatures. Does it really go back to all that evolutionary thought about how when a man assesses a woman’s looks, he’s looking for a mate who’s fertile and that when a woman assesses a man, she’s looking for someone who can provide for and protect her, which has less to do with a waist-to-hip ratio, healthy hair or skin, than it does have to do with his hunting skills and ability to burp the alphabet to “J”.

Since I’m not a scientist or a psychologist, I certainly don’t know why my sons could give a crap about my mirror project, or why my daughter and I spend a disproportionate amount of time primping in front of them. I wish I could do something to help more evenly distribute the image-analysis, so that my daughter and I could be more free to care less. And so my sons would comb their hair on occasion.

Did you guys notice your new mirrors in your rooms? I asked my sons, proud of my mirror-hanging handy work. The blank stares I received from them displayed their profound level of indifference toward my success as a tool-using primate.

And in an apparent interest in keeping marriage fun, my husband felt compelled to add, “It’s about time you got on it and got them those mirrors, considering how long they’ve been begging for them.”

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