One of the downsides to being married to someone whose default demeanor is one of kindness is that I seldom hear things I probably should. And while what I wear really shouldn't make anyone else's radar screen of importance, I have been known to be somewhat oblivious to fashion. Now, I won't wear spandex, or a halter top, and for sure I'll leave those even more oblivious to fashion to rock the romper (If you don’t know what that is, check the image). However, I have gone out in things that, had I passed a mirror before heading out of the house, I may have tightened up a bit.
Recently I sat with a friend (that would be you Kevin) reminiscing mostly about our time at sea, and he recounted how he would stand in front of a mirror and yell at himself, rather than taking it out on one of his shipmates when things didn’t go as planned. His point was that many times he had no one but himself to blame for something gone awry. He also knew how damaging his temper could be, so he elected to direct his anger at himself. Doing this served multiple purposes. It spared his officers his wrath, it certainly injected humor into an otherwise very uncomfortable experience, but most importantly, he could see how ridiculous he looked and sounded. Call it a sound check of sorts.
So all this got me thinking about the power of the mirror. Now I know that without self-awareness the mirror might only fuel a warped perspective, rather than calibrate a mind gone wild. But think about the things you might not have said or done had you had access to a mirror. Remember Judge Reinhold in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (I’m referring to his actions when he saw his attire in his rearview mirror).
Like many people in America, I love the fall and the whole football experience, with one exception: I hate the antics of the coaches. Watching them lose all self-control as they tear into a player, an official, or even another coach is reprehensible. So before this upcoming season begins, I'd like to propose that at least one, maybe two, full-length mirrors be placed behind the bench on each sideline. Heck, maybe we should have three: one for the coaching staff, one for the players, and even one for the officials. Rather than going ballistic on a referee or a player, the coach could go to the mirror and yell at themselves for calling the play that led to the poor result. I’m assuming the coaches for the Seattle Seahawks are great guys, and I’ve certainly never walked in their shoes, but before sending in “Shotgun, fake 31, quick slant right” (or whatever that play is called), the responsible coach should have looked in the mirror while calling the play so that the guy looking back at him could have said: What, are you nuts! Give the ball to Marshawn.
I am certainly not suggesting that every decision we make be cleared through the person in the mirror. Being bold, sometimes reckless, and even wrong has led to some positive, life-changing experiences or discoveries. I mean, had I looked in the mirror before asking out my wife, it’s a safe bet we wouldn’t be married now. Or if the referee who famously determined Dez’ catch wasn’t a catch had tried that call out in the mirror before heading back on to the field, the NFL wouldn’t have re-evaluated the “football move” definition. (I’m not certain that’s even resolved now.)
Photo credit to ACED Designs, from Vogue.com