Monday, January 10, 2005

Fun House Mirror.

Smartmom has a love/hate relationship with her old friend, Fun House Mirror. To be truthful, it's mostly hate/hate. But they've been friends for a long time and Smartmom is nothing if not loyal. Too loyal some would say.

Fun House Mirror prides herself on being truthful. She never minces words -- always tells it like it is. "What are friends for?" she says, half expecting Smartmom to agree. Needless to say, she's not the easiest person to be around.

Just yesterday, Smartmom left the house feeling pretty good. But then she ran into Fun House Mirror on the street and BAM: "You look like you just got out of bed," she said. "You should really do something about your hair."

Fun House Mirror calls it honesty. But her comments are really quite insulting. And she never says, "I'm sorry." As far as she's concerned, she's speaking the truth. If it hurts -- so be it.

Running into Smartmom on the street, Fun House Mirror is all smooches and hugs: "Dahling, it's been too long," she exclaims, air kissing Smartmom's cheek. "Your shirt is too tight," she whispers into Smartmom's ear. "Leave a little bit to the imagination."

One time, she told Smartmom that she looked tired and old. "My goodness, there are big, black rings under your eyes," Fun House Mirror exclaimed. "You should take care of yourself -- you're over 40, my dear."

Every year, Smartmom resolves to weed Fun House Mirror out of her life. Every year she gets more and more fed up with this person who calls herself a friend. This has been going on long enough, Smartmom thinks.

And yet, the "friendship" endures. Some of you may wonder why Smartmom doesn't just give her a piece of her mind. Well, she did. And when Smartmom said to her: "Shut up, you bitch!" Fun House Mirror just puts her hands over her ears and cried, "I'm not listening. I'm not listening." over and over.

And that is that. FHM willed herself not to hear a thing.

Smartmom has known Fun House Mirror since junior high school. Back then she told Smartmom to wear big sweaters and baggy pants. "Better to keep covered up," she'd say. "Hides the imperfections." She always helped Smartmom with her hair, dropping in whenever she was having a haircut. "Keep it long, otherwise your face will look fat," Fun House Mirror would say.

Whenever Smartmom goes shopping, there she is. "Maybe you should try that in a larger size. That one's way too small." Fun House Mirror is always quick to advise. "You don't want horizontal stripes, trust me." or "That pattern is way too busy, you'll look like a lampshade."

And in the summer, Fun House Mirror always finds Smartmom at the beach. Wearing a floral mumu and holding a large parasol, Fun House Mirror invariably calls out: "You looked like a beached whale -- better get back in the water!" It's her idea of a joke -- she actually thinks that she's funny. But boy, is she good at ruining Smartmom's day.

Even when Smartmom is in the bathroom washing her face, Fun House Mirror thinks nothing of barging in. "Your skin is breaking out. What are those black marks on your face?"

Even when Smartmom is alone, Fun House Mirror thinks nothing of barging in...

Sometimes friendships go on way too long. Inertia, fear -- who know's what it is. But this one has definitely gone on long enough. Smartmom vows to sweep Fun House Mirror out of her life soon. She knows it ain't gonna be easy -- it never is. But this year, Smartmom is really going to try.

With friends like Fun House Mirror, who needs enemies?


At 6:24 AM, Blogger red eft said...

Yikes! Awful! (Have to admit, if my mother lived in Brooklyn I'd think you were talking about her.)

I like all this sweeping out of the new year you're doing, SmartMom. I read your January posts leave refreshed, smelling of Citrasolv.


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