Wednesday, February 29, 2012


My husband and I went to London and Paris for our honeymoon. At the time, we had no living room furniture in our apartment and I remember having to justify our choice to my father (who thought we were nuts): "Furniture may come and go, but we'll have these memories forever." So, off we went - chairless, but happy. Thirty-six years and seven couches later, we still love reminiscing about that trip. I am actually reminded of it every single day, because at Miss Selfridge in London, I bought a little 5-inch plexiglass stand-up mirror (with a delicate hand holding a rose etched on it - it was 1976 - that kind of stuff was really cool then!). Imagine my surprise when I reached for that mirror and heard this:

Hullo, Duckie! (The mirror sounded exactly like Judi Dench - not as the royalty she portrayed in "Mrs. Brown" or "Shakespeare in Love," but as Jean Pargetter in "As Time Goes By.") Need any help with anything today?

I don't suppose you can do anything about the wrinkles? (She chuckled.) Well, anyway, I can't seem to get my eyebrows to match up this time. Don't you think the left one makes me look like I'm perpetually surprised?

Come a bit closer. (I leaned forward.) Hmmm. (She paused.) Yes, I see what you mean. Have you your tweezers?

(I quickly removed them from my sparse make-up basket. They were not hard to find.) Here they are!

Splendid! Now, see that hair smack in the center of your right, not that one...over...over...that's it...remove that one.

(I did as the mirror instructed. Now I looked doubly surprised.) Ummm, I'm not sure that worked.

Oh, dear. Yes. I think you're right. Well, that can be easily mended. (She then had me pull a few hairs from the left, go back and pull a few from the right, and then back to the left. When she was done, my eyebrows were so thin they sort of looked like the pencil lines actresses in the 1930's sported instead of real eyebrows - and I still appeared perpetually surprised.) Oh, dear-oh-dear. I think you may have gone too far.

(I knew she meant no harm, so I couldn't very well blame her for my new, unexpected look.) Oh, well. No worries. Maybe I can start a new trend. (We both laughed, and I put her back in the basket.) See you tomorrow! (I headed right to my computer to Google how long it would take for eyebrows to grow back, and wondered whether I had enough sick days to cover it.)


[Just a note on this one: I wrote this three days before the news of Judi Dench's macular degeneration was disclosed. Even though it is an object that would be useless without vision, this mirror absolutely had her voice.  Even so, I seriously considered changing it to Maggie Smith. It just didn't work. It was, and always will be to me, definitely Judi Dench's Jean Pargetter.)

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