Wednesday 10 April 2019

Mirror Image

by David Gower

English breakfast tea 

You Tube videos make life so much easier. They are available whenever needed. Mum is always a real source of dress sense. Her wardrobe and make up are always so smart and people say how nice she looks. She was visiting Auntie in hospital so far away and not back until late. Dad was at work and the house was empty. How someone so pretty as her ever hooked up with Dad is a mystery. He never appreciates her efforts to look good.

Still, no time to be distracted. After all the excitement of waiting for today, there is lots to do. Lots to do and done right.  First things first.

A shower, nice soap and a fluffy towel from the heated rail. Then those fine hairs on the legs whisked away. No wonder Mum goes to those spa days to be pampered. Fancy her having candles put in her ears and  hot stones placed on her back. The massages must be nice though, just to lie there and have all those lovely ointments. What does she call it? Treatments. All those lovely treatments.

Now what to wear?  Almost grown up but never able to decide what to wear until now. What to wear for a special occasion like a wedding? There never seems to be any chance to wear something really pretty and feminine.

Shiny tights always look nice on Mum but what colour? They make anyone’s legs look nice.

Skirt and top or dress? Plain? Patterned? Long or short? Eeny meeny miny mo long or short which way to go?

Getting dressed is so much easier for boys. They just throw any old thing on and they’re done. Then they complain about how long it takes girls to get dressed. It needs thought and planning even though most men and boys never seem to notice the efforts that a girl makes.

Then make up, hair, nails, accessories and shoes. No wonder it takes so much time. So much for a girl to think about and then have to take everything off with make up remover and put all the nice things away carefully. Mum likes everything in its place.

The dress is smoothed down and the belt cinches the waist. The sleeves stop just at mid forearm. The hemline just above the knee. The legs look smooth and shiny. That nice chunky watch will look fab and bracelet. They just feel right.

Foundation to cover those teenage pimples then blusher and mascara. If only the web connection was better – how can it hang in the middle of a You Tube tutorial? Look at her brows, how does she get them like that so easily? Hooray, You Tube back on track.

Now for the nails. Where is a colour to match the outfit. So many shades. The video says to make a statement but not look cheap. They should teach this stuff in school rather than doing maths that no one ever understands or uses in real life. The only sums Dad understand are the bills and they make him angry. He always seems to be angry.

Dress, tights, shoes, make up and accessories. Ready for the world but is it ready for me? The image in the full length mirror looks back. What a transformation from head to toe. Everything co-ordinated.  A heady mix of fabric, colour, perfume and bling. Is it too much? What could I have as a stage name? Ava. Ava Ricious strutting and greedy for Instagram followers. Angry Ava Ricious on the catwalk Instagramming all her followers or at the wedding next week. Angry Ava being true to herself. I wish this brush was a real microphone.

Everything? No something is missing. A girl going to a wedding needs a hat. More decisions to make. The big floppy hat that Mum wore at the last wedding? Maybe the pillbox one with the spotted veil. Then there is the feathery thing…what does she call it? A fascinator. They all look nice on. This is the hat I really like on her. Auntie says I look like Mum in some ways. Does it suit me or is the look too old?

How long has it taken to get ready? Longer than expected, much longer.  Is there time to……?

Another figure is reflected in the full length mirror. Happy thoughts turn to fear as Dad is home from work. The time has flown by. The sound of Dad opening the front door and his footsteps on the staircase drowned by the You Tube music.

Dad’s hand goes to his belt buckle. Mum is far away visiting her sister.

“Well, are you the daughter I never knew I had Trevor? What would your Mum say if she saw you like this? ”

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