The Movie and the Mirror

Laramie has one movie theater.

To speak of. There’s actually a second one, but they show the $2 movies and the every-other Sunday film series movies that come out on DVD a week later in an ancient and virtually unheated venue. I kid you not — people bring blankets with them. It’s not a cosmopolitan town.

So, the real movie theater has six screens and if we’re lucky, they’ll slip an Academy Award nominee in with the flicks intended to entice the high school and college crowd. Six screens is a big step up for us, because there used to be only two and now the one side that was split into four parts has stadium seating. Big excitement for us.

But the bathrooms are exactly the same as when I first moved to town, exactly 20 years ago last August. This means I’ve been dashing out of movies to pee in the exact same stall (second one down, because the first is for handicapped access) since I was 21 years old. The wall of mirrors over the sinks have reflected the last 20 years of aging, and the full length mirror to the right of the door has provided proof that I weigh 20 pounds more than I did then. I would say a pound a year isn’t that bad, but it was a fair amount more than that for a while and is thankfully back down again.

It’s funny — I like the image in the mirror now more than I did then. Any of those thens, really. I dashed out of “Taken” last night (the best of the six possibililties and pretty decent, though I was pouting over not getting to see “The Wrestler” or “Slumdog Millionaire”) to hit the loo and thought of this on the way out. Sunday night, I’ve been cleaning house all day: I did not cute up to go to the movies. But in my jeans, sweater and make-up free state, I looked just fine as I opened the door to head back in. I didn’t even pause to pivot for the critical side-angle/backside evaluation.

Which is what it comes down to, I suppose. Greater generosity with myself. In fact, I forgot at first to pay attention to the mirror, until it hit me that we’re moving in six months. I’ll lose my chronicle of appearance. All those me’s will stay behind, recorded in the women’s restroom mirrors. Grad student, young stepmother, older stepmother. The me of today. The me yet to come won’t be seen in those mirrors.

There’s something to be said for that.

2 Replies to “The Movie and the Mirror”

  1. Soon it will be “big step up for THEM” and “big excitement for THEM”. Time to add your flavor to some other melting pot.

    Says over here that your house was built in 1913. You almost made the centennial. Ah, well. Probably would have been a big Poltergeist scene anyway.

  2. Yeah – I’d been thinking we’d have a party for the centennial. Now it will be someone else’s job to ward of the celebrating ghosties!

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