The Enchanted Mirror

I own an enchanted mirror, gifted to me by my grandma, who had no use for magic spells.

Grandma hung the heavy mirror in her hallway; I don’t think she ever glanced in it herself.

Someone stuck an “I am a Packer Backer” sticker the lower right corner of the mirror and it stayed there for 50 years. Neither vinegar wash nor Grandma’s impressive elbow grease could get it off, though I’m not sure how hard anyone really tried.

Grandma packed up the mirror herself, wrapped it in old towels and placed it in the back of our van during a summer she spent strategically giving away her favorite things to each of her 11 grandchildren.

We carefully drove 14 hours home, mindful of the mirror and loathe both to offend my Grandma and to bring on seven years of bad luck. I hung it above the dresser in my bedroom, pleased with the Packer Back sticker.

I began tp glance in the mirror each morning as I popped my contact lenses in and combed my hair. Eventually I noticed a pleasing trend.

I looked good in my grandma’s mirror, hair tamed, collar pressed, shirt tucked, sharp. My reflected self started each day with a jaunty step.

Later, if I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in a different glass, I saw a sharper, less kind view — mascara splotched under a right eye brow, tea dripped on a white sweater, hair sticking up at an odd angle.

No mirror flattered like my Grandma’s mirror and I relied on its biased view.

Like my Grandma, the mirror isn’t fancy, just a big square of practical, unadorned glass. But also like my Grandma, the mirror reflects the best of me, a bit of magic conjured from determined loyalty and lasting love.

Here's my Grandma with my four kids. We loved visiting her in her green house on 20 Row in Colver, Pennsylvania.
Here’s my Grandma with my four kids. We loved visiting her in her green house on 20 Row in Colver, Pennsylvania.
The Enchanted Cottage, a wonderful old movie now out on DVD, explores similar themes of reflected love. After hearing me rave about this movie for years, my daughter Katherine got it for me for Christmas one year. I highly recommend you treat yourself to this movie for Valentine’s Day.
Mirror Mirror
Turns out it’s not that easy to take a picture of a mirror. Here it is though. Look closely and you’ll see the vintage I am a Packer Backer sticker in the lower right hand corner.

6 thoughts on “The Enchanted Mirror

  1. I just watched that movie a couple of days ago while home convalescing; very precious movie! Great choice for V Day.

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