The Magnifying Mirror

As I mentioned, we moved to a new state. This means we also moved to a new house.

Our new (to us) house was last decorated in the 1980s when pink and light blue were the only paint colors available.

We’ve slowly been painting, but there are several rooms that remain untouched.

Like our bathroom. It’s pink. And I don’t mean retro, cool, 1950s save-the-pink-bathrooms pink. I mean 1980s-goose-curtains pink.

The bathroom also came with a swing out magnifying mirror that is mounted on the wall.

I have not seen a magnifying mirror since my wedding day.

I had just finished getting ready, veil stapled to my head and all, and I bent down to look in my aunt’s magnifying mirror. (Technically, my husband’s aunt. My aunt-in-law? Is that what people say? Sounds weird.) 

She yelled at me in fear.

She said, “If you look in there you’ll never be ready!” and also, “Never look in those mirrors before something important!”

I looked anyway. Everything looked fine. Just closer. I shrugged. I was ready. Wedding level ready.

Fast forward more than a decade to today…

I take a step closer to the magic mirror. I carefully pull it out from the wall.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

I look in, expecting to see that everything was still fine, just closer.

Instead, I see:

An alien invasion.

My skin is the surface of a post-apocalyptic planet.

There are canyons and riverbeds and volcanoes!

I see nose hair sticking out like the bristly hairs of a caterpillar.

Who is that old woman staring back at me and what has she done with my face?

My face has been abducted by aliens. What the hell? This means war.

I pick. I poke. I pluck. I prod. I pop. I extract. I scrape. I squeeze.

I do every single thing you are not supposed to do to your skin according to Teen Magazine, which I read when I was 12.

After 20 minutes, my skin looks amazing in the mirror! All clean!

So satisfying!

I walk away, convinced that I’ve won the battle.

Only to get a glimpse of myself in the regular mirror on the way out of the bathroom.




Thankfully, this wasn’t before anything important so I have plenty of time to let my skin heal. 

Yes, I know it’s bad for my skin. I’ve known since I was 12, remember? I won’t do it again, Teen Magazine. (I was much more of a Sassy sort of girl anyway.) 

If you find gross skin stuff (blackheads, pimples, etc.) very satisfying (83% of the population does!) check out Dr. Pimple Popper on YouTube. I won’t link to it because the other 17% of you will probably barf. Only the brave should look this up. This is the sort of weirdness I find myself watching at 1AM and asking myself, “How did I get here?”  If you do it, at least you can blame me. 


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50 Responses to The Magnifying Mirror

  1. Karen says:

    OMG I used to have a close up mirror that lit up and had different types of light options. Got rid of it when I turned 30! Lol

    • Sarah says:

      I had that when I was in high school! Weirdly I think it was a gift from “Santa” even though my Mom is totally anti beauty stuff….

  2. Mandy says:

    1) Sassy was the greatest teen magazine ever.
    2) My bathroom in my new house also has a horrifyingly pink bathroom. Pink sink and everything. There’s also a blue bathroom that has both a blue sink and a blue tub. I need to get better at home improvement because bathrooms cost too much to get redone professionally.
    3) Magnifying mirrors are tools of the devil, but I kind of wish I had one for plucking those middle aged chin hairs that pop up periodically.

    • Amanda says:

      Oh my gosh, yes! Evil chin hairs!! Where do they come from?! Why are they there one day and not another?! I don’t get it!!

    • Stephanie says:

      The chin hairs are ALL they are good for!

    • De says:

      The ultra LED flashlight on my cellphone is excellent for this. It lights them up and I can see them easily to pluck without having to magnify. Two thumbs up.

    • Char Silver says:

      Keep the odd colored fixtures and incorporate them into the decor. Paint is simple and cheap, replacing those fixtures gets expensive!
      Also, chin hairs are the worst part of mid-life thus far.

  3. Jess says:

    I laughed out loud at your nose caterpillar! I’ve always been hairy so I’m a fan of plucking. Those zoom mirrors are evil so I tell myself that nobody sees my face that close.

  4. Meghan says:

    I love dr pimple popper! The subreddit r/popping is a great place to hang out to satisfy this gross fascination.

  5. Carol says:

    I love Dr. Pimple Popper! Bahaha!!!

  6. Han says:

    “Who is that old woman staring back at me and what has she done with my face?” LMFAO! This hits so close to home.

  7. Kelsey says:

    I love Dr Pimple Popper, but I can’t do the cyst videos. That’s a little beyond the pale for me.

  8. Honest Mom says:

    This sounds like something I would do. Or have done. Maybe.

  9. Christy says:

    I looked up the Dr Pimple Popper thing. Why is it so satisfying to watch?

  10. Jen says:

    SASSY! That is all.

  11. Cherrill says:

    Sassy. 100%. I carefully clipped and folded the liner notes they printed for R.E.M’s Losing My Religion like my life depended on it. I was so cool.

    I love going to my mom’s for her magnifying mirror.

  12. Krissa says:

    I would LOVE to see you illustrate a post about Dr. Pimple Popper. I’d say only 10% of people would barf then.

  13. Kelly says:

    My mother’s house when I was growing up was all dusky pink and colonial blue!

  14. Melissa says:


    My poor teen eyebrows. My sister called me “inch” for quite a while.

    I’d always step back and think, “what have I done?!”

    Too late.

  15. Hayley says:

    Goose-curtains-pink! Hahaha! I totally know what colour that is.
    And I do that to my face ALL the time… and I don’t even have a magnifying mirror!

  16. Sam says:

    I can’t look in one of those or I’ll have a bad day. Like seriously. My skin is worse now than when I was a teen and then add on wrinkles. Getting old blows.

  17. Angie says:

    This cracked me up!! Thanks for the laugh! I’d love to send you a Rodan + Fields facial! I promise you’ll love your skin again 🙂

  18. Brenda says:

    At my last physical I found out that the PA was a fellow Dr. Pimple Popper fan, and I knew I had chosen the right clinic.

  19. Bricia says:

    My 8yo is digging his pointy sharp chin into my shoulder as he reads this hilarity!!!! Thanks for the laugh, he appreciates the gross humour. Thank you again 🙂

  20. Kenja says:

    In my 20s and early 30s, I had terrible blackheads on my nose and would spend a few minutes each night working on them. In my late thirties up till now (late 40s), I noticed them clearing up. I have had amazing skin!

    Until a month or so ago when I got a magnifying mirror. I didn’t have amazing skin, I had shitty eyesight and couldn’t see the blackheads, chin hairs and other assorted curses women of a “certain age” get!

    What the heck? This is so unfair!

    • Abbeygirl says:

      haha. awful! I get it, though. I recently took a pair of tweezers to my car because it seems like the car’s visor mirror is the only place where random chin hairs show up. I can’t see them in the bathroom mirror at all!

  21. christine Hilton says:

    I am 64.85 years old.I have to have a 12x to do a good eyeliner.You nailed my whole routine.One other hint though,never look down at the mirror or you will never be on top.wink wink

  22. Elena says:

    I love dr pimple popper. I’m not ashamed. And I have one of those mirrors too. It takes a while to get used to the horror.

  23. Trisha Lawrie says:

    Things get really scary when you’re looking into one of those horrifying zoom-in mirrors, and find yourself searching for your readers….

  24. Sanj says:

    After 60, you can’t see anything up close, even with 3+ reading glasses and a mag mirror. So pink bathroom, blue bathroom, (good enough, at least maybe you’re somewhere private, right?) you go to the fake-Braille method of feeling around for things to pluck off your face. When those sharp chin hairs are gone, your eyebrows feel like their bristles might match, and your nose doesn’t whistle or tickle as you breathe, you’re done and can officially declare yourself pretty. Not out loud, of course – nobody likes a braggart.

  25. Jessica says:

    Sassy was the best, followed closely by it’s big-girl successor, Jane.
    The best Dr. Pimple Poppers are the ones where someone has an enormous 20-yr-Old blackhead. Soooooo gross and satisfying!

    Thanks for the new posts!

  26. Sarah says:

    Just 17% huh? It grosses me out to no end. I can’t even look when it is on my newsfeed. Now I feel the need to poll my friends.

  27. Angje says:

    You are simply the best person I have ever known. Or known but never met. Or never met but feel like I know. Or wish I knew u but can’t because we live too far away. However if we knew each other you probably would have lots more to write about because as you can see I’m pretty silly mostly every day. Anyway thank u for making me chuckle quietly in the dark while my husband sleeps right next to me.

  28. Christine M says:

    OMG. Dyyyying laughing. Been there. Felt the horror. Love ya

  29. Trisha W. says:

    What they skipped the peach/mauve/blue theme in your 80s home? What were they thinking?

  30. Renee says:

    I didn’t know I have a moustache until I looked into one of those blasted things

  31. Natasha says:

    OMG, Dr Pimple Popper is mesmerising! How can something be magnetically fascinating and nauseating at the same time? If you think the esteemed zit doctor’s videos are hard to stomach yet impossible to look away from, you have to see the poor dogs of Gambia being divested of their mangoworm infestations. Or maybe not.

    (WARNING: strictly only for those with stomachs of steel).

  32. Jo says:

    No no no, back away from Dr Pimple Popper and check out Josefa Reina instead … sooo much better! (ok, or as well). I’ve a got a magnifying mirror and it was a terrible mistake (seems skin doesn’t heal so well from being messed with post 40). I can’t go back, though, now I know what’s there!

  33. Mary Jones says:

    The main (the one my sons use) bathroom in our house is the retro 50’s pink bathroom, with a pink tub, 2 pink sinks, pink tile floors and walls, and a pink toilet. When we moved in, the toilet seat needed to be replaced, was so happy to find a matching pink seat online!

  34. DANIELLE says:

    Hahahaaaa!!!! My sister and i were more Sassy readers as well!!!

  35. runner says:

    I just have to say that I was a Sassy girl too! Such a great outlet for a sheltered girl. I still think of things I learned in that magazine.

  36. Julie says:

    Oh man I just laughed myself out of breath at this! I am very much that girl that picks and can’t leave anything alone. Pretty much the bleeding, red, purple-marked face every day!

  37. Tameka Solomon says:

    I’m dying of laughter. Like rolling, kicking my feet, crying laughter! Just found my favorite blog!