Life without mirrors would be quite exceptionally tough. In our utterly self-obsessed liberal culture, mirrors serve quite a dysfunctional purpose but they always come in handy for such a wide variety of extremely important things too. It would be so very hard for someone to be able to keep track of the finer points of his appearance. It’s kind of difficult for me, right now, to come up with specific examples of how a world free of mirrors would be a bad thing. That’s because we take their permanent presence so entirely for granted. Each of us daily shaves, brushes his teeth, combs his hair and engages in all sorts of other behavior, both mandatory and optional, with the aid of this seemingly insignificant device. People practice for plays, speeches and other functions in front of mirrors. Without rear view mirrors in his vehicle, anyone who tried to drive a significant distance would be provoked into fits of frustration. Mirrors are to the individual’s own presence what windows are to his environment. They serve as quite an entirely indispensable tool for thoughtful reflection. There would be at least one significant advantage to life without them. Besides all these concerns there would also be perhaps a major drop in narcissism. That would, of course, only be true with a shortage of mirrors. Moderation in all things is unavoidably necessary. In a world with no mirrors, legitimate self reflection would be unavailable. I should like hereby to recommend a major reduction in the number of mirrors available to each of us. Life without them would be scary.
“It’s such a bright sunny day, we could be having the time of our lives, but we’re stuck in some Wilkes Barre shopping center parking lot because you drove without your glasses!”, shrieked Sadie. Elmer cringed, feeling stupid.
They both paced restlessly throughout the parking lot of the Hub, waiting for help. She was trying so hard to be so patient and understanding but his absent mindedness drove her crazy. “I’ve never gotten into an accident with a fireman before,” he stammered. “There’s a first time for everything,” she said. “Try thinking straight for the first time.”
Over the years I’ve been known most certainly to have my share of inadvertent gaffes, from the time I heard Z.Z. Top’s “Two Step Boogie” as “Tube Steak Boogie” to the times I’ve answered the phone by saying “Telephone” instead of “Hello”, and the time I pronounced “NOmenclature” as “noMENclature.” Inappropriate behavior has always come quite naturally to me. To this very day my cousins from western New York remind me of the times I was visiting them, mostly during the 1980’s, and had all kinds of missteps involving their dog Muggsy, my polka dotted jammies, and all sorts of other horrendous missteps. My cousin Vinnie especially likes to talk about his visit to Lindenhurst during the late 1970’s when I sideswiped a school bus on the way to Robert Moses Beach. Those are just some of the highlights of my lopsided adventures. Please stay tuned for ever more yet to come.
The Fourth of July went so well this year. As always we ended up visiting my father’s relatives in Hilldale for a few days. The weather was perfect for anyone who enjoys the heat. Most of the kin showed up. Mary Anne and Steve, as well as Michael, Sam and Bridget, were here. Unfortunately, though, Erin wasn’t available. My mother still has lots of trouble with her cancer so she couldn’t go. Each of us took turns staying with her. I was especially happy to see Maelene, Joe and most of their family from North Tonawanda, and Vinnie from North Carolina, as well as Larry, Rose & their family from Massapequa. Anthony showed up from Brooklyn too. An inevitable reality of this occasion is the incessant reminiscing. Predictably we all got together & relived our past circumstances, especially the kin’s obnoxious references to all my supposedly bad driving. We also celebrated relevant birthdays and anniversaries. Rich, the Ronald’s son, got me an especially nice poster of Beatle Ringo Starr. Alas there was no softball game but I don’t play anyway. One night several of the cousins went to Friendly’s but I didn’t go. I was too tired. Unfortunately we didn’t go to Jitty Joe’s. Michael and I made sure we got our traditional cigars though. Music, religion and politics, and current events provided much conversation. I spent lots of time in the pool so I made sure I pot on lots of sun screen. The lay Carmelite meetings have been going well lately in Wilkes Barre, at the Little Flower Manor. So have Fr. McKernan’s men’s group meetings at Our Lady of Sorrows. Recently Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church at St. Joseph Marello Parish, on William Street in Pittston had their annual bizarre. I made sure I spent around an hour there each night. It was a very nice time. My mother still needs a lot of medical attention but we’re keeping track of it well. Aunt Lauren, Uncle Frankie and Fran come over fairly frequently and Mary Anne and family come in whenever they can.
Fr. Justin Belitz OFM is the founder of the Franciscan Hermitage and author of "Success: Full Living," "Success: Full Thinking," & "Success: Full Relating." His teachings incorporate spirituality, science, and art for personal growth and development.