The Woman In The Mirror

by Jennifer Lizza
Originally Published: 

As I step out of the shower, I am startled by the person staring back at me. Usually the person staring back at me is only 3 feet tall and waving some type of food in my face as I drip-dry on the tile floor, but this is even scarier than that. The mirror is slightly steamy, but the reflection is not. Who the hell is that? Here I stand exactly three weeks away from my 39th birthday, and all I can think is who exactly is the asshole who said 39 is the new 29? If I had to guess it was probably a 79-year-old man. Yes. A man in his 70s for sure.

I remember 29. I remember it well, and I can tell you with certainty that at 29 my boobs did not look like they were trying to escape each other after a 12-hour argument. I did not have to move them to apply deodorant. Ever. I bravely decide to step closer to the mirror and wipe the steam away, and holy hell, why is there hair on my face? Why, oh why, do I need to pluck my damn face? I really wish I was a chicken. Yes, that’s right, a chicken. Don’t they remain bare once you pluck all the feathers? I’m pretty sure they do, but if I can remember I will Google that shit later. You know what, I better write that down on a Post-It so I don’t forget. Crap, I should really start keeping Post-Its in the bathroom. I will write it on toilet paper with my mascara.

Okay so one, two, three, four, five chin hairs. There’s a good chance I’ll wake up tomorrow looking like the Unabomber. In sickness and in health? In good times and in bad? How about when your wife wakes up with a full beard through no fault of her own? How about that one? Wait, one of these hairs is jet black which makes zero sense, but I will never remember to Google that so let’s just pluck those babies out and be done with it. What in the love is that? Grey hair? I swear I went to bed with my regular blonde hair, and now I have gray hair? I can’t.

And what is with these lines. Pulls face back, lets it go, pulls face back, lets it go. I’m Irish. I grew up slathering on sunscreen like I was a buttered roll. I was the palest kid this side of the Mississippi and here I am with lines on my face. It was probably all the smiling. Why was I so happy? What was with all the smiling? Bwhahahaha. Stop laughing, you’re only going to create more lines.

Oh, there you go, take a good look at your stomach and the laughing will stop. What in the world happened here? Oh right, 8 lbs. 6 oz. and 8 lbs. 10 oz. That answers that question. They were worth every inch.

Yes, they were worth it, but what kind of bathing suit am I going to sport this summer? Let’s see, my choices are one that barely covers my crotch or a dancing bear costume. Who are these bathing suit designers anyway? I bet they are all men in their 70s. Yes, definitely men in their 70s. I know they say if you feel comfortable in it you can still wear it, but these new bathing suits that the young girls are wearing—the ones that look like you have a permanent wedgie—are as far from comfortable as the equator is from the North Pole. Hmm, I wonder how far the equator is from the North Pole. Oh my God, who cares. Stay focused. I will just have to go online and research bathing suits for almost 40-year-old moms. I bet you the dancing bear costume comes up.

Ugh, I’m so tired. Why am I so tired?



“Are you almost done in there? We want a snack, and then we want you to help us with a 600-piece puzzle. Oh, and we kind of overflowed the sink in the kitchen by accident. The dog is lying in the water.”


Okay, well let’s get out there and do this. I do love my eyes. They’ve seen the birth of my babies and the beauty of this life. In 39 years, they have never missed a thing. So what if I don’t look 29. Thirty-nine is going to be great! It will be full of new and exciting things.

“Mommy, look, we drew a rainbow on the wall with our new markers.”

“Mommy can see that honey. I’m looking right at it with my eyes.” Ugh.

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