Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, mirror . . . who asked you, anyway?

I guess I did, since I’m the one who sat down in front of the mirror. I was getting my hair styled. I’m sure most of my friends, family and co-workers would be astonished to find out that I actually get my hair styled instead of just chopped. By the time I get back to the office from the salon, my hair has reverted to its wild state. Mostly it looks like a mass of unfurled worsted wool yarn. It’s the humidity. Really.

There are a few days in the year, during the middle of winter when the humidity is low, that my hair doesn’t frizz up. I’d like to consider the unfrizzed version as normal, but that’s not the case. Normal = frizz, frizz = normal, if I remember my algebra correctly.

Back to getting my hair done. Irene washes my hair. It’s one of my favorite things, to have someone else take care of me, even a little part of me for just a few moments. I’m practically purring by the time she takes me back to her station. She sits me down, puts the black cape on me, takes off the towel and turns me around to face the mirror.

Yikes! Who do I see looking back at me? Professor Severus Snape, from the Harry Potter movies.

My eyes widen in shock. My breathing becomes shallow. I lean forward, peering to the left and to the right. My hair is dark (but only while wet, the gray is only a few hairdryer moments away) and parted in the middle. Dark circles pool under my eyes. My mouth is downturned, as I if had eaten an earwax-flavored Bertie’s Botts jelly bean.

Irene seems not to notice or else is too professional to comment. As she trims my hair, I try to convince myself that this likeness to Snape is an anomaly. How did this happen, and when? I can’t conjure up a reason to explain it away.

In desperation, I tell myself that I don’t look exactly like Professor Snape, but maybe like his sister, with a very strong family resemblance. (Please let it be his younger sister.) Anyone seeing the two of us in the same room would conclude that we are siblings. This makes me very unhappy. My mouth turns down even more. Stop that, I order myself! Stop looking like Snape!

The resemblance lessens as Irene finishes drying my hair and the gray reappears. Who would have thought that I’d ever be happy to see that gray? Irene removes the cape and my bright pink blouse shows up. I put on my earrings. I look much more like myself now and much less like Snape. Still, I can’t shake that image from the mirror or my mind.

I hope that Alan Rickman, the actor who plays Severus Snape, doesn’t fall ill during the filming of the any of the remaining movies. I’d hate to have to try to replace him. Even though I look just like Professor Snape, I’m not sure I could pull off that accent.

I also have to be careful what I ask for. Next time I get my hair styled, I might end up looking like Professor Minerva McGonagall, and not when she was young and in her prime. However, I think she looks good in green velvet and hats. So maybe looking like Minerva wouldn’t be so bad after all?


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