Perhaps in this world, there can be all sorts of interpretations about vanity. However, I have come to realize that the vain people I have met are but a shell of themselves. We all know that a person will always check to see that they look well-groomed and nicely made-up before they leave the house. Afterward, they may see their own image several more times during the day. Still, they know that they present themselves well among other people. Of course, these are people who are not vain. Now, as I have come to know and understand it, vain people, look in the mirror and see themselves as the most gorgeous or handsome sight they have ever seen. It is a sight that must continue to be perfection itself throughout the day.
Mirrors Reflect the Best Image
Therefore vain people will always find the time to look into a mirror wherever they are and whenever they can. The vain people that I have met in my life have been great to look at but inferior conversational partners. Most of them were shallow, insincere, and most aloof, thinking only of themselves. That perfection reflected in the mirror that was beyond compare. I had made it all the way to high school, making wonderful friends along the way before I met anyone who was what others could call vain. There was a boy who was just a heartfelt and great friend. He was forever making my friends, and I laugh, and it was just a great feeling being around him. One day he was so thrilled, telling me that he had met the girl of his dreams, and he wanted me to meet her to see what I thought about her. He admired me and was comfortable around all my friends because we were open and honest and just plain liked to have fun. Who doesn’t in high school?
Well, we hadn’t gotten around to deciding on a meeting yet when I happened upon them suddenly. This was the 1970s, and there were still those wonderful places where you could eat cheap, and the food was plentiful. It was a favorite place to meet friends called Hinch’s, an old-fashioned luncheonette and soda fountain. I had finished some shopping and went to have lunch. There my friend Joey sat with a girl who I can only say looked like she had just stepped out of a fashion magazine. She impressed me and shocked me so much I’ve forgotten her name. Anyway, Joey asked me to join them for lunch. Now I was dressed in my most comfortable jeans and a T-shirt, and as I sat down, you’d think I was covered from head to toe with mud as she stared at me.
We began talking, and after a short ten minutes, I realized I was in the presence of a person who was so vain it wasn’t funny. This luncheonette had fantastic deep booths and walls which were mirrored and framed in dark oak. Even as I was asking her something, she was looking into her own reflected mirror image admiring what she was seeing. Her words practically made no sense, and I came to the conclusion that I was in the presence of vanity and brainlessness. It was then and there that I decided that whatever else I became in life vain would never be among the choices. I was never so glad to finish lunch and get out of there and away from them. When I got to speak to Joey alone at school, I asked him why? Why her? Joey said that he just couldn’t get enough of her beauty, and for now, it was enough for him. Go figure. They did eventually break up, and she found her equal. Both vain and perfect mirror images of each other but empty shells.
I want to share with you two interesting stories, all having to do with vanity and preferring one’s own mirror image to anything else.
One is about a farm boy whose family moved to the city but lived in the suburbs in an upscale area.
James — His Own Best Friend.
Then there is that same girl I already told you about. Oh, yes, I found out what happened to her after high school.
Sally — Unchangeable Vanity.
None of the actual names have been used.
James — His Own Best Friend
James was a typical farm boy when he was five. A chubby rosy-cheeked little boy who enjoyed running about with his friends in country fields. When he was eight, he was eager to learn from his father how to help out on the farm. The farm had been passed down from generation to generation, and James would be next. However, times became tough, and James’s father realized that the farm would have to be sold, and they would have to move to the city. He just couldn’t make ends meet anymore. So the August that James turned 13, he saw the family farm for the last time, and they all drove to the city. His father had gotten a job in an industrial park, so they were lucky to be able to settle in the suburbs.
On his first day of school, James was eager to meet everyone and make friends. He discovered that clean jeans and flannel shirts just didn’t make it at his school. Wanting to fit in, James went straight from school to his father and explained how things were. His father agreed that James should get some new clothes, and then James had his mom drive him to the mall. It was his first time in a mall, and he was astounded by what he saw. Remembering what the other boys had been wearing and choose clothes accordingly when he looked in the mirror, even his mother was amazed. The country boy was gone, and a cool looking young man stood in his place. When James had done feasting, his eyes vanity took over, and before they left the mall, he bought a pocket mirror just right for his hip pocket and big enough to see his face well.
Ever since that time, other high school boys admired and envied him, and all the girls simply sighed. That pocket mirror flashed out and back into his pocket so many times, James might as well have held it in his hand. None of his old country friends would recognize him anymore as James had become very conscious of his own image and thought the world of himself. When winter arrived, James bought his first leather jacket and, on a Saturday, headed for the pizza place where all the high schoolers gathered. He was ready to get some admiration. Just before he entered the pizza place, he whipped out his trusty pocket mirror and took one last, good look at his very best friend, his mirror image.
Sally — Unchangeable Vanity
Sally had finished junior college and gotten herself the most ideal job. She was a receptionist at a large accounting firm. When you entered the lobby of the building, there was lovely Sally at a large, shiny reception desk. Would you like to know what the best part was? Behind Sally was a large wall that was done up with mirrored tiles. Sally was in heaven. This was where Tim found her when he came for a job interview. She astounded him with her beauty. After he had finished his meeting and had been offered the job on the spot, Tim decided to ask Sally out. Sally saw that Tim was perfection himself in a three-piece suit and calculating fast; she knew they’d look great together, so she agreed to go out to dinner. That night Tim was so taken with Sally that he hardly noticed anything else nor heard what she had to say. Sally was soaking up the admiring glances from other diners.
After two weeks, Tim started to come down from his cloud and began to realize that Sally was just that a showpiece sort of like a mannequin that smiled, and not a hair was out of place, but that was it. Only a pretty vain package with nothing inside of it. However, Tim had hopes of rehabilitating Sally. So after they had dated for just one month, Tim asked Sally to marry him. He figured once they settled down, Sally would forget all this vain business. This constant glancing at mirrors because she would know that he loved her and would always do so. When Tim proposed he did it out of love when Sally accepted, she did it because he complimented her so well. So they were married in the presence of a handful of their accounting firm’s colleagues.
One wonders why Tim didn’t take into notice the fact that Sally had no friends. He had made plans to spend the night in a luxury hotel and take his new bride to Hawaii.
A few days of romping on a sandy beach ought to cure her. Their wedding night wasn’t anything to write home about, but Tim was drunk from happiness and champagne. The following morning when he awoke, his hair was disheveled, his eyes misty with love and his face unshaven. He turned about to look at his bride and saw an Egyptian mummy. She lay on her back, her hair done up to perfection, and hair sprayed. Her make-up was carefully applied. As he gazed upon her, Sally opened up her eyes. Expecting a warm smile instead, Tim got a scream. Then an angry torrent of words informing him that he should have presented himself as perfectly as she presented herself. Needless to say, this marriage was quickly dissolved. It took a while for Tim to pull himself together.
And Sally? No problem, she went right back to her reception desk. She gazed lovingly at the beautiful mirror image she represented in the tiles behind her desk.