Annie Soo set her cup of decaf cappuccino and her napkin wrapped chocolate fudge brownie on Charlie Swanson’s table. Muriel Long grabbed the chair on the other side of Charlie, plonked her cup of dark roasted coffee down and replied to Annie’s earlier question.
“I’ve never heard of “fat” mirrors—have you Charlie?”
“Are you talking about mirrors that are thicker than regular mirrors?” was the puzzled answer.
“No Charlie,” Annie answered. “I’m talking about mirrors in dressing rooms that make you look fatter. Jeff just laughs when I tell him this, but what do you expect when you’re talking to someone who buys clothes every decade or so.”
“To be honest, I haven’t bought anything in quite some time, but I’ve never heard of fat mirrors.” Charlie tried to supress his grin at the sudden vision of numerous ladies expressing horror as they looked at themselves in these “fat” mirrors.
“What fat mirrors?” demanded Violet Whitfield as she brought her cafe au lait to the table. “I swear they have them at ‘Petra’s Boutique’, since anything I tried on definitely made me look fatter.” Ed Barnes ambled over to set his cup of mocha latte and cherry danish on the table, snagging the chair beside Violet.
“Ladies, Ladies,” he laughed. “If everyone dropped their pastries and passed them over, you wouldn’t have to look into any more fat mirrors.”
“Okay, now I get it,” exclaimed Charlie. “This is one of those female topics, right?”
“We may as well get another table, Charlie. Once these ladies get a buzz in their brownies, it’s a lost cause to grab a more serious topic of discussion. For myself, I’ve never encountered a fat mirror and I’ll be 67 in another two months.”
“Wait, here comes Walter. Let’s hear what he has to say about fat mirrors.”
Charlie, Ed, Violet and Annie took sips of their coffees and bites of their various pastries, watching Walter Young settle in his chair, sip his cappuccino and take a satisfying bite of his pecan tart. “What’s up? Want a bite of my tart?” he asked with a puzzled frown. “I could feel your eyes and waves of tension throwing themselves at me across the room.”
There was a collective rolling of eyes around the Moka-House table as the coffee mates looked at their wannabe writer.
“What’s your opinion of fat mirrors in dressing rooms, Walter?” challenged Annie.
“Umm-mm, is this a trick question?” Walter took a cautious sip of his cappuccino. “I’ve never heard of fat mirrors.”
“This is one of those ladies’ pet peeves, Walter. Charlie and I were about to move to the next table over so the ladies can bash away at fat mirrors that exist only to drive women crazy.”
“Hey, not so fast—I’m a writer who’s always looking for a good topic and this one may be a ‘winner’, especially if it attracts the female readers,” was the quick response. “So Ladies, what are your opinions on fat mirrors. Do they truly exist? Or is this another ‘urban legend’ voiced by women who won’t admit they are slightly overweight and that this excess is magnified by a mirror.”
“I must admit Walter’s logic is a possibility. We all know that cameras can add pounds, why not mirrors?” Violet thoughtfully remarked.
“See!” Annie triumphantly crowed. “Fat mirrors do exist regardless of what men think.”
“Too bad Peter isn’t here. He has such a geeky logic about most things,” Violet murmured.
“I’m pretty sure if you ladies passed your desserts over, I can save you all from the agonies of fat mirrors,” Walter commented hopefully. Walter was skinny as a beanpole and ever since the Moka-House friends congregated daily, he had the enviable metabolism that burned off his calories and sugar intake as fast as he ingested them. Annie and Violet looked at each other and then at Walter.
“What?” he asked. “Are you seriously going to pass over your desserts? There’s only a bite left in each and I usually get them without any bites in them at all.” He paused and added, “It’s like getting a chocolate with a huge piece missing.”
“Walter, come with Annie and me to some clothing stores and check out the mirrors in the dressing rooms. Tell us if they make you look fatter.” Walter looked at Violet with horror. “I can’t go into a ladies’ dressing room unless it’s with my wife.”
“We’ll pick an unisex store so it’ll be okay.”
“Or, you can go in as Violet’s boyfriend,” Ed suggested helpfully. “You know, the younger man/older woman? What do they call these women—oh yes, ‘cougars’. . . .” Violet’s mouth curved into the beginnings of a grin at the thought.
“Honestly Walter, all you have to do is try on something and check in the mirror. Or, come in when I have something on and tell me if the mirror makes me look fat.” Violet looked at Annie and getting her nod added, “We’ll buy you dessert for a week if you do this for us.” Annie added, “Consider it research for your article on fat mirrors.”
Walter looked thoughtful, gazed around thetable and reluctantly nodded.
(to be continued)