Fernando Pagés Ruiz | May 05, 2018

Photos // Kitchens & Baths, Woodworking

Sometimes Mirrors Make Me Shutter


and sometimes I'm open to looking


My father hated mirrors and he removed them in his house except for the little one he used for shaving, which hung over his bedroom sink. I didn’t understand my father’s relationship with mirrors until many decades later, as I approached and overtook my 60th birthday.

Nowadays, I share his feelings on reflection.

Unless confronted by that grim reflection, I still feel no different than I did 20, or even 40 years ago. That is until I walk into a bathroom somewhere and find that same old man staring at me from the mirror, a graying reminder that less lies ahead than behind.

So, I was esthetic when I walked into the bathroom at a ceviche shop in downtown Guayaquil yesterday and discovered the solution to the riddle of aging. Shutters!

The vanity mirror had a pair of shutters installed as precisely as any respectable window. One could shut these most the time, to avoid the truth, opening them a crack only to peak at that “Picture of Dorian Grey” for a quick shave and comb-over.

One day, you’ll understand.


— Fernando Pagés Ruiz is ProTradeCraft's Latin America Editor. He is currently building a business in Ecuador and a house in Mexico. Formerly, he was a builder in the Great Plains and mountain states. He is the author of Building an Affordable House and Affordable Remodel (Taunton Press).




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