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The One-Sided Mirror

August 23, 2011

This past Saturday marked the first one since the middle of May that my wife and I have not had to take a trip out of town. By all accounts, since this Saturday aforementioned, we had spent exactly two Friday nights in Philadelphia over a span of roughly 13 weeks and zero Saturdays. So instead of running around like crazy, we decided to take it easy and enjoy our time in the city together.

Saturday morning, I surprised my wife by taking her out to brunch at the Continental – a Steven Starr restaurant located on 18th and Chestnut Street. As always, we had a wonderful time eating and talking and having a “breakfast drink” (or two). All of Steven Starr’s restaurants are a bit funky to me (think retro if that can even be used to describe something in this day and age) but the food is always excellent and the drinks are spot on.

Since we wanted to check out the farmers market at Rittenhouse Square after brunch, I thought it would be a good idea to use the restroom before we headed out. You have to take a long flight of stairs down into the basement to get there, and on my way in to the restroom I completely missed it. I was more preoccupied with the weird balled chains hanging in front of the urinals that make that annoying sound of rattling chains the whole time you are urinating, and then make it again while you are washing your hands.

I was washing my hands and making funny faces in the mirror, checking to see if had a loose boogie in my nose or something stuck in my teeth. I was simply trying to make sure I looked my best for my wife (best is a relative word). But on my way out, I noticed a giant glass window on both the men and women’s restroom walls. And it was in the exact same place as the mirror!

What purpose could this possibly serve? Who wants to watch someone go to the bathroom, or even worse, pick at his or her nose for a number of minutes, or play with his or her hair, or put on makeup, or anything else that is supposed to be private? Needless to say, I am certainly glad there was no one there when I exited the bathroom; whether someone was there prior to my exit, I will never know. And all because of the one-sided mirror that, in my opinion, would be better served the other way around.

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