Tuesday 15 February 2011

I feel bad about my neck*

I'll let Nora Ephron explain.

I feel bad about my neck. Truly I do. If you saw my neck, 
you might feel bad about it too,
but you'd probably be too polite to let on.
If I said something to you on the subject -
something like 'I absolutely cannot stand my neck' -
you'd undoubtedly respond by saying something nice like,
'I don't know what you're talking about.'
You'd be lying of course, but I forgive you...
My experience is that 'I don't know what you're talking about'
is code for 'I see what you mean, but if you think
you're going to trap me into engaging on the subject,
you're crazy.'

Sometimes I go out to lunch with my girlfriends ... 
and I look around the table
and realize we're all wearing turtleneck sweaters.
Sometimes, instead, we're all wearing scarves,
like Katherine Hepburn in 'On Golden Pond'...
It's sort of funny and it's sort of sad,
because we're not neurotic about our age -
none of us lies about how old she is, for instance,
and none of us dresses in a way that's inappropriate for our years.
We all look good for our age.
Except for our necks.
Oh, the necks.
There are chicken necks. 
There are turkey gobbler necks.
There are elephant necks. 
There are necks with wattles
and necks with creases that are on the verge of becoming wattles.
There are scrawny necks and fat necks,
loose necks, crepey necks, banded necks,
wrinkled necks, stringy necks, saggy necks,
flabby necks, mottled necks.
There are necks that are an amazing combination 
of all of the above.
According to my dermatologist, 
the neck starts to go at forty-three
and that's that.

I often do what so many women of my age do
when stuck in front of a mirror:
I gently pull the skin of my neck back
and stare wistfully at a younger version of myself...

One of my biggest regrets...
is that I didn't spend my youth staring lovingly at my neck.
It never crossed my mind to be grateful for it.

*I Feel Bad about my Neck 
and other thoughts on being a woman
by Nora Ephron.

With thanks to Belinda
who introduced me to this book.


  1. Lord , I haven't got time to mourn my neck .... I'm to busy trying to ignore the rest of me .

  2. Unusual and amusing poem, I like your blog, its a good mix of stuff so I shall follow your adventures.
    Regards, James

  3. I turned 44 today. I am going to find a mirror before it is too late. Now.

    (Have discovered your blog recently, via Quince Tree, I think; and I'm enjoying it very much. Thank you!)

  4. Too true, I don't have my turtleneck on today so I'll have to avoid mirrors and windows.

  5. Look at you!
    (I feel bad about my neck, too.)

  6. Lucille! How lovely to have a credit on your blog! We've just been on a road trip so I've only just caught up with your blog. I'm really chuffed.