I feel bad about my neck.
Nora Ephron published a book with this title. I have to admit, I haven’t read it yet, but now I have more reasons than ever to read Ms. Ephron’s book, other than thinking “When Harry Met Sally” is one of the best movies ever (I’m sorry “Runaway Bride,” I’m really happy for you, and I’ma let you finish, but “Harry Met Sally” is the greatest romcom of ALL TIME! OF ALL TIME!).
Ephron is a talented, successful, hilarious writer. But she’s also a woman. I watched some interviews with her while she was doing the press tour for her book. She explained that while women can have all manner of plastic surgery, injections, and peels on their faces, there isn’t a lot you can do for the neck. Like the backs of your hands, your neck will tell your real age, no matter what your taut, plumped, lineless face says.
I’m going to be 39 this month. Ephron was in her sixties when she wrote she felt bad about her neck. So, you can imagine my concern. The front of my neck has taken on a wrinkly, tissue-paper-like texture. The irony is, my FACE actually looks pretty good. Sure, I have a trace of the “elevens” between my brows. Unlike Kate Winslet, I will admit that I’ve tried Botox and loved it. Love is actually not a strong enough word.
But it costs hundreds of dollars every four months, and I got pregnant and then there was the breastfeeding, and now I’m pregnant again, so Botox is hardly on the menu anytime soon. It made me look refreshed, like I’d had a great night’s sleep. I could move my forehead easily (I only had one injection in one spot, as opposed to “The Full Kidman”), but I couldn’t easily knit my brows together, deepening the lines there.
I’m at peace with my elevens for now. It’s my neck that has me worried. You should know that I’m always fixating on some particular aspect of my appearance that is “new” and troubles me. Many years ago, it was my crooked teeth. Then I worried incessently about a receding gumline on a few of my teeth. Next followed a fixation on the pores on either side of my nose, and so on, and so forth.
Maybe some of you are old enough to remember the David E. Kelly series “Ally McBeal.” There was a character on the show who was nicknamed “Fish.” He had an obsession with “wattles.” He would do this thing where he would brush his finger up against the loose skin of a woman’s neck and become ecstatic with pleasure. He dated a much older woman because he was obsessed with her waddle. Sometimes, when I look in the mirror, I see a neck only Fish could love.
I hold out hope, however, that in time I will either see it improve through weight loss and creams, and there’s always scarves and good haircuts. Or, like my crooked teeth and receding gumline, I will cease to think about it.
Probably because I will have moved on to obsessing about the unpigmented mole on my chin.