Saturday, November 25, 2017

Paunch And Judy

Everything was fascinating and new when I was a little kid, and old-lady necks were no exception. They had variety. They wobbled. You couldn't not look. I tried to duplicate that movement on my own self by vigorously wagging my head from side to side, and nothing happened. That kind of activity would win you a trip to the neurologist these days, but my parents just had a glance and went back behind the newspaper, happy that I was occupied quietly. We kids were assured that old ladies had been young once, but that wasn't plausible. Old Lady Neck was just one of those puzzlements.  It wasn't natural; it was like an installation.

Now I know it's the dead giveaway for age. It's the first thing to go. The rest of the face has all those bones in it that can keep a secret for a while but there's nothing much instilling discipline in the neck. You've got that little string of knobby bones hooking up to the skull, but that's way in the back. The back of your neck usually looks just fine. So when the collagen takes a hike, your neck skin has all the integrity of a campaign promise. There might be a way of hitching it all back up again, but it would involve voluntarily presenting your neck to someone with a knife. I guess there are people who will sign up for that, but there's no real point as long as beer is still so affordable.

I've complained about my neck before, of course. I've been watching this particular story unwind for twenty years and it has had its startling plot twists, but I can only feel bad about things for so long. That initial pudding phase seems downright quaint now. And I can admit that the pleating development supplied needed tension. There was that adorable subplot wherein the main character vowed never to point her chin downward when someone else was around, but that never got traction. Now we're entering a new chapter. My neck has developed factions.

Factions. It's not all of a piece anymore. There are tuck areas and crease areas and a separate location where a sinkhole is beginning to emerge, and now I see an interesting pair of knobs at the base of the chin that sort of look like suitcase handles when I do a Grumpy Cat face, so that my entire frown appears to be holding up a duffle. Or, in a different light, it looks like stage rigging. The chin line is thus responsible for operating the set of curtains that billow and swing below. I don't know exactly what's coming next, but God, I hope it's going to be a puppet show.

43 comments:

  1. Neck and hands are always a give-away when it comes to age, because they can't be worked on to the extent required to fake youth. so when Paul exposes his naiveté by commenting on how young the television "newscaster" looks, I tell him to check out the neck. I can't have him go around believing those creatures are in any way "natural".

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    1. On the other hand, some of them newscasters appear to be fourteen years old, and every bit as wise as you'd expect.

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  2. The neck is why knitters knit so many scarves. Of all weights for all seasons.

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    1. I have a lot of scarves and no knack for tying them. You're right. I need to learn that right now.

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  3. Thank you so much. I shared this blog with my seventy some years old wife. So we both carefully examined her neck and found she was free of this horrible affliction.....:)

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  4. If by some chance, Murr, you have missed this book, I think you might love it. https://smile.amazon.com/Feel-Bad-About-My-Neck/dp/0307276821/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1511632413&sr=1-1&keywords=Nora+ephron

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    1. I remember when that came out but I haven't read it. She was coming to town on a book tour and the general attitude around here was "jeez, lady, get over yourself." Probably not fair but we ARE a bunch of hippies here.

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    2. Pretty much everything by Nora Ephron is worth reading. Another talented voice taken too soon.

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    3. I'll try to get around to it right after I finish the three huge tomes I bought about Capitalism.

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  5. Perhaps all is not lost. In my real estate practice, I have found that when I want to emphasize the gravity of a situation, it is very effective to give my dewlap a little back-and-forth shake when pronouncing the bad news. Well, at least it gets the millenial buyers to lift up their eyes from their pink cell phones for a second, and perhaps try to hear what I'm telling them...

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    1. A-ha! The wobbleneck as a mark of elder wisdom!

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  6. I have laughter lines that, apparently, want to emulate the Grand Canyon...

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    1. Ooo, I just visualized your eyelash mites shooting the rapids!

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  7. Welcome to oldladydom--I assume I'll be there soon (I'm 83)!!

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    1. While we've got you on the phone--explain fishducky?

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  8. There is a MASH episode where a visiting plastic surgeon tells Margaret (Hot Lips) that, "You have the jowels of a Goddess!" Wonder how those age? I think that, if eating a live cockroach every day would restore my collagen, I might go for it. But the stuff with knives and stitches? No thanks.

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  9. As always you are hilarious and spot in. I was happy with my neck until about 5 years ago, but now it is betraying me. And I can't stand wearing turtlenecks, unfortunately.

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    1. Oh yes, we do your editing for you in our heads, here. I think maybe we should approach this a different way. Accessorize with sequins, perhaps. If you can't beat it, bedazzle it.

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  11. All of those creased wobbly bits are why film stars wear scarves and chokers even when the weather dictates shorts and tank tops. "Can't be seen to be getting old, dear. That (movie)parts will just dry up and we'll be out of work."
    I never think about my neck until I see it in the mirror and realise it's become more of my face than it used to be.

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    1. I think of it as having seceded from the union.

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  12. Yeah!! What I want to know is, just when my neck starts to go south, why do I find turtlenecks, which I used to wear all the time, so incredibly annoying? I literally take a scissors to 'em, cut a nice wide vee. Gotta let the wattles breathe. I love you. And I am going to say that my 18 and 21 year old kids can make their necks do this, too. It may be a tad less convincing, but you are taking self-deprecating to new widths. xoxox you're beautiful! JZ

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    1. Oh no! Does that not give you the opportunity to say "If you keep doing that, your face will stay that way!"

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  13. Judging by how much I cackled over this post (and several of the comments), you are doing us as much good as any plastic surgeon, O Funny One.

    And when I see public figures with smooth faces I always sneak a peak at their necks. Dead giveaway.

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    1. PEEK, DAMMIT, PEEK . . . NOT PEAK

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    2. As I just told Mimi, we edit you in our heads here! No need to fret.

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  14. Unfortunately, just as our necks start to go, scarves and turtlenecks are way too heat inducing! I can't think how Katherine Hepburn managed to wear all those turtlenecks.

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  15. My oldest complains that the double chin that so many of our clan have is a heredity issue. She's wrong. I looked in the mirror in 1991 and saw no sign of whatever they are.

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    1. And now the short-vision is impaired. Which is good.

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  16. I'll just grow my beard a bit longer as age requires. It must work because no one knows how old Santa is. Except maybe Mrs. Clause.

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    1. There must be something on Santa that droops.

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  17. I'd grow a beard but somehow, I don't think that would work. BTW "when the collagen takes a hike, your neck skin has all the integrity of a campaign promise" made me howl with laughter. I'm going to insert "integrity of a campaign promise" into every conversation.

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  18. My first thought was Nora Ephron's book. I see that another commenter has mentioned it. It is MUCH shorter and far more amusing than the books about capitalism. (I say that with confidence though I have no idea what your three books are.)

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    1. Well-placed confidence. The books I'm reading are scary as hell.

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  19. Necks are traitors!
    And I also chortled at "the integrity of a campaign promise."

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    1. Let's think of them properly. They're in the vanguard of maturity. Or dotage. Same thing.

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