**This post contains no photos, in an effort to not make the aging author feel even worse about herself.
Several years ago, I read an excerpt in a magazine from a book called I Feel Bad About my Neck. It was a book about aging. I remember that title seeming like an odd choice to me. She feels bad about her … neck? What’s up with that? Isn’t a neck just kind of … there? I could understand someone feeling bad about their thighs, or stomach, or several other areas, but neck just seemed random.
A month or so ago I was happily scanning items at the self-checkout at Meijer. As the products beeped over the scanner, I noticed a shiny area just above the scanner. Upon closer inspection, I saw what appeared to be a strange creature in that area. It was fleshy, with strange lines and indentations. It somewhat resembled a peach-tinted bullfrog. And then, in a moment of horror, I realized that I was gazing into a mirror at … my neck!
Trust me, I never realized my neck looked that bad. I did indeed feel bad about my neck in that moment. Apparently, all those magazine articles warning us to moisturize our necks along with our faces had been telling the truth! Although, from the looks of things, my neck needed more than moisturizer. These days, I make a special effort not to look into the mirror over the scanner (why a grocery scanner needs a mirror in the first place is a mystery I have yet to solve). I have even positioned myself strategically to the side as I scan, to avoid being reflected.
Aging necks aren’t for the faint of heart. And they aren’t the only areas. Over the years, I’ve read magazine articles featuring exercises for exorcising (ha ha!) back fat. “Back fat?” I’d always think … fat butt, okay. Fat stomach, sure. But to develop a fat back seemed almost like a moral failing. Backs just weren’t fat without making an effort, were they? Well, mine wasn’t — until it was. On a recent cold evening, shortly after hopping into bad, I hugged myself to retain warmth. And I realized that between my fingers was … fat! On my back! The skin was squishy — how had this happened? My back never was this way before!
I could go on. After graduating from high school, a college class was offered locally during the summer. I can’t even remember what the class was. Sociology maybe? I took this class, and it’s a testament to the power of a compliment that the one and only thing I have retained from the entire course was the teacher discussing eyes. He mentioned “epicanthic folds” as something desirable in eyes (“most models have them”), and then scanned the classroom before stopping at my face. He pointed at me and said, “You have them.”
I can’t remember what they even are, but I recall later looking at my eyes closer-up than I ever had before and thinking, wow. I *do* have them. That’s pretty neat. But these days — I think my epicanthic folds are a little droopy. Sigh.
How about you? Any adventures in aging to share?