I Feel Bad About My Neck

**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?


6 thoughts on “I Feel Bad About My Neck

  1. Believe me, my neck is a wreck! I used to watch the flesh wobble on the neck of one of my aunts, when she talked. Now it is my neck that has skin wobbling on it, and I have no idea what to do about it. I imagine my nieces are thinking the same thing about my neck that I used to think about my aunt. Growing old is not for the faint of heart!

  2. I looked down and saw, in addition to my mother’s “mid-section” (my butt is different in a bad way) her HANDS. They were also my GRANDMOTHER’S hands. I just need the liver spots. UGH. As Dolly said in “Steel Magnolia’s” “Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize its marchin’ across your face.”

    Honestly, though? Men are even more vain about it. It’s why so many men “of a certain age” don’t mind wearing a tie!

    Fun post!

  3. I agree with Hope, age spots are very discouraging to me – all over my hands and one obvious one on the side of my forehead (I guess that’s better than the middle of it…)

  4. Oh, where do I begin? 🙂
    I have long ago adjusted to most of the maladies you so eloquently described in a quite humorous way.
    My drooping right eye lid has now been mentioned by not one but two eye doctors, both of whom suggested that I should consider plastic surgery to repair the problem. So far I can still see fairly well, but I know the time is fast approaching that I will have to see the best eye plastic surgeon in Ft. Wayne. Dr. Basham gave me his name a couple of weeks ago. What’s next???

  5. Several years ago I read Nora Ephron’s book and thought it was very good. Gave it 4 Stars! I have endured old-looking hands since my 20s. A friend once said that the skin on my hands was too big. I laughed but realized she was right. Then the age spots started not only on my hands but lots of other places. Despite nightly cleaning and moisturizing, the wrinkles abound on my face, and I now have “old lady” arms where the skin jiggles from between my elbows and shoulders. And I do not have large arms! I hate the wrinkles above my knees which wobble when I walk!! So, Susan, you are not alone in discovering the aging process! But better it’s still better than the alternative!!!

  6. Remembering how full MY glass is I choose to say my youngest daughter once told me I have just about perfect lips! Add to that she’s told me she LOVES the way my butt looks in jeans! I’ve put both comments in my pipe and leaned back while blowing smoke rings in the air!

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