Lately my mirror has been showing me too much neck. I try to check my hair, but neck is all I see. I begin to put on lipstick, but my neck rises up before me and obliterates the view.
In desperation, I turn to my closet. Take out a turtleneck sweater, slip it on. Now it looks as though I’ve been doing those exercises schoolboys do to strengthen their, yes, necks for football and wrestling. Even a black turtleneck has this effect. All that’s missing are shoulder pads.
I take off the sweater, pull down a long scarf and start winding. And winding. When I finish enveloping the neck, I keep going, wrap it around my head, like Audrey Hepburn in that movie with Albert Finney.
I do not look like Audrey Hepburn, though. (See wrestling effect above.)
I unwind the scarf.
I reach up and grip my neck with one hand from behind, pulling gently, Miraculous! The real me is restored, but my arm quickly cramps. I remember reading that Jacqueline de Ribes used to go to parties with a special theatre tape, anchoring her chin in its girlhood location.
Where do I find theatre tape? Even though my hair is too short for that solution, perhaps I would rather people see tape than my…I hate even to say the word…neck.
Am I the only one who admires a woman in the public eye for the condition of her neck every bit as much as her intellect?
Nora Ephron has written a funny book about getting older in which she says the following: “You have to cut down a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn’t have to if it had a neck.” For some reason I find the thought of a tree with a neck hilarious.
Or clams…except that ugly thing that sticks out is called a foot, isn’t it?
The truth of the matter is that I really don’t have a neck any more. What I have is my mother’s neck…