Reflections on Reflections

My neck doesn’t match my face. For some unknown reason, the skin on my face looks smooth and fresh while my neck looks wrinkly and tired. Recently, the receptionist at my car service place commented on how good my skin looked. Then she looked at my neck and changed the subject.

Back when it didn’t matter to me, I heard a man say you can always tell a woman’s age by looking at her neck. So, if a woman’s face looks fifty-five and her neck looks seventy-five how old is she? Yup, you guessed it.

Anyway, the point is, I have never liked my neck. It’s the only thing I inherited from my mother that I don’t like. It used to be called a dowager’s neck; now it’s called a turkey neck. Of those, I think I’d rather be a dowager. Whenever I brush my teeth and look in the mirror, though, that’s all I see. I don’t see my comparatively youthful face. I see my eighty-five-year-old neck.

I’ve thought about learning to drape a scarf stylishly around my throat. In fact, I’ve tried it several times, but I just can’t seem to get it right. I have some lovely scarves, but not the patience to spend much time getting dressed. When I’m out in public I often think “Oh, I could have worn a scarf (or necklace, or earrings, or bracelet) today,” but by then it’s always too late.

If I’m not going to cover up my ninety-five-year-old dowager turkey neck, I need to get rid of it some other way. The online reviews of neck lifts are iffy about it, but then again, online reviews about everything are iffy. I know it’s a terrible place to go for medical advice, but that’s what I do. I think about a physical condition and before I ask the doctor, I read about the experiences of complete strangers on the Internet. It’s like getting advice from friends except they are not friends and the advice does not have my best interests at heart. The reviews on the surgeons’ websites are always glowing with praise, and the reviews on consumers’ websites are filled with horror stories. So, I figure the average experience lies somewhere in between.

I’m still on the fence about all this. They have made the procedure expensive enough to deter all but the wealthiest and/or most narcissistic of us, but if I come into some extra cash—a lot of extra cash, actually—I might go for the surgery. It may be self-indulgent, but it’s either that or stop looking in mirrors.

Now, there’s an idea. I wonder what people thought of their appearance before we had mirrors. They must have been able to brush their teeth and put on scarves without thinking about themselves at all. What a concept!


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