Like so many, much of my youth was filled with notions that appearances mattered so much more than they really did.
I remember at age 13, a cute boy talking to me by our school lockers and I had one zit. My hand flew to it and I could feel my face redden and that was long before I was really aware I have almost no neck.
Many of the women in our family have almost no neck. If we gain so much as an ounce it is the first thing to go. Then we start to look like we have a head sitting on shoulders with no visible connection to one another whatsoever.
Like Mom’s was, we have no gracefully flowing jaw line that sleekly turns in under the chin to give us even the mere illusion of a long neck. Or a short one for that matter.
There are pros and cons to all things. Even this.
Let’s face it, if a guy won’t date you because you are neckless, he is a shallow swimmer you wouldn’t want anyway. Same for a guy who can’t see past a zit.
Not trying to make this another women’s issue but hell, why not?
One thing that seems to be rampant among men is their ability to demand what their own mirrors are sorely lacking. By mirrors, I don’t just mean old, wizened, paunchy, plumbers butt men demanding sexy dolly-girl women, they proliferate on dating sites everywhere… “no muffin top” they say, I can “pull” better – while looking like a ginormous Pillsbury Dough Boy themselves all while posing in sleazy, utterly nauseating crack-house resembling bathrooms or bedrooms. Holy Nutbars, but I digress…
What I also mean is people who have otherwise surfed the tide of life without even touching on the simple notion of reality. Until it squares up with them right in the face.
A long time guy friend once, in his mid-late forties himself at the time, said he would only date blonde, sweet, 25 and no kids. Lo and behold. The love of his life for nearly a decade is our age, has kids, is naturally brunette and okay, very, very sweet – she is a lovely woman and one thing we both share is a little extra “softness” in our curves. Another guy said he couldn’t date a woman because of the way she walked. It always stayed with me because I thought, if she had a limp from illness you would discount her, too. Another replied – after three months of coffees, lunches and dinners with me – to my question ‘don’t you even want to kiss me?”: I wouldn’t know if I’m sexually attracted to you until I see you with your clothes off. This is where it pays to be neckless. You realize that you have stuck nothing out, that nothing can be forked into you and you hit the road.
There is a grace in being neckless. You are less judgmental of others appearances, more forgiving of obvious physical flaws they have and saved from all those shallow swimmers in the swamp who put a premium on appearance and pay the price of dying old, alone and lonely anyway.
Neckless is just fine with me. And I don’t even care if I have twenty zits anymore.
Residing in reality is a very cool thing I have necklessly stumbled upon.
Besides, my mama was very, very cute right up to her heavenly ascent two years ago.
Being neckless, she never developed any hangdog drooping jowls requiring cosmetic punch ups (which she would never have done had she the money to do so). Nor did her eyes bag out paunchily because her skin was so good and complexion so healthy. Nor did she ever develop a bias against men for their appearance. In fact, she never placed a premium on appearance beyond cleanliness, nor did she place premiums on age, race, sexual orientation or socio-economic status.
A reader of voracious appetites, she regularly consumed books as the rest of us do food. Her self-education was enlightening for all of us who cared to note it.
We all shit the same way she said. Blunt, yes. She could be. This, inherited along with my necklessness are realities I have come to value as I age.
Necklessly stumbling along in this crazy little thing called life.
(c) JAM 5Jan2012
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