Snippets from books

Sometimes I go out to lunch with my girlfriends–I got that far into the sentence and caught myself.  I suppose I mean my women friends.  We are no longer girls and have not been girls for forty years.  Anyway, sometimes we go out to lunch and I look around the table and realize we’re all wearing turtleneck sweaters.  Sometimes, instead, we’re all wearing scarves, like Katharine Hepburn in On Golden Pond.  Sometimes we’re all wearing mandarin collars and look like a white ladies’ version of the Joy Luck Club .  It’s sort of funny and its sort of sad, because we’re not neurotic about age–none of us lies about how old she is, for instance, and none of us dresses in a way that’s inappropriate for our years.  We all look good for our age.  Except for our necks.

Oh, the necks.  There are chicken necks.  There are turkey gobbler necks.  There are elephant necks.  There are necks with wattles and necks with creases that on the verse of becoming wattles.  There are scrawny necks and fat necks, loose necks, crepey necks, banded necks, wrinkled necks, stringy necks, saggy necks, flabby necks, mottled necks.  There are necks that are an amazing combination of all of the above.  According to my dermatologist, the neck starts to go at forty-three, and that’s that.  You can put makeup on your face and concealer under your eyes and dye on your hair, you can shoot collagen and Botox and Restylane into your wrinkles and creases, but short of surgery, there’s not a damn thing you can do about a neck.  The neck is a dead giveaway.  Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth.  You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn’t have to if it had a neck.

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