Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I Don't Feel Bad About My Neck....
A fellow blogger suggested that I read the book by Nora Ephron, 'I Feel Bad About My Neck', not because she'd seen a picture of my saggy neck (it isn't)(yet) but because she thought our writing styles were similar. I was so excited to have someone even think I had a writing style I ran right over to the library and tried to check it out. It was on a wait list, which I thought to be another encouraging sign. I added my name to the wait list and waited.

When the book became available, I ran right over and grabbed it. Being a diehard book nerd bibliophile I started by reading both of the inside jacket sleeves and the back, plus all the reviews, and the editor's dedication page. Apparently Ms. Nephron is quite accomplished, having written 'When Harry Met Sally', (and for any of you familiar with that book, that scene in the restaurant, for some reason my mind goes back there now and then and I've made a final decision - I could NOT act that part out). She also wrote 'Sleepless in Seattle', 'Silkwood', and 'Wallflower at the 'Orgy' which I can immediately relate to and may have to check that one out too. Anyway, the woman can write and doesn't write anything like Danielle Steel or Debbie Macomber or any other big-time female writer that comes to mind. One of her lines in '....Neck' is that she cannot understand why anyone would bother to write fiction when there's so much going on in the non-fiction life that is just unbelievable.

So, back to the point. The book was funny, interesting, very different, and true. Ephron tells it like it is from her point of view. Some might find it offensive. I mostly found it to be really delightful non-fiction. Her entire point is that aging somewhat sucks, which is does, so I know immediately that I can trust her to be honest. Her entire point is that we begin to slide faster down the hill of decline as we age, unless we spend a fortune holding it at bay, and even then a girl can only do so much. I read the last few chapters curled up on the sofa, but as with any really good 'girl book', I see that there are only eight pages left so I tell DH I'm off to run a bubble bath, the only proper place to finish my book. You have to soak in, absorb the last few pages and being alone is better than being with anyone right then, so there is no room noise, and you can laugh or cry or both and nobody will think you're a little bit crazy. The tub is the perfect place to finish a book, any book.

I run the bath with scalding water and volumes of bubbles, set out a towel, a glass of ice water to combat the profuse sweating about to commence, my glasses and turn the bathroom clock so I can see the time. I climb in gingerly, letting each leg, then foot, get used to the boiling. I slither down so the water is up to the neck I don't feel bad about. Being completely clothesless, I put on my glasses, then much like eating a really good dessert, I read slowly, to savor. I turn the last page, hold it in my hands for a minute or two to take in the last thoughts, then close the book and set it aside on the towel. I take off my glasses because I don't need to see to bathe, but I did need them to read.

I bathe, removing the sweat acquired during this scalding bath, then grab the razor. Being brand new it has one of those little plastic caps on it and I realize if I continue to fuss with it there's a good chance I'm going to slice my finger because I Can't See. I put my glasses back on, remove the cap and proceed to shave. That's when I take a look around, at something other than my book which is now finished. I see little black hairs growing on my toes, actually they're long black hairs growing on my toes because I haven't seen them in a very long time because it's almost six feet from my eyes to my toes and I don't bend over that far very often or ever. Sadly, I shave my toes.

I shave my toes. I NEED to shave my toes. When I get old I won't be able to shave my toes but those hairs will still be growing, and I wonder if there's a maximum length they will grow to, and then I think back, to all those old movies, old versions of 'When Harry Met Sally' where the starlet is in the clawfoot or sunken tub, covered up to the necessary point with voluminous bubbles, talking to someone who has chosen that moment to enter the bath.

I'm glad for her she wasn't finishing the last few pages of a really good book. I'm betting she doesn't a have long, black hairs on her toes, and I realize I've never seen a single starlet wearing glasses while she enjoys a bubble bath. My neck - it still looks just fine to me, even with my glasses on. Having to wear glasses in the tub to read, or to shave my toes, I'm not feeling so great about that actually. Ms. Ephron and I have that in common, because if her neck is saggy then I'd bet my bottom dollar her toes are hairy too. It's just part of that sliding faster down the hill of decline as we age. But as she so wisely points out, considering the alternative I'll take the sasquatch look.

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  posted at 7:39 AM

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