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April 25, 2014


My Neck Obsession

by Anne Paddock

A few weeks ago, I was watching the last season of Dexter and couldn’t stop staring at Hannah McKay, Dexter’s murderous psychopath girlfriend. The actress, Yvonne Strahovski is young, thin, and beautiful but it was her neck that had me mesmerized…she was wearing a spaghetti-strapped tee which showcased a beautiful silken neck that looked smooth as cream even when her hair was limp and frizzy from the Miami heat and humidity.

Contrast that experience with sitting in a movie theater watching Mrs. Doubtfire for the first time and thinking that 47-year old Sally Field’s neck looked “old.” It was a strange but lingering thought that came back to me twenty years later when I watched the movie again, except that this time, I thought her neck looked fabulous. Chalk up the perception to age..the first time I saw that movie, I was 32 years old while the second time I was 52 years old. That 47-year old neck looked old then but not now.

Through the years I’ve often heard people say that hands and neck give away age and I’m beginning to believe these wise men and women are speaking the truth. When Nora Ephron published a book called I Feel Bad About My Neck that humorously chronicles the descent of aging, I was able to laugh because Ephron was on to something when she wrote in so many words, that being over 60 sucks for women who love wearing v-necks. Just as we trade-in heels for comfortable walking shoes, so will we trade in v-neck sweaters for turtlenecks. Witness the movie, Something’s Gotta Give starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson. In a scene where he walks in on her, she is wearing little more than a turtleneck so he asks “what is it with you and turtlenecks?” You have to be a woman of a certain age to understand that scene.

I’m obsessed with necks and trying to hide mine because like most middle-aged women, my neck has its share of sagging skin and wrinkles. I find myself zipping up jackets and tying scarves around it, only to tear them off when I’m in the midst of a menopausal hot flash. And, although I’ve been known to stick my head in the freezer to cool off, for the first time in my life, I now understand why women over a certain age wear turtlenecks and while I used to search for the perfect tee, I’m now searching for the perfect turtleneck (I’ll keep you posted).  If only someone would design a turtleneck with built-in ice packs.

  1. Apr 25 2014

    Thanks Christine…so much appreciate your kind words.

  2. christine
    Apr 25 2014

    I love this article! Thank you for sharing your gift of writing with such honesty and a beautiful sense of humor! Always a pleasure to read your blog.

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