Archive for January 11th, 2011

She’s really funny, Nora Ephron is!  It’s the first time I encountered this author so I didn’t know that she was behind  those lovely movies….Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, When Harry Meets Sally to name a few.   Bong, a friend  gave me a copy of this hardbound-137 pages book when she came home last November.  I finished it in two hours (my second read this year).  I Feel Bad  About My Neck is an intimate, funny and hilarious account of Ephron on growing old and  dealing with the tribulations of stopping back the clock,  maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and about life in general  and her obsession with how her neck looks now that she is getting older.  She says, 

Every so often, I read a book about age and whoever’s writing it says it’s great to be old.  It’s great to be wise and sage and mellow; it’s great to be at the point where you understand just what matters in life. I can’t stand people who says things like this.  What can they be thinking? Don’t they have necks?

I can relate with her  up to a point. I never experienced the insecurity though of having  a neck that looks bad, it’s more probably on having a double chin that speaks of extra fats that shouldn’t be there.  Anyway, when you reach fifty and beyond, you look at life with a wide-angle lens, something like, ” I’ve been there so I know it” attitude.   You become a little soft, happy and contented that you’ve brought up your kids to be smart, fun-loving, responsible, God-fearing , honest, sincere, hardworking and lovable.  You’re proud of yourself that you have instilled in them the values, beliefs  and attitudes that would help them in their quest for independence.

Ten years ago, I’ve availed of an early retirement from the bank where I’ve worked for more than twenty-one years.  Some of my friends said I was too young to retire at that age when my oldest  was  just starting college and my youngest was  still a high school student.  Apart from health reasons, I wanted to experience being a full-time mom to my two kids.  Come to think of it,  since I left the bank,  my feet have grown used to sandals and slippers and a slingback-two-inch-shoes on special occasions.  Have I really worn those closed shoes and corporate attire for twenty-one years?  I’ve nearly forgotten now how it is to wear formal clothes. I’ve become more confident wearing maong pants and t-shirt.

Ephron shared her life as a obsessed cook, a passionate city-dweller who was greatly attached to the apartment she rented for ten years,she was obsessed with how she would look without a hair dye to hide those white hairs that sprouts now and then, the creams and lotions that promise to show improvement in her sagging and aging skin but don’t.   And I say, the outer package needs a bit of repackaging.  How’s that again? At a certain age, you long for something more than the material things of this world.   It’s the inner you that counts, because when you are happy, no amount of make-up or pretty clothes or nice shoes would hide it.   When you are happy, everything would be right in your world.

You’re past fifty, so what?  Ride on, life is too short and too beautiful to waste your time counting your age.   What counts is the beauty of your soul.

You can only perceive real beauty in a person as they get older – Anouk Aimee


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