This is a re-run, but unfortunately more true now than when I first wrote it. Sigh….
The annual plethora of bunnies, colored eggs, chicks and chocolate are everywhere. So it’s Easter, right?
Not according to my mirror. My mirror is reflecting an animal of a different sort, and it’s not a cute bunny or chick. It’s a bird, but one associated with a different holiday all together.
The Thanksgiving turkey has made an appearance directly under my chin. Not the whole turkey, just his wattle. That’s right, wattle.
Notes Dictionary.com, a wattle is “a fleshy lobe or appendage hanging down from the throat or chin of certain birds, as the domestic chicken or turkey.” Now there’s an image.
To clarify, it’s not that I have anything against Thanksgiving turkeys. In fact, Thanksgiving, being all about eating, is far and away my favorite holiday. But it comes with certain built in buffers, for example, the fact that it’s in November, placed conveniently at a time when I can cover up any additional appendages, including my annually acquired winter time spare tire, with lots and lots of extra clothes. Have I mentioned that scarves are my favorite accessory?
Yet, despite their undeniable deliciousness, turkeys are really ugly birds. If anyone gave bird makeovers, turkeys would be first on the list for a major redo.
So having any part of a turkey as a part of me is rather offensive. Perhaps I wouldn’t be so put out if, now adding insult to injury, my personal wattle wasn’t from a ninety year old turkey. I might be more gracious in accepting the oddly placed Easter gift were the turkey it came from young and spry—the top of the turkey line, if you will. But the turkey who decided to rest under my chin has clearly seen better and far younger days.
While we’re on the subject of wildlife, how come I’ve a turkey under my chin while a sea lion has lay claim to my lower half? My understanding has always been that there are very specific lines of demarcation between species. Cross-pollination is only supposed to happen with plants. And if I’ve got to resemble an animal, how about a cougar? Wait, scratch that.
Anyway, the image of Tom Turkey staring back from my mirror has left me facing the no longer deniable truth that I am firmly a member of the “aging skin” set. That would be the euphemism created by the marketing gurus intent on selling we women all manner of creams, oils and cure-alls for the inevitable march of time and its effects on our publicly visible parts. (The publicly invisible parts are also an issue, but better left undiscussed. Ever. They are also better left invisible. Always.)
I don’t like the term. If you want to split hairs, everyone’s skin is aging, from the moment of birth. Why are those of us with bird parts around our necks singled out? Couldn’t they come up with something a bit gentler for our already bruised egos? Maybe “goddess skin,” which could imply old—Venus has at least a couple thousand years under her belt, right?—without hitting us over the head. Really guys (they have to be guys; no woman would come up with “aging skin”) if you want us to buy your lotions and potions, a spoonful of sugar would really help the medicine go down.
I know it’s all about maintaining the delusion, but I’m okay with that. If I thought about my age in any real context, I’d pull the shades and buy a bunch of cats. When I was young, I thought people my age were dead, so whatever it takes to keep me reasonably functional and looking more human than turkey is just fine.
I think I’ll go and buy some pre-Easter candy and indulge, in honor of my Thanksgiving turkey. Then, I’m going to check the Farmer’s Almanac in hopes that we’re in for a cool summer. Just the weather for a scarf.