Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Flabby Blog Story

I’ve never been very concerned about my looks and appearance. For the most part, I’ve spurned the delights of make up and cosmetics of all sorts, preferring rather to pore over power tools and different grades of wood than creams and lipsticks. I even gave up colouring my all too plentiful hair a few years back, finally accepting the fact that my natural brown mop was now having to be unnaturally dyed every two weeks to maintain my self image as a brunette.

Nevertheless, I do have a secret vanity, or at least I did have until about a year ago. It was my jaw line, you see. Forgive the preening, but all my life, I had been rather pleased with the clean line of a chin that needed no help to keep it clear of my neck and had absolutely no ‘doubling’. In other words, It had always been firm and defined without even a hint of flab.

I was, I thought, justly proud of my superior profile.

For example, I would examine myself in the mirror each morning – not to see if my eyelashes were long or thick enough or if my skin was clear – no, I would turn my head this way and that and smile at the uninterrupted curve of my magnificent mandible.

But pride, as they say, comes before the proverbial fall, and last year everything changed.

Now, it’s no secret that I won’t see fifty, or even fifty one again soon, so I suppose it can only be expected that certain ‘bits’ will start to give up the fight against gravity. It doesn’t worry me too much and on the whole most of me is still in the right place and hasn’t shifted too far down towards my knees. After all, I can still put my bra on in the dark without finding I’ve missed the main appendages.

However, the big blow came when I caught sight of myself in the mirrored walls of a lift one afternoon last spring. I remember it clearly because I was almost traumatised with the shock.

There I was, minding my own business when I caught a glimpse of my right profile, and horror upon horror, there was a fold of skin positively hanging off my chin! It was simply awful! At first, I thought it was a trick of the light, so I shifted a bit closer to the glass to make sure I was wrong. There was a student in the lift with me at the time, so I couldn’t start too probing an examination. I mean what would he have thought of this potty old woman (anyone over thirty is old to them) pinching and pushing at the skin on her neck as if she was trying to shove it back into place.

Nevertheless, I thrust my chin out and raised my head high , and wonder on wonder, it seemed to disappear. Whew! What a relief. It must have been the lighting after all.

But, the reprieve wasn’t to last.

The next shock came when Koos took a photo of me when I wasn’t paying attention and my face had literally ‘slumped’. It seemed that everything was falling off my chin then, not just one fold of skin. To make matters worse, he wanted to publish it on his blog! Well of course, I completely forbade that and made him delete the offending image forthwith. I had my reputation to think of after all – you know hip, cool and trendy – that one?

After this, I started looking up remedial exercises on the internet:

“How to stop sagging chins in five easy steps”; “creams to firm up floppy flab”; “10 minutes a day keeps saggy chins at bay”. I tried them all – I did ‘press ups’ with my jaw every night; shoved my tongue against my teeth twenty times each morning to exercise ‘those no good lazy neck muscles’ and then furiously rubbed cream into my neck four or five times a day. Alas, it was all in vain. The dratted flappy fold of skin kept wobbling at me – sneakily and cheekily when I was least expecting it.

Then, at last, after months of agonising over what to do, I found a solution – not a cure, mind you, just a simple, easy solution. I realised that this was one sign of advancing years I wasn’t going to get rid of without external intervention, and as that is not an option, the only other way to disguise my deteriorating dermis was to smile!

Yes, indeed, I discovered that just a big wide friendly smile fixed to my face had the same effect as a face lift, but with even greater benefits. The fact is, oh friends of the blogosphere, that the old saying is absolutely true, because if you smile at the world, it smiles right back at you and all is good.

So, chin tucks and face lifts be damned, for those of us who are doing our best to halt the ravages of time...a smile a day keeps the surgeon’s knife at bay!!


  1. Ah, Val!
    "After all, I can still put my bra on in the dark without finding I’ve missed the main appendages"
    I swear you have missed a calling of writing comedy! :D
    And you know you are right, that's the important part! A smile also makes those little lines around one's lips disappear. I haven't got them quite yet but I see where they are going to be. I've been watching my face change the past couple of years, in particular. A new line on either side of my mouth, etc. :)
    But I like laugh lines on other people so I suppose I should try to like them on my own face, too. ;)
    BTW Val, you are lovely. Thanks
    for making me laugh and for the confession!hehe xo

  2. If it made you laugh, I am happy. Thank you, dear ;-) xx

  3. Hi Val, Just paid a long overdue visit to your site.

    This story and the tales of your new motor somehow fit together.

    An old boat & old goat still with an unexpired lease of life. Still smiling, still going strong.

    And hell with Vereeniging heading for 109 this year you've plenty in you yet.

  4. Hahahahaha, aw Mumsy, you're still the most beautiful mum in the world to me!


  5. Val you are beautiful!!...and funny too...nabs is right you should write comedy
    my neck is cheeks haven't sunk that far yet..I put this down to being picked up by my head alot over the years..
    Its curse of being small..

  6. You're one big sunshine Val. Never mind the effects of age, as long as your smile shines brightly.

  7. Hey Mamalama!!!! Man I was having a really bad day until I read this post! I am still wiping tears from my eyes. It gave me one of those laughs where you have to go pheeeeeooooooow after to stop passing out from dizziness.
    You really do write wonderfully well and I actually think this is your best piece yet!
    I can't say I have been enamoured with my body or face...ever! so I can relate to the absolute horror of those terribly lit places that show up every flaw. I can imagine the probing and creaming. I guess the aqueous cream "weather guard" finally met it's match. If it is any consolation, in your photo's you really don't appear to be ageing one bit. I shall have to give you a closer inspection in July ;-)We can compare notes!
    Nabonidus beat me to it, the bra bit is classic!
    Heee heee haa haaaa
    Love you maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  8. Hi Val

    Just stopping by to say hi and that I miss you, too.
    I'm OK and looking forward to being "back".


  9. Wit - great to see you here. The old goat is ready for the challenge too!

    Anonymous - ;-D too!

    Dojo - bless you sweetie. That's so sweet! xxxxx

    Gypsy - bless you too, wee one!'s the hair doing now though?! My tip for the day..hang yourself up by your hair ten times a night and then you'll never need a face lift..... you might end up with a permanently surprised look on your face, but don't worry, it's worth it ;-)

    Baz - from one ray of sunsine to another.....thanks. ;-) xx

    Momo - my sweet, I'm so glad I cheered up your day. I can just imagine laughing with you over this too. Of course it's no good me telling you that you have a great little bod, but I'll say it anyway -YOU HAVE A GREAT LITTL BOD.... and when you come in July, just don't look too closely, ok?...or just take your glasses off ;-)
    Bless you and love you xxxx

  10. Dale!!!!! It's so good to hear from you!!!! So glad to know you are Ok and please please come back soon...we miss you soooooo! xxx

  11. Ha ha, chin up, my dear, as they say!

    I loved your little tale, and you're right, we all have our vanities. Mine is my legs, and my rack. So only short skirts, good shoes, and good bras for me. The rest can (and does!) sag and flop at will.


    P.S. I am trying to add another EG chapter by the weekend-s end. Wish me luck! I am so missing my writing time.

  12. aha, I am on the same page with ya on the chin thing, every woman in my family in the past has a turkey chin, am trying the smile thing, and although it is working on the inside, I don't know about the outside?!!!!!!
    great post.

  13. Funny post.

    You could always make a giant sling that hooked around your ears!

    I never really went to a phase where I wanted to look like anyone else. However, I would sell my soul to have a voice like the great late Valentine Dyall.

  14. Val it was me heed not me

  15. Hey Val, guess what today is!
    Besides 5-6-7 ( kinda neat)...

    It's World Laughter Day! They just announced it on the a.m. news here.
    Although I know you guys are many hours ahead.;)

    Anyway, I'm tempted to give you a clue on the last Whune. I'm tickled that the last song worked so well.
    Let's just's one of their biggest hits, ever. Recently it
    was featured on the Method album.
    This will give it away but try to
    guess it first. ;)


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