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My Missing Neck and a Contest For You

My missing neck part of the title is not supposed to scare you. It has nothing to do with my “beautiful brain” (of my January 6 blog post).

When I was a little girl and went clothes shopping with my mother, she let every saleswoman in every children’s department in every store in Buffalo—at least in Bergers, Hengerers, The Sample Shop, and Jens—know that I could not wear clothes with big collars or turtle necks, saying, “She doesn’t have much of a neck.”

As I grasped the teeny tiny bit of skin between my collar bone and chin, making sure what little I had would not disappear, I wondered if after the saleswomen put the not-right-clothes back on the racks, they would search for my missing neck.

The truth: for much longer than my childhood, my mother validated other parts of me. Mostly what was inside. That was terrific! Appreciated. It continues to serve me well.

But—and this might be true for you–my antenna was more finely tuned to criticism and negative comments from my parents, particularly about my looks. What came through louder and haunted me longer than having a decent mind and wit was not having much of a neck.

So your turn. The contest. What is true for you? In 50 words or less: what is something—physically, mentally, artistically, athletically or any way—that an adult criticized or validated that helped or haunted you? Write it in the comment space here.

Two judges (I am not one. I know some of you) will pick a winner. I will post who it is in two weeks and send the winner a prize. DO NOT GO OVER 50 WORDS.




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