Vanity thy name is Lucy

My goodness, I have become hypersensitive to looking at necks.  Wassup with my focus?  Everywhere I go, I see necks – turkey necks, floppy necks, mottled necks.  Why is that the single source of my displeasure?  For most of my life – as I can remember – I have focused on one body part until I have either done something about it or I’ve managed to move it off of the hotspot.  This one seems to be keeping me way too focused.

Several years ago, I purchased a video of a woman demonstrating that if you regularly exercised your neck and face, we could all put the plastic surgeons out of work.  This was a hilarious video of a woman leaning forward, pushing her chin as far up as she could, and holding it for a count of …. probably 15.  I remember laughing my arse off while watching this surgically enhanced woman claiming that her tight face and neck were due to an exercise regimen I had never seen before nor since.  Now I’m wondering.

When I do crunches – which is working the muscles in my abdominal area – I am forcing that muscle to tighten and grow stronger.  I think.  Would working my neck do the same?  Are there muscles there which could be enhanced with a regular “crunch”?  I’m not an anatomy person.  I’m a writer, entrepreneur and historian.  But I know that if I want to gather information, I do research.  This one is worth looking into because it could – possibly – get my neck off the hotspot so that I could then focus on another body part that drives me nuts.  So I’ve found that, according to e-how, you possibly can tighten your neck.  And face.  We can work on stealing money right out of the pockets of the surgeons.  I will give it a try.  Heck, its free.

If this works, my lips are next.


God Bless America!

Last week, Roscio received her permanent resident card.  Roscio has worked for us for over eight years.  She is a sewer, as in sewing fabric (in our case, aprons, table covers, totes, etc.).  When she lived in Colombia she owned her own sewing house.  Coming to the states meant a step backward for her authority, but a step forward for her family.  She is no longer surrounded by drug cartels, violence, and oppressed citizens.

I initiated her employment with us.  When she came to our lobby, I was fascinated by the sparkle in her eyes and her head full of gorgeous white hair.  Her granddaughter accompanied her; Roscio didn’t speak English.  I pushed her interview.  I pushed her hiring.  Because no one could speak to her (No hablamos español), our sewing supervisor simply asked her to sit and sew.  She did so impeccably.

As the years have gone by, she has picked up English – probably more than we suspect.  I caution her coworkers to take care with what they say.  She may understand more than she indicates.  Everyone likes Roscio.  Some love her.  She is so grateful and gracious to have her job.  I make a point to say, “Como esta?” when I walk through our production area.  I also instruct others (as best I can with 4 semesters of Spanish under my belt) in words they can say to her.  As is often the case, the blue-collar Americans don’t make much effort.  After 8 years, many of them could be speaking better Spanish.

Last week, upon hearing of her new resident status, I ordered a cake.  Heart shaped, chocolate, with raspberry ganache.  And five American flags on tooth picks.  I didn’t have much advance notice.  On the top of the delectable desert written in red: “Felicitaciones, Roscio!”  At the 3:00 break, every office worker marched into the production area.  Roscio was not paying attention – the day happened to coincide with the boss’s birthday.  She thought we were gathering to sing happy birthday.  Instead, we broke into the chorus of  “God Bless America.”  I walked to her with the cake, and the tears began to roll.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  We should have recorded it, put it on YouTube.  It was an intensely emotional moment.  For the final line, we changed the words a little.  For Roscio, it became “Your home sweet home.”

The dream may have changed.  But, for many, the dream still lives here.