Nancy Roman

Fountain Leaks

My Fountain of Youth has sprung a few leaks.

Since I decided that I would be forty-six instead of sixty-one, most everything has been going pretty well.

My hair is blonder and longer. I’m slimmer and fitter –  what with zumba-ing my ass off, and yoga-ing off those flabby wings that my upper arms used to be. And I have an above-the-knee sundress and skinny jeans.

But I’ve got a few areas that are not cooperating.

Like my neck.

My idol, Nora Ephron, wrote a whole book about this problem, “I Feel Bad About My Neck.” And I sure do.

I never had much neck anyway (I blame it on my French-Canadian genes), but what little I had is now sliding down into my shoulders. And although my extra chin has shrunk some with my weight loss, what I have left is oddly – and oldly – loose.

Like my knuckles.

I’ve taken to using my expensive face cream on my hands. But no amount of miracle cream can hide the fact that my knuckles look like they belong to some ancient guy who chopped wood for a living. Gnarly. (And I’m talking to YOU too, TOES!)

Like my underpants.

When I bought skinny jeans (in bright teal blue, no less), I also bought sexy panties. Well, actually, I bought six pairs of my comfy big girl underpants (one size smaller) and one pair of sexy, skimpy bikini panties. Back when I was disco-ing the night away, I always wore bikinis – or even thongs. How did I wear those things? They are friggin’ uncomfortable!

Needless to say, I wear my six pairs of big girl underpants and then do a load of wash. My bikinis sit in the drawer. Right next to the strapless friggin’ uncomfortable bra.

Like my bedtime.

Back in my nightlife heyday, I could dance until 1:00 AM, and be in the office on time at eight the next morning. (almost fully functional, too). But no matter how young I think I’m looking right now. If I go to bed one minute after 10:00 PM, I might as well bring a pillow to work the next day.

Like socks.

I now have three pairs of skinny ankle jeans (black, faded wash, and the teal). And they look absolutely adorable with either my ballet flats or, if I need to be taller on any certain day, my platform wedge sandals.

But it’s September now, and I can already feel the nights cooling off.  It’s Connecticut, for God’s sake.  I’ve always suffered from popsicle toes. Now I know something very chilly is going to happen very soon in that four inches between the top of my ballet flats and the hem of my just-above-the-ankle jeans?

So I asked the girls at work. “Can I wear socks with these jeans?”

Their answer:


I think their answer may just indicate that they are a bit younger than I am trying to be.

After all, Michael Jackson was super cool with his socks in 1983. These girls can’t help it if they weren’t born yet.


  1. Bonnie

    No, sorry, you cannot wear socks with ankle length jeans. What the younger set does is to transition to boots – either ankle boots or calf boots – when it gets chilly. I think I have 4 pairs of ankle boots. At my campus, the students will be breaking out the boots in another week or two, I am sure


  2. Yup, I’ve been wearing my boots for weeks now 🙂 Cold feet! Maybe you could away with legwarmers? Ask the girls at the office! 😉


    • I thought about leg-warmers! But my ankles are already the thickest part of me…


  3. Michelle Gillies

    Ankle/calf boots is definitely the answer. You can wear thick wool socks and no one will even know.


  4. A big don’t. It falls in the same don’t category as wearing socks with sandals. Come on Nance, you are my style guru. You are slipping a bit. 😉


  5. I love this post. Can never wait for the next one to make me laugh. I hear there are great exercises for the neck, but don’t do them in public. I’m sure you look at least 36 and congratulations for all that work zumba-ing and yoga-ing. 🙂


  6. Boot it. What do I know but everyone says so…boots it shall be.
    You’re HIL-ar-ious as ever.


  7. Yep the hands and neck – they are the first to go bad. I just want to wear gloves all the time.


    • With gloves and a scarf, I might look 29 again!


  8. Susan Ritchie

    Driving home, with the sun shining through the front window, I have noticed that I have “grandma hands”. It bothered me a first, then I thought of all the wonderful things those hands had done (at least for my 2 grandma’s, and one of the them was yours) and how they had always been then for fun and comfort, I rejoice in my “grandma hands.”.. As for your neck – you are all alone on this one. The only thing I remember about Grandma neck, was it being a wonderful place to snuggle into, especially if you were in trouble downstairs…….. Maybe it’s not your French Canadidan Gene?


    • I remember Grandma’s extra-cushy bosom, I loved snuggling there… but I did not seem to inherit that from the French-Canadian side of my family.


  9. What about rocking a pair of loafers and socks? With the jeans rolled up? Too Michael Jackson? I don’t know, they’re showing it in J Crew. As for the neck – sigh…I have no answer except for turtlenecks..And the hands? I’m at a loss.


    • With a short neck that getting even shorter… I have about four extra inches of material with a turtleneck. I suppose I can go for a look like that guy from Bazooka bubble gum.


  10. msmeta

    I’m still digging the socks with flip flops. Whatever rocks, girl!


  11. Frankly, I seldom stop at the ankle with boots, and I always wore socks in them, except the one summer when short shorts (cut offs,not hemmed) and knee boots were the way to rock… skinny jeans were made to stuff into tall boots. As to the leg warmer thing, the the whole point seems to be that it doesn’t matter what ankles lie beneath, even ballet dancers who scrunch them down from mid calf to mid instep to keep the muscles warm, look thick there with them on. Socks: I just went through a fasionista listing of people who design and one of them wears colorful socks under her very very very expensive (like two months of pay for me) jeweled sandals … I’m thinkin; fashion is what you rock for yourself. (OK, i will also point out, just in case it matters, that I live in cowboy country and boots are not just a fashion accessory, they’re are a way of life … LOL)


  12. i agree with all your points and i approve of your socks. sadly i am *just over* 39.


  13. Pink fuzzy slippers would make the outfit 😉


  14. You mean tha toga would get rid of my ‘batwing’ arm flab? Sorry..gotta run…I need to sign me up for some serious yoga classes!


    • Of course I meant ‘yoga’ in my previous note! LOL


  15. Toe shoes are the way to go.


  16. White gloves and Vaseline for the hands, every night. How can you not know this?
    White gym socks and Vaseline for the feet, every night.
    Don’t know the cure for the neck, surgery?

    Ankle booties!!!!! With a heel.

    Loved this, as always you make me giggle.


  17. I’m so hearing you!!


  18. Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy this blog, and as such have nominated it for the “One Lovely Blog Award”: I love all of your stories. Thank you for sharing them. 🙂


    • Thank you for the nomination. I’m glad you enjoy my blog.


  19. your sagging neck reference made me laugh outloud 🙂


  20. pharphelonus

    Since I decided to be 46 instead of 61 … what an awesome concept!

    And it kinda stinks when you start feeling like what you did 10 years ago – stay out late, get up early as usual, feel no effects – isnlt really an option any more. Boo aging. LOL


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