This question arose yesterday, when I was playing with Mr F and Mr Bunches. Mr F and I were playing tickle, which is about what it sounds like: I tickle him.
Part of what Mr F likes is when I've let my stubble grow for a few days; he likes to rub his face against it, and doing that always makes him laugh. I thought that might make for a cute picture, and got my camera to take some pictures of Mr F and me, cheek-to-cheek and laughing.
Ten minutes later, I gave up in disgust, as every single picture I tried to take turned out horribly; in each picture, Mr F appeared to be laughing hysterically as he smushed up against a monster made out of melting cottage cheese.
Honestly, I have no idea what I look like in real life. In my mind, I'm very handsome and dashing and don't look at all like I'm made out of melting cottage cheese.
But in real life, I bear zero percent resemblance to the person I picture in my mind, and I look instead exactly like this:
Me, in real life.
Which doesn't at all look like how I think I look like, and also bears zero percent resemblance to the person I was when I married Sweetie, as evidenced by the fact that one of my clerks the other day picked up a picture on my desk and said "Who's this a picture of?"
It was me. It was a picture of me. On my wedding day. A day when I had hair, and did not have bags under the bags under my eyes, and did not have the generally-puffy looking exterior my face now sports no matter how much I don't eat Doritos, which I don't eat (anymore.) I was good-looking on that day. It was no wonder Sweetie married me even though I didn't have any money and wasn't in any way expecting to earn much money in the near future, either, and also had a comic book collection. When you look as good as I did on my wedding day, those things are irrelevant.
But now I don't look like that, and have to hope that my personality and/or income is enough to keep Sweetie from checking out the prospects out there, because Sweetie is still hot and has not aged at all since we got married, unlike me. I've aged a lot, and also appear to have somehow become made of cottage cheese, which now appears to be melting.
The primary source of my concern is that neck, which I see in the picture above looks a lot like a turkey's wattle and which now concerns me even more than it did last night in the pictures with Mr F. Last night, I assumed the pictures were a product of bad lighting, or Mr F smushing his face, or maybe a glitch in the camera, my neck appearing to be slowly drooping down my chest as some sort of programming error on Google's part when they made my phone.
But here in the clear light of day, that neck is clearly a disaster waiting to happen, so my alarm last night was obviously not overstated in any way, as I am already doing everything that is necessary to avoid having a neck that looks like that and which appears, in pictures, to be swelling up like a frog's:
I never eat Doritos. I exercise -- well, not that much recently but I have good reasons that I won't go into, and anyway, I've gone jogging and walking twice this week and I'm still pretty fit. In fact, I've lost enough weight since my heart attack last year that I've gotten to the third notch on my belt; last year it was the first notch. And I have to wear a belt, or all my pants fall off of me.
But yet... there's that chin, in every one of the photos I took with Mr F. I can handle the receding hairline. I can handle the drooping eyes with bags. I can handle the puffiness in my face. I don't want to have to handle them; I'd rather look like that inner version of me, but I'm willing to compromise with the universe and accept those.
But that chin, which is increasingly big and increasingly saggy, was bugging me last night (and now today, even worsely bugging me.)
So I announced to Sweetie that I was not going to take it, and that I was hereafter saving up my money for liposuction, which Sweetie told me would not work because it'll just make the fat move from my chin to somewhere else on my body. (Sweetie did not realize, in saying that, that I would immediately take it as confirmation that I have a fat neck.)
I said I didn't care, and that if I ended up with a fat forehead that'd be fine, as long as my chin didn't bulge out in photos.
Sweetie then said I can't get liposuction, and I said it was either that, or I grow a beard. Beard or liposuction? I asked her.
She said neither, but I'll probably do both. Even though the last time I tried to grow a beard it ended badly, with the other workers in my firm taking a vote and unanimously telling me the beard had to go. The beard will cover me until I can sneak off to get liposuction, which I'm sure they offer at the mall or something.
In the meantime, Sweetie did find me some exercises that are like sit-ups for my jaw. I'm a little leery about doing that, because one time I started to do sit-ups as exercise regularly, but the problem with that is if you're doing sit-ups but not doing anything to reduce the amount of fat around your waist, then all you're doing is adding a layer of muscle underneath the layer of fat, which then results in your jeans being tighter, and harder to button, and nobody buys it when you're walking around in tight pants saying "No, no, it's okay, they're only tight because there's a layer of muscle underneath the layer of fat, so I'm actually pretty healthy and all."
I started doing the jaw-ups, or neck lifts, or whatever they're supposed to be called, but if it makes my neck bigger, I'm stopping, and I'll accelerate Operation Secretly Get Liposuction On My Neck And Don't Tell Sweetie.
Until either the neck-ups work, or the secret Chinposuction occurs, you will sadly have to live without any photos of me tickling Mr F with my stubble, because I'm not going to unleash that travesty on the world. You'll just have to imagine it. And to have it so that you and I are picturing exactly the same thing, just imagine Mr F snuggling up to this guy: