So we were watching Downton Abbey. He was following the plot (something about a child abduction and a pig farm). I was focused on people's necks.
Actors have good necks for their ages, because at some point -- as a professional requirement -- they get "work done." Between the pale swan neck of Lady Mary and the firm, still-elegant neck of her mother, Lady Cora, there was not as much difference as one might think. Around them swarmed the young, fresh necks of various servants and attendants.
Jail, trench warfare, heartbreak, the occasional pensive smoke after serving a six-course meal from silver tureens: none of it took any visible toll on anyone's neck. Nor did advancing age or rustic medical care from a 1920s village hospital. It was uncanny.
"I'm going to start a Neck Fund," I remarked to my future husband. "If I sock away $40 out of every paycheck starting now, by the time my neck is in really bad shape, I'll be able to get it fixed."
Dave said there was nothing wrong with my neck. Though supportive by instinct, he seemed confused by the topic.
"All older women are obsessed with their necks," I explained. "Nora Ephron -- the famous screenwriter of When Harry Met Sally -- published a book of essays called I Feel Bad About My Neck."
"Men don't care about stuff like that," he said.
I didn't care that men didn't care. This was about me, my neck, and forty-five hundred dollars, give or take.
We riffed about Dave explaining to his accountant "my wife's Neck Fund." We discussed the Neck Fund's rightful inheritor in the event of my untimely death.
"One of my resolutions for 2016 is not to look down," I confided. "Looking down at your phone, at a book, at anything? It's really bad for your neck."
He mimed holding his phone above eye level and looking up at it. "Like this?"
Being engaged is so great! I probably will never get around to starting a Neck Fund, but if I do, I feel like someone will have my back. Neck.