Monday, June 1, 2020

[personal silliness] On The Size of Ears

Some people agonize over the size and shape of their ears. Babies don't care, but kids who have unusually shaped ears or ears that stick out can (and are!) made to feel self-conscious about them. People even have surgery to flatten ears against the skull, or I assume their parents do. I never thought about ears -- my own or those of my friends -- when I was a kid.

So it came as a surprise to me when I was an adult that my mother was self-conscious about the size of her ears. The outer ear is mostly cartilage, which continues to grow -- albeit slowly -- throughout your life. Older folks generally have bigger ears than youngsters. I suppose the self-consciousness came from "my ears show my age," but I never asked her. I just observed the lengths she went to in styling her hair in order to cover part of her ears.

It also came as surprise to me as I achieved senior citizen status myself that my own ears were not as I remembered them. They looked like my mother's ears. They're neither pretty nor ugly. They're bigger than when I was a child (I think -- I'm relying on old photos here) and somewhat longer top to bottom. There's a funny crease in the skin of the lobes that I assume is due to decades of wearing pierced earrings. But maybe not. It might have done that, anyway.

Mostly I think it's cool that my ears look like my mother's when she was my age. Sometimes it's puzzling that a body part up and changes itself, but that seems to be happening to more than my ears. Every once in a while, though, it bothers me. I have discovered a solution:

I don't look in the mirror.

From the inside, my ears feel just fine. And then I think of the images of the Buddha with long, long ears. And I giggle.

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