Does my butt look big in this?

I’ve never been one to fret about getting older. In fact, I think it’s kind of neat as I rack up the mileage on the odometer. In my mind, I still think I’m 20 and I’ve maybe overstressed my body because of it. In the past year, a supposed torn ligament and a shoulder that won’t stop reminding me it’s there is probably proof of that. But I have started noticing an alarming pattern of late. I’m seeing 35-36 year olds who, to me, look like they should be older.
We’ve been watching the season 1 rebroadcast of Hell’s Kitchen. Ralph, one of the chef’s on it, is 36 years old at the time of the show. To me, he looks a lot older than me. Today while I’m at physical therapy, Oprah is on and there’s a 35 year old lady who is having trouble dating. Once again, I think she looks a heck of a lot older than me.

So this is really starting to freak me out. When people see me, do they think I look ancient? Upon deep reflection, I think this problem may be normal and probably affects most people. (At least that’s what I’m telling myself.) When I see people I grew up and went to school with, or basically anybody you see at least every other year, they still look pretty much the same to me as when I was just out of high school.  So I think that the familiarity thing, kind of blinds you somewhat to the aging process.  Think about it, how often do you see some older movie or TV star after a while and you think, “Good heavens!  They’ve really aged!”

So what I have learned from all this theorizing?  If you want to stay young, stick around people that you know and are familiar with.  Because the second you move into the midst of new people that you don’t know, you will immediately take on your actual age in their eyes.  Simply because they didn’t know you at an age any younger than you are now.  They can only base their familiarity with you now.  They have no younger you image to draw upon.

Let’s call this the “Theory of Age Familiarity”.  Scary isn’t it?  Anybody want to send some grant money my way and I’ll think about this more?

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