Recently I saw a photo of an old friend and his wife celebrating a wedding anniversary. It was a milestone but I don’t remember the number. In the picture he hadn’t aged too much. He was tall, thin and blonde when he was young and now he was tall, thin and gray. His wife was thicker around the body but attractive.
I mentally did the calculation on his age (he was and still is older than me) and I was stunned. He is close to 70. My memory of him is as a 30-year-old hottie. I am missing 40 years here. How does this happen?
My first company had 10,000 employees. It was an interesting place to work because each department was like its own company so it got to be family.
With that many people there were a lot of outside social events – baseball, bowling, golf and volleyball leagues, happy hours, holiday parties, etc. You would get to know a lot of people (but not all 10,000!).
Since I’ve moved back to my home town I occasionally run into people I worked with eons ago. More often than not I see something familiar in the face but the stuff around the face is throwing me off. Is it them? Do I see something familiar there?
Stuff like hair color, extra skin, wrinkles, extra weight (way extra weight) can change a person’s appearance. Sometimes even the posture changes to that head forward slump of the older person. (Good grief! Do I have that? I hope not!)
So do I approach them or not?
Sometimes I do and I am dead wrong. Other times the person approaches me and says, “Gosh, you haven’t aged at all.” Clearly, that’s a lie. A person has to age in 40 years. Maybe not as much as they did. Perhaps their cataracts need surgery.
About a year ago I ran into a couple that I hadn’t seen since the 1980s. I didn’t recognize the woman at all but the guy had the distinctive cleft in his chin that I remembered. Oh yes, I was at my parent’s grave right next their parents’ grave so I did have a clue who they were.
That night I went home and thanked my parents for their good genes. I have some of their nasty ones too but right now I’m all about those anti-aging genes that run in my family.
My brother, mid-80s, could easily pass for mid-60s. He would say it’s all the good living. I doubt that. I will stick to the good gene pool theory. My niece, early 60s, doesn’t look her age either.
We tend to be a thinner bunch of folks thanks to my Dad’s gene contribution and that helps.
I remember when my mother would see an actress that was her contemporary, she would say, “My God, she looks so old!” I never had the heart to note that they were her age. She didn’t have the thin gene but she aged well with beautiful skin.
In the end, it doesn’t matter much except to the pharmaceutical companies who are working diligently to lessen our wrinkles and our pocketbooks too.
BTW September is healthy aging month. So how are you doing with that?