For people of my generation Facebook created a freaky phenomenon. When the over 30’s started getting Facebook pages years ago a rash of high school pages and the like were launched. People started to reconnect with their past lives and with it all the embarrassing photos that we thought we were safe from, I mean who keeps the negatives right? (DAMN THOSE SCANNERS And the people who have time to use them!) All the yearbook photos, prom pictures, and pictures from dance and theater performances as well as and cutting class hang outs were out there. And there we were with our youthful selves dressed like extras in a John Hughes film, looking like Madonna the Cure, En Vogue and Cyndi Lauper. Photos were being loaded up for everyone and anyone in your present day life to see. Where on one level it was cool to be able to revisit, even reconnect with folks that you went to school, or grew up with. Whether you were neighbors in childhood, or hangout buddies in school and then parted ways “finding” people and being found on Facebook was the miraculous happening. You didn’t actually have to go to a reunion to find out whatever happened to the chick who had the locker next to you for 4 years you could just click on her. And even better you didn’t have to loss weight or get your hair done to do it. While sitting in your PJ’s you could revisit your youth in a safe and contained (albeit oddly public) way, in the comfort of your own home with a glass of wine. You could click through old photos and kee kee with laughter at your own “back in the day” and remark to yourself, “What were we thinking?”
Well along with bringing us our past, Facebook brought us our past’s present. All of the sudden the present day lives of the people you hadn’t seen since you turned that tassel, and left home were before you live and in color and THAT is at the root of this question. I started to noticed that in some cases life, and maybe genes had not been so kind to some of my schoolmates (I know that sounds horrible but you know that you were thinking it too!). They had…AGED… I was not looking at the youthful, collagen (naturally) plump faces of teenagers, I was now looking at…mothers and fathers, who had spread, and balded, and wrinkled and all of the sudden started to look like their mothers and fathers did back in the day. They looked like our mothers look after years of running after us driving us hither and yon packing lunched, wiping noses and waiting up for us ’til the wee hours. Frankly some folk looked worn…It was the first time that I realized, Shit I’m…Wait for it…Middle Aged!!
I think this realization was compounded by the fact that I went to an arts high school so most of my classmates I remember as being young, fit, and vital, with indefatigable energy that was unable to be contained. We were bouncing off of walls, half dressed, legs kicking, singing in hallways and acting a fool (for art) So to see the older versions of themselves, at barbeques, settled with children on their laps, carrying a few extra pounds from either a combination of childbirth, age and perhaps not dancing 4 hours a day left me incredulous. And then I was worried, “Do I look like that? Because I don’t feel like that…” When you start asking those questions you know that you are middle aged.
So What prompted this question:
So I was sitting having breakfast with my Joffery Jazz and Contemporary Division Dancers (the semester is over and we had one last out of tights bonding moment) and I was telling them to story and being that they range in age from 15-22 I was curious, how they would answer the question of :
“Would you Rather be really attractive when you are young (and then age “badly” OR would you rather just be average in your youth but get better with age?”
So which would YOU RATHER?