Friday, February 24, 2012

The President Effect

On my fortieth birthday I would have gone out on a limb of vanity and said I looked 32 or 33. Okay, 35 tops. No one thought I looked my age, and that was, in part, how I had arrived at my look-like age estimate as mid to low 30s. That is to say I did not think people were just blowing sunshine up my ass; I agreed there was something still youthful about my face and appearance.

Now flash forward to me at 46. I've been looking through photos lately--some taken while in my thirties, others more recently--and I feel like I have more than caught up with my chronological years. In fact, in the last 5 years I feel like I've aged 10.

Earlier tonight I talked to Tamara and shared this observation with her. She agreed (quite enthusiastically) that this has been her experience as well: visibly aging in her forties--what feels like exponentially.

Hence The President Effect.

If it's not just me, but Tamara too (and others I won't mention until they admit it themselves), then maybe all those presidents we've seen age decades in a term or two have aged like that because we all just get to a time in our lives--job stress aside--in our mid-40s (Clinton was inaugurated at 46) or early 50s, when we start to look our ages. Any grace periods we had been given to defy the clock and look younger than we are come to a grinding halt and there's no fooling anyone anymore. Presidents just happen to get there in front of the cameras.

So that was my big aha moment today, my pearl of wisdom, my new theory. In fact, I think I just coined a new phrase, since I Googled it and nothing came up. Yep, pretty impressive since it's Friday and I've been in my pajamas since I got home...all while experiencing The President Effect.

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