Tuesday, September 24, 2013

To Oldly Go Where I'm Going Too

I don’t remember how I ended up there. I was doing some late night…or call that “early morning”…web surfing, when I stumbled across some videos dedicated to what used to be my favorite TV show: Star Trek: The Next Generation. And as I sat up into the wee hours of the morning watching clip after clip after clip, it occurred to me that, ironically, the only member of the cast who doesn’t appear to have aged at all is 73-year-old Patrick Stewart. I figure that’s because not only is he still as slim as he was 26 years ago, but being bald in the first place, we never saw his hair turn gray.

The other cast members, however, have gone gray, put on a few pounds, or done both. And while, on the one hand, it sort of saddens me to see that, because I remember the much younger (and hotter) versions of them; on the other hand, it gives me permission to let go of the body image I had of myself from 26 years ago.

Yes, Jonathan Frakes has put on a few pounds, but for Pete’s sake, he’s 61. Brent Spiner is no longer as svelte as he was in his days as Data (or for you fans of Night Court, Bob Wheeler), but he’s 64, and boy, does he have a shock of white hair. We never really got to see what Michael Dorn looked like without the Klingon makeup, so there’s no illusion to be destroyed by seeing him now at 60. And then there’s LeVar Burton, who, at 56, is just a year younger than me. But the point is that none of them are in their 30s anymore, nor am I.

Oh…and then there’s Marina Sirtis. Oh my, is there ever Marina Sirtis. Well, OK, there was Gates McFadden too, but I want to talk about Marina Sirtis (and who wouldn’t). She took on the role of Deanna Troi when she was 32, and played it for the last time when she was 50. I saw a clip of her in that role from 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis, and at age 47, she was definitely still hot.

But some putz had the nerve to say that lately she looks like a dog.

Good grief man, she’s 58. I want to see what you look like at 58. No, she doesn’t look now like she did 26 years ago, but why should you expect her to? Why on earth…or any other planet…would you expect her to still look like she’s 35?

She recently did a 10-minute video with Jonathan Frakes called The Reunion of the Rikers, and I’ll tell you, she’s still attractive…in a 50-something way. But that’s fine, because I’m 50-something, and as I’ve aged, so have the women I enjoy looking at. Why should I be salivating over 30-somethings? Well, OK, I’ll admit, I do watch Mythbusters for Kari Byron.

But my point, my original point, is that seeing them age has allowed me to make peace with my own aging. To make peace with my own whiteness (or lack) of hair and thickening of middle. It has allowed me to say, “Dammit, Jim. I’m 57, not 27!” (Oops, wrong series).

And for that…I thank them for oldly going where I’m going too.

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