People Who Used to Seem Old


One way I know I’m getting old is that people who used to seem old when I first saw them in TV shows or movies now seem young, when I see those same media.

Exhibit A:Ed O’Neil, AKA Al Bundy.

When MARRIED WITH CHILDREN was first on, I did not watch it.  Wasn’t allowed to.  But like everyone else in America, I knew who Al Bundy was. An old, tired man with kids.
Now I enjoy watching Ed O’Neil in MODERN FAMILY.  Recently, I caught a rerun of MARRIED… and boy, was I surprised.  Al Bundy wasn’t old at all.  He was actually pretty darn youthful.  I mean, he was only in his 40s.  That is (ahem, cough) just a few years older than…me. Now.

Exhibit B: Harrison Ford

Back in the day as a little kid, I loved watching all the Indiana Jones flicks. Not because I thought Harrison Ford was hot.  He was an old man!  Are you kidding?  Those whiskers and wrinkles?

But look how wrong I was.  He was TOTALLY young!

Exhibit C: Kevin Costner in DANCES WITH WOLVES.

The movie came out in 1990, when Costner was a mere baby: 35.  When I saw it in theaters, again,  I thought, “Meh.  I wonder why all my friends’ moms love him?  He’s so old!”

It’s like when you look at pictures of your parents when they were your age.  When you remember that era as a child, you thought they were hopelessly old.  But as an adult, you realize they were actually pretty darn young.

Now that my daughter’s in middle school, I can see this happening all over again with her.  I am old to her.  Ancient.  Out of touch.  Unhip.

But really.  She’s too young to know better.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

2 thoughts on “People Who Used to Seem Old

  1. Yeah, especially Harrison Ford. Whenever I watch “Star Wars”, I think, ‘he was just a baby’! Have you seen Carrie Fisher’s commercial for Weight Watchers (or whatever weight-loss plan she’s pushing)? If I didn’t know it was her, I wouldn’t have recognized her-I don’t know if she’s been Botoxed beyond belief or had a bad face lift. I know I look vastly different now from my high-school graduation photo, but somehow, with movie stars, we’re shocked when we see the aging stars we admired back then.

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