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You Want To Be What Age?
Sy Rosen

Lately I've been bombarded on the internet with advertisements for miraculous new "youth drugs." And although I know they don't work (or at least the $250 I spent didn't make me look any younger) it did get me thinking about what age I would choose if I really could reverse the aging process.

I know it sounds trite but I think I'd like to be sixteen again. This time I would really apply myself in school and become a scientist or a doctor. And knowing what I know now, I'd also probably do better with girls. For example, you have to actually talk to them to ask them out.

Even though I know that "what age you would choose" ranks right up there with such great philosophical questions as "what three things you would bring on a desert island," and "what super power you would like to have," I decided to do more research on the matter.

97% of people asked said they'd like to be younger, 2% wanted to be the same age, and 1% wanted to be older (I'm not sure if this last statistic is really valid because my six year old niece was too busy sticking a Cheeto up her nose to fully comprehend the question).

Carl, who is around fifty, said he'd keep his age because he's very happy with himself just the way he is. I think, from that one statement, you realize why most people hate Carl.

I then asked Alex, an accountant friend, who said he'd like to be twenty-five. He'd like to go back in time, take some risks and become what he always wanted to become...a woman. Alex and I are, of course, still good friends but this may fall under the "too much information" category.

I talked to my mother-in-law who said she'd like to be seven years old. She lived in Puerto Rico, and every day after school she'd go to her father's bakery where he'd make her a special treat. I wanted to do something to make her feel seven years old again. I quickly rushed out and bought her a Spanish pastry that she told me tasted like stale cardboard. Oh well.

I then spoke to my mother and father who are both in their early eighties. They were sitting next to each other in their 900 degree living room (if we ever wanted to send astronauts to the sun my parents would be perfect candidates - and they'd probably bring a sweater).

My dad finally said he'd like to be seventeen.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because I had a lot of good friends when I was seventeen, a lot of camaraderie, and the whole world was my oyster. I'd have a second chance to do whatever I wanted."

I then asked my mother what age she would like to relive. "Our wedding day. I thought that was the happiest day of our lives," she pointedly said.

"That's what I meant," my dad quickly added.

My mother and father then got into one of those fights that my family is famous for:

Mother: "You didn't know me when you were seventeen!"

Father: "Yeah, but, uh, I anticipated knowing you."

Mother: "What the hell does that mean?!"

Father: "It means I'm in trouble."

Mother: "You finally got something right!"

I then took my eighty-six year old Uncle Mort out to breakfast and asked him how old he'd like to be. "I want to be your age," he said. "That way I can do anything I want to. And I wouldn't have to eat this damn egg-white omelet."

So my Uncle Mort wanted to be my age, fifty-five. I think there's a lesson here to be learned. That no matter how old we are there is someone even older who wants to be us (unless, of course, you're the oldest person in the world and in that case you're "it" in a giant game of tag).

Maybe, just maybe, we should realize that we're not so bad off the way we are right now. Who am I kidding? I'd still rather be sixteen.

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