For most of my life, people have thought I looked younger than I actually am. I was a scrawny, late blooming kid, so I was almost always mistaken as a tween in my teens. My twenties were filled with continual cardings at bars and restaurants. Even when I hit 30, a woman in Hawaii mistook me for a teenager—thinking I was my older sister’s daughter.
But lately, my years have been catching up with me.
When I was 29, people thought I was 23. Recently I asked a stranger to guess my age and he said 29…a mere 3 years younger than my real age…and really I think just an attempt to flatter. 26 would’ve been a fantastic compliment, 29 seemed like he just didn’t want to say 30.
On Saturday, I was hanging out at my sister’s house playing Wii Fit with my nieces. I had never played before, so the game took me through a series of fitness assessments in order to set up my player profile. First it asked for my birth date and height. Then I had to stand on the balance board thingee and it weighed me and calculated my body mass index. So far, so good.
When it asked me to demonstrate my balance skills, I thought I had it in the bag. My normal, standing-still balance was almost perfectly centered. However, when I had to shift to match up with some moving bars on the TV screen, I was definitely far from skilled.
Based upon my performance and the previous body stats, the game calculated my “Wii age” as 51. Fifty-one! Twenty-one years older than my actual age.
“I want a do-over!” I shrieked over my nieces’ laughter.
So they let me go through the setup process again. And this time, my age was determined to be 37. Still 5 years too high… My sister hopped on the balance board after me, determined to beat my score. She is 10 years older than I am, but after she went through similar tests and exercises, the game aged her at 34—8 years younger than her real age. What the hizell?
It’s weird when you still feel like a kid inside but you see saggy tummy skin and crows feet staring back at you from the mirror. And now, thanks to the wonders of technology, we have video games to contribute to our lackluster age self esteem.
The same day I played Wii, my sister and I went hiking with my 13-year old niece, Nanny Dobie (Note: That is not her real name but when she was 2 years old, she called herself that for a period of time). We were complaining about the cellulite gene in our family, when Nanny piped up to my sister and said, “What do you care? You’re married—it doesn’t matter what you look like anymore.”
Ah the sage musings of youth. Maybe I’ll keep the wrinkles, back fat and further-developed grey matter after all…