...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Peter Pan Syndrome

Andy and I were watching Jeopardy this evening. It was some college tournament, and they were broadcasting from some open ampitheater, I guess at one of the kids' universities. Because they were outdoors, they didn't have the normal sound equipment and the kids all had to yell the answers (excuse me, the "questions") to Alex. Two of the three had strong regional accents and their voices were especially grating when they raised them.

Me: "God, I hate these kids."
Andy: "Yeah. Plus, they're dumb."
Me: "God."
Andy: "You know...you're probably older than all three of them."
Me: "No, I'm not...wait. Oh. Crap."

It's true, probably--I'm going into my senior year, which means that, unless one of the contestants was a non-traditional student or took a year off somewhere along the way, I'm either as old or older than all of them.

It's a weird feeling, always, when someone significantly younger than me accomplishes something I never will, like win sixteen thousand dollars on Jeopardy or be an Olympic pairs skater. It's sort of the same feeling as when I look back on someone or some figure from my childhood, someone who seemed really old, unimaginably old, completely adult, and realize that that person was either the same age I am now or younger, for crissakes.

For the past twelve or thirteen years, we've been regular supporters of local minor-leage baseball team. It wasn't until this year, actually, that I realized that almost all of the players--professional athletes, all--are either my age or younger. I mean, on the one hand, it's obvious, but on the other, it kind of blew my mind when my dad mentioned that most of the new players are either nineteen or twenty. "What about Steve Hacker?" I asked. Steve Hacker was one of the star players (relatively speaking--remember, this is a Single A division team) when I was eleven or twelve; in my mind, he was Babe Ruth. "Steve Hacker was, like, forty, right?" Dad looked at me and laughed. "He was twenty, J. Maybe twenty-two, tops."

Wow.