Johnny Depp turned 50 recently. That
may or may not mean much to most people, but it did knock the wife
for a loop as her number one Hollywood dream man has reached an age
she officially considers old.
Depp is four years older than me, which
means in an overall scheme of things kind of way, we're the same
age (and if you stood us next to each other, you wouldn't know who
Aside from relatives, watching
celebrities age is how we gauge ourselves as we get older. "Hey,
Depp still looks pretty good for 50, so I must be holding up pretty
well myself." I didn't say we gauged ourselves in a
I can still remember when Depp was a
young man of 24, turning up in some TV show I never watched about
undercover cops who could pose as teenagers and fight crime in high
schools. So, if Depp could pass for 17 at 24, that means I can pass
for 39 at 46?
I recently made mention of the fact I'm
46 and my cousin's 13-year-old son got a look on his face that I'm
pretty would have matched the same look he'd display if someone
smacked him with a brick.
He didn't come right out and say it,
but I knew he was thinking, "You're 46? I'm gonna have to
rethink my entire opinion of you."
It can be hard to reconcile your age
and the age you act. There's too much external stimuli that
attracts people of all ages, even if it is meant for the young.
In the old days, the only thing that
separated the young and old were toys, meaning you were expected to
act like an adult at 14 and never look back. I can still remember the
horrified look on the face of a friend's father as he watched his
14-year-old son playing with Star Wars action figures.
Now, more than 30 years after that
father lost all hope, you would more than likely find the 40 year old
father right there with his 14-year-old son as Darth Vader fought
Generation X (of which I'm a proud
member) seems to be the generation that's having the most trouble
with growing up. Everyone was laying bets on the baby boomer
generations, but they're really just struggling with
self-centeredness. They came of age right before so many wonderful
toys came along.
Most in my generation haven't led
perfect lives, but we're the first to realize that being an adult
doesn't have to mean life is a dull, gray existence of work, bills
and constant disappointment.
I said we realize it doesn't have to
be that, not that it isn't that way for most of us. Most of still
work way too much, have way too many bills and as we head into middle
age, are slowly realizing what a steady diet of junk food while
watching TV/playing video games does to a body.
But we can take comfort in the fact
that as we get older, our favorite celebrities are getting older
right along with us. As much as his fans are shaken by the idea of a
50 year old Depp, I was more stunned earlier this year when Denzel
Washington turned 58. I wouldn't have put him at no more than 45 at
The real truth is that most celebrities
are much older than you realize. Look it up if you don't believe
me. And if you really want to have fun, peruse one of the grocery
store magazines (they scream at you as you wait to check out) when
they blare the headline: "Hollywood stars without makeup!"
It'll make you think two things: Hollywood makeup artists are pure geniuses. And, how long would I
have to save to have one of them make me look 20 years younger?
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