Somehow I got caught in a loop where I couldn’t help but watch that old 80’s sitcom chestnut Family Ties. The show seemed pretty good back when it originally aired, but it hasn’t held up well since then. These days it seems both simplistic and preachy which may be a sign of cultural evolution, or maybe just a sign that I was 10 when it originally aired.
Either way, watching it again 25 years later hasn’t been great for my self-esteem. I feel a little old when I notice the gray hair creeping in. I feel a little old when I realize that people born while I was in high school are legally adults now. I feel a little old when I stay up till 1 AM and have to get up with the boy twin at 7 AM the next morning. But I can unequivocally say that think watching Family Ties has done more to make me feel old than all those other things combined. The problem is all those actresses.
Back in the days I originally watched the show I was about the age of the youngest daughter on the show. I had a little crush on Mallory and to a lesser extent Jennifer, who were the high school and junior high daughters (but aged to college and high school as the show went on). Now when I watch it both the girls look so young and I find myself thinking about how hot the mom (Meredith Baxter Birney) is, and what she would look like if she had a contemporary look.
Now don’t get me wrong, at this point in my life it would be pretty unfortunate if I wasn’t attracted to the mom instead of the teenage daughter. That’s not the part that makes me feel old. Having a ‘before and after’ perspective, on the other hand, is a cold splash of water to the face. That’s a huge drawback of nostalgia. It makes you feel old by its very nature.