On Thursday someone I have not seen since 1990 showed up in town. Like most of my friends he is an investment banker and much richer than me. So it was no surprise that he showed up in a chauffeur-driven car carrying well-worn Louis Vuitton luggage. What did surprise me though is that he looked EXACTLY THE SAME as he did when I last saw him circa 19 years ago at a dinner party in London.
When I saw my best friend Iona in India l realised she was practically identical too. And I first met her in 1986. Actually she looks better now. She attributes her youthful appearance to plenty of time off and no children.
I didn’t dare ask these friends how I look for fear they would wince and say ‘well actually, you do look a bit rough, but not bad considering you’ve had three children and worked like a dog for 20 years.’ But is it possible that there is some part of our brains that not only recognises old friends, but ages them in milliseconds so that actually once we register who they are they don’t look a day older than 19?
Does that make sense? Possibly not. But if you’re confused imagine how I feel? Soon my friends will be younger than my children.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009