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Aging gracefully ... but still aging

By Dr. Jon Gaudio

Publication: The Day

Published April 20. 2012 4:00AM

I couldn't attend my 25th college pre-reunion cocktail party, but I scrolled through the emailed photos of vaguely familiar faces that have aged, most of them gracefully. I suspect most of the people who didn't age gracefully, like me, didn't show up.

One of the attendees also emailed, along with the photos, a reprint of the school "mugbook," with all of our geeky mugshots, so that as entering freshman we could identify whom we wanted to ask out on a date. The good news: many people actually got better looking. Or at least didn't look so geeky. It's amazing what a glass of wine and some wrinkles can do.

I was talking with a colleague a few weeks ago, comparing notes with him on our personal medical histories. Colonoscopies, prostate exams, rotator cuff, torn meniscus, spine injections for back pain. A stunningly attractive woman tacked by in her high heels. Neither of us looked, not even one of those quick furtive looks men think go unnoticed. He was telling me about his colonoscopy prep, how to time it perfectly so that you're "cleaned out" in time for the 11 o'clock news. I was furiously taking mental notes. One of the nurses came up to us, laughing, and said, "Look at you two old men, not even noticing the cute girl walking by because you're talking about your colons."

Then I felt old. I remembered a friend who showed me two intersecting graphs, one plotting a man's interest in the opposite sex and the other plotting his interest in his colon. Or more plainly, having sex or having a b.m. At birth, a male is 100 percent focused on his colon and 0 percent focused on sex. At age 18, he thinks 0 percent about his colon and 100 percent about sex. About age 45, the two lines cross and the split is 50-50, and by age 70, all a man wants is a nice meal and that supremely satisfying moment on the commode.

I suppose there is a graph one could draw for women, probably with a sex-peak at, say, 40 years old.

Time has really changed since my college days. My kids tell me that you don't just go up to someone and ask them on a date.

"That's really creepy," my daughter and son said, in unison.

Instead, you check them out on Facebook, click to be "friends," so you can anonymously scroll through their personal photos to find out their likes and dislikes, or even stalk their entire history on Google. (And they say our ways were creepy?)

As I was scrolling through the pre-reunion cocktail party pictures, I saw a girl I had dated in college. I wondered if I should get her number and give her a call. Or maybe Google her. I did neither.

I'm glad I didn't go to the pre-reunion party. After all the catching up and hearing about kids and jobs and houses and marriages, I worry that the conversation would devolve to the details of someone's back surgery, another's shoulder injection, and of course (as we are all approaching 50), our colonoscopies.

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