When my partner is away I watch way too much TV. Along with all the sport that’s been on this past fortnight, I’ve also binge watched the new series of Tales of the City. If you’ve never watched it, or read the books, all the characters in the story are brought together by one woman, Anna Madrigal, and her home on Barbary Lane.
Anna is formidable. She’s curious and looks to connect deeply with the people she meets. In episode 8, wanting to avoid small talk with someone she’s just getting to know, Anna asks:
“What’s your eternal age? What age do you secretly feel you are?”
I’ve seen a lot of suggestions for icebreakers lately through Rob Walker’s newsletter and with this question I think I’ve got a new favourite. There’s a lot we can learn about a person from their answer.
I have always felt older than my years. I was most aware of this during my twenties, a time when I felt most different and distant from my peers. They were all about new experiences and adventures. I was settling down.
I remember turning 30 and thinking that my age had finally caught up with how old I felt I was. So, to answer this question, I’d say my eternal age is always 10 years older than the age I actually am.
How about you? What’s your eternal age and why?