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Stories like mine and Ed's and [others] inspire some intriguing questions:
Carl Jung probably wasn't thinking of "dimpled-thigh anxiety" when he wrote his celebrated book Memories, Dreams, Reflections, but he did express some insight that helps us understand the concept of seeing the world -- or one's sweetheart -- through young eyes: "[a] childhood memory can suddenly take possession of consciousness with so lively an emotion that we feel wholly transported back to the original situation."
This can be a great benefit of reuniting with an old boyfriend or girlfriend. He looks as handsome to you as he did the night of the senior prom. You look as fresh and lovely to him as you did on your Sweet Sixteen birthday. And this makes both of you feel remarkably young again.
Reunited couples that we'll meet in these pages express it best:
Arnold Spitz was 88 and Millie was 72 when they reunited. They married in 2003. He says, "When I picked her up in front of her store after more than 50 years apart, I saw her as she was at 17. She's beautiful and I feel young again."
Tom Anton says of his wife, Sandi: "Even more than 20 years later, I see that 15-year-old girl. The bounce is still there, and so is her love of life."
Linda Hart, 50, says of her partner, Ken Kohn, 51: "When I look at him, I flash back to when we were young, and that's what I see in him now."
Such feelings are understandable, says Dr. Herb Barrett. "When you meet new friends, the face they encounter is that of the 45- or 55- or 65-year-old person, with all the experiences and wrinkles. In a reencounter with an old friend we very quickly get back to how we thought as kids."
The quest to recapture youth is practically eternal, and the ways in which people pursue it aren't always terribly productive. Some go through the old "midlife crisis," including a fast car and much younger trophy spouse. Others opt for new noses, chins, or breasts. But rekindling a past love can be a far more exhilarating way to drink from the fountain of youth.