For yourself, sir, shall grow old as I am – if, like a crab, you could go backward.

1. I learned from a Smothers Brothers song that crabs walk sideways (and lobsters walk straight) so I’m not sure what this backward walking crab is all about.
2. Do the old really want to grow backwards? As much as I get the occasional anxiety around getting older (“Ack! I’m almost 40! Am I having a baby or what? It might be too late. . .”) I also don’t much envy those that are younger. The anxiety of youth can’t be beat by the experience of age. At least I don’t think it can. Or can it? See, I’m not quite old enough yet. I still wonder, still question, am still so unsure. But would I be willing to grow backwards? Only if I could take all I learned with me because if I had to go backwards without it, I’d just have to make the same dumb mistakes all over again. Would Polonius want to be Hamlet’s age again? Hamlet’s reported to be, what, 33? Polonius is the parent of similarly aged children, making him at least 53. Would he take over 20 years off of his experience to scuttle backwards like a crab?

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