Married Dopers: either you or your spouse may be restored to your physical prime. Pick one.

During the course of an adventure I feel no need to make up, you have earned the gratitude of Pallas Athena, and so the Queen of Heaven asks you if you desire a reward. During the aforementioned undescribed quest, you learned that certain Athena’s favorites have previously been given the gift of restored youth. Not eternal youth, and not immortality, mind you; rather, a return both cosmetic and internal to their physical state at the prime of their lives, along with a healing of any and all current physical infirmities and injuries – anything from myopia to carpal tunnel syndrome to leukemia. Basically people given this boon are made physically perfect and made about 25 years old, and while they’ll eventually die at the literal age of 120, they do not suffer the ravages of age otherwise.

You ask for this. Hearing this request, Athena says:

*I offered you a reward for your assistance in saving the last of the griffins, and if you prefer I’ll give you this one, which involves giving you a dose of nectar. But you should consider this first. I have exactly one dose of nectar left, and only the complete dose will do a mortal any good; half a dose might as well be a cup of ordinary honey. Now the prime ingredient for a dose of nectar is the life’s blood of a dozen newborn human infants. My mother’s murderer, Zeus, was fine with that, but I am not. After I relieved the Great Rapist of his genitals, tossed his ass into Tartarus, and took the throne of Olympus for my own, I thought about destroying all the supplies, but that seemed wasteful, as it wouldn’t bring back the murdered babies. Thus I’ve doled it out over the centuries, but will never make any more nor share the secret of doing so with anyone else. The point is if you take this boon, your spouse will remain their current age and continue to age normally.

Do you still want it?*

Given the opportunity I’d rather choose something else since I can’t imagine what a difficult thing it would be in a marriage if one of you aged and became ill and the other did not. But if this is my only option I would give it to my husband. He is a type 1 diabetic and I would love the opportunity to cure him of that if it is being handed out like a new car on The Price is Right.

I would give it to my husband. He’d be wiser with it.

I neglected to say so in the OP, but for purposes of this discussion, “married” means “in a long-term, monogamous, cohabiting relationship, regardless of legal status.”

I would ask it to be given to my husband in a heartbeat. One of Tony’s knees is shot, the other was replaced four years ago, he has 23 pieces of metal holding his right ankle and lower leg together, has had seven surgeries since his wreck 18 months ago, and may still face back surgery. I can live with my creaky joints, if it means he can finally not hurt. (In this case, it makes me feel more comfortable knowing that his ex-wife is considerably older, and they didn’t divorce because she got old/unattractive.)

What are your relative ages?

Also, somebody just asked in email what I meant by living to 120. I meant that whoever takes the boon lives a maximum of 95 years after getting reverted to 25, not 125 years from the date of their birth; also, the boon doesn’t make you invulnerable to injury, so taking the boon won’t save you from a spray of bullets, a falling piano, or anything like that.

I love my wife dearly but at the risk of sounding vain and cold-hearted I think the years have generally been better to me than they have to her (although, Lord knows, she’s trying to maintain her health as best she can), at least from a physical standpoint. Athena…?

Yep, husband for sure. He’s a better person than me. Plus, while I don’t fear my own aging/death much, I’m perpetually terrified for his.

He’s 22 years older than I and got some chronic health issues which are only going to get worse with time - including COPD which will see him oxygen dependent if his next heart attack doesn’t kill him off first - which has a lot to do with it.

(And, lest I sound completely selfless, let me add: it’d be frickin’ awesome to have sex with him without his ED making things complicated! :smiley: )

Since my wife is substantially older than I am, this is a no-brainer; it goes to her.

We’re in generally good health, and I don’t really need to undo a couple years of aging. I want something I can make use of, like cold, hard cash or unbounded wisdom. I made a pilgrimage to Athens a few years back, so I don’t think the Goddess will deny me.

Nah. He’s fifty (hang on, I have to do math) six, I’m forty eight. Wouldn’t do either of us much good and besides, we’re used to each other the way we are. We share everything just the way we are, and if either of us changed, we’d BOTH be confused so things are better just staying the way they are.

I take it that you’re in your early 30s at most, since you see the boon as only a few years of aging. Am I right? Also, you’re not being offered a simple reversion, but additionally a cessation of further aging for the rest of your life.

You’re not being selfless, dear, which is good as you know I don’t approve of selflessness, and if you were engaging in such revolting behavior I would have to remove you from the Short List for at least a week.

I voted to take the boon for myself, because my wife’s in her late 20s. Going back to 25 would not be a significant gain for her; I doubt she’d see it as as much of a reward at all. It would be as if Athena offered her a month’s free cable. But for me it would be huge, and substantially reduce the odds of her being a widow at 45.

:: reads poll results ::

I was going to say that I’d miss Dracoi after God sends those hounds after him, bit then I realized that I mixed up Acteon and Tiresias.

What else ya got? I’m not too wowed by this reward (I’m basically in my physical prime right now, and have no health concerns, same with the husband), but I’ll take it if there’s nothing better.

Though I am not that much older than 25, I’ll take it for myself as I have a multitude of individually minor but collectively significant health problems and would really benefit from nine more decades of perfect health.

As for my partner, I love her, but she takes way too many gambles with her safety to consider 120 a given. Besides she is under 25 so I doubt she’d appreciate me giving her a few more wrinkles overnight.

My partner. He has a bad ankle from a car accident and it’d be great to restore it back to 100%. I’d appreciate looking young and thin again, but I’d probably get fat again within a few years and waste it.

Plus, it’d be cool to see what he looks like with hair. :wink:

He’s 45, I will be next month.

But I’m a younger 45 - I didn’t kill my knees and shoulders playing offensive line in high school and college, and then more years in the military and law enforcement. I’ve also had the privilege of raising kids for 23 years now, while he was late to that party and has only experienced that joy for the past 4. I’d love for him to be able to romp around with the kids like a younger parent for once. He’s also a much nicer person than I am, so the world benefits more if he outlives me…

However, if the nectar doesn’t protect him from accidents, that last bit may be moot. As a teenager, Tony had so many injuries that it triggered an investigation from his dad’s insurance company, and things haven’t really improved much since!

I’d give it to my wife. She and I are 28 and 27, respectively, so it wouldn’t do much good. But whatever. I already know I’m going to die before her, so nothing much would change.

Actually, I’m not quite sure what my plans would be should she go first…

There’s nothing in the hypothetical requiring the nectar to be used right away, is there? If Athena’s cool with it, being goddess of wisdom and all, I’ll keep it locked up (or better yet ask if she’d be willing to keep it safe for me) until my wife or I gets sick, and then she and I will talk. Right now it’d remove a few aches and pains, but not enough to make it worthwhile, and the non-aging effect isn’t an unambiguous enough good that I’d want just one of us to go for it by itself.


My husband didn’t go through what Tony did, but he’s 20 years older than me and his heart and knees are shot. I’d love to have a reasonable expectation of being married to him for 30 years.

The wife gets it. She gets renewed, I get a young hot wife instead of a hot wife. Win-win.