Real Mature

My friend, Bill, loves the ‘Back to the Future’ movies about as much as I love the ‘Star Wars’ movies. He even owns his own DeLorean! So on November 5, I wished him a Happy Back to the Future Day. That’s the date in 1955 that Christopher Lloyd’s character, Doc Brown, fell in his bathroom and hit his head. The resulting dream/hallucination led to his invention of the flux capacitor, which allows for time travel. Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, also traveled back in time to this date.

So it is only fitting that on November 5, a lawsuit was filed by a man hoping to go back in time.

Emile Ratelband, a motivational speaker and media personality in Holland, filed suit against his hometown of Arnhem, in the eastern province of Gelderland, after officials refused his application to amend his age to make him 20 years younger. Ratelband is 69-years-old, having been born on March 11, 1949. He wants his birthdate to be legally changed to March 11, 1969, making him 49.

Ratelband argues that he should be allowed to change his date of birth because he feels 20 years younger than he is and that doctors say he has the body of a 45-year-old. In fact, he even refers to himself as a “young god.”

Taking an interesting tact, Ratelband compares his predicament to being transgender. In an interview with the Dutch newspaper ‘De Telegraaf,’ he contends, “Transgender people can now have their gender changed on their birth certificate, and in the same spirit there should be room for an age change.” After all, he claims, “You can change your name. You can change your gender. Why not your age?”

Ratelband asserts that his age is restricting. “When I’m 69, I am limited. If I’m 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car. I can take up more work,” he said. He feels employers are reluctant to hire someone his age as a consultant.

But what’s the most altruistic reason he wants to change his age? Tinder. Ratelband believes his age hurts his chances on the online dating app. “I can have all the girls I want but not after I tell them that I am 69,” he explains. “When I’m on Tinder and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer,” Ratelband asserts. “When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position.”

The epitome of modesty, Ratelband went on to say, “I feel young, I am in great shape and I want this to be legally recognized because I feel abused, aggrieved and discriminated against because of my age.”

Finally, he argues a ruling in his favor would benefit the government, as he is currently collecting a retirement pension akin to Social Security. If he magically becomes 49, he’ll no longer qualify.

Ratelband is expected to get a ruling on the case in the next four weeks. While I’m sure lots of seniors will be following his case with interest, I hope the court rules against him. If people are allowed to change their age, I’m confident my son will claim he feels 18 so he can immediately take out a credit card and run up thousands of dollars’ worth of charges in Fortnite.

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Reg P. Wydeven

Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney at McCarty Law LLP
Hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps from a young age, Reg’s practice primarily consists of advising individuals on estate planning, estate settlement and elder law matters. As Reg represents clients in matters like guardianship proceedings and long-term care admissions, he feels grateful to be able to offer families thorough legal help in their time of need.

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