I used to think my dad was Ashton Kutcher.

To be fair, my dad actually told me he was Ashton Kutcher, so it’s not really my fault. I was probably around eight years old at the time, and most eight-year-olds believe everything their dads say. Like how my sister and I believed for years that my dad was allergic to fur and therefore we could not get a dog, when in reality he just didn’t want to get a pet that was any more of a hassle than a fish. But that’s a different story.

The important thing is that at one point in my life, I genuinely believed my dad was the famous actor Ashton Kutcher. Allow me to explain. When I was younger, my dad would occasionally watch the television series That 70s Show, because it reminded him of his teenage years growing up in that era. I would sometimes watch it with him, because it made me feel grown-up, even though I had no idea what was actually going on. While we were watching the episodes together, I basically just laughed when my dad laughed because in my mind, if he thought something was funny, then I should think it’s funny too.

Around this time in my life, I saw a picture of my dad on his high school graduation day that reminded me of Ashton Kutcher. However, when I was eight I didn’t know who Ashton Kutcher was much less about his career as a successful actor. I simply knew him as the teenager with the long hair from That 70s Show. And when I saw my dad had a very similar haircut in his graduation picture, my eight-year-old self made the connection that my dad might be the long-haired teenager from the show. Little did I know that the long hairstyle that I found so unique and distinguishing was actually an extremely popular hairstyle in the 70s.

The next time my dad and I watched That 70s Show together, I decided to ask if he was indeed the long-haired teenager, otherwise known has Ashton Kutcher. To my satisfaction, my dad said yes. Looking back, I’m not sure why he did that. Maybe it was because he thought it would be funny and he knew I would believe anything he said with a serious face. Or maybe he just said yes to get me to be quiet. Either way, his answer confirmed my suspicion that my father was indeed Ashton Kutcher.

I must have believed that Ashton Kutcher was my dad for a while because I’m actually not really sure when I realized that he definitely isn’t. It probably happened as I grew up and noticed they don’t even look alike other than the long hair. However, a few years ago I did discover that Ashton Kutcher’s real first name is Christopher, which is my dad’s name. So maybe my eight-year-old self was on to something. But that’s not really the point.

Every time I see Ashton Kutcher on TV or in the media, I get that nostalgic feeling. He reminds me of my dad and sitting in the living room with him watching TV. He reminds me of laughing just because someone else is. He reminds me of all the crazy things I believed when I was a kid. To me, that’s the point of this story. It’s not that I was a really gullible eight-year-old or that my dad lied about being Ashton Kutcher, but that I’m still reminded of this silly story from my childhood to this day.

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