I still find this a fascinating concept that amounts to: if I am not there, time does not pass, but, and this is not unimportant, only if I have ever known you or met you once, and thus providing yet another way in which I am thoroughly self-centered. Example: people I knew years ago who have gotten married and had kids, have huge careers of some kind, pretty much do anything that implies that enough time has passed for these things to take place. A few more specific examples:
a) What do you mean you’re married to a TV star and have a baby? We were just out dancing in Soho like, last week.
b) What do you mean you own an art gallery? You were like, the dork I passed notes to in eleventh grade.
c) What do you mean you have a regular column in the NEW YORK TIMES? We were just in Mr. Alexander’s baking class making fried bowknot cookies.
d) What do you mean you produce a TV show? You sat next to me in Broadcasting 101.
e) What do you mean you produce a TV show? You’re my friend’s ex-boyfriend’s little brother.
f) What do you mean, you’re forty-four years old, Everyone I Graduated High School With?
g) What are you talking about, Emmy-Award Reporter Times Best Seller Sixteen Times Over Staff Member of The New Yorker? You just starred in GUYS AND DOLLS at Hillel Beth Abraham.
h) What do you mean you don’t know who I am, 80s teen star? YOU WROTE A PAGE IN MY SENIOR YEARBOOK.
Okay, so occasionally the passing of time does not aid in alleviating me of twenty-five year old bitterness (see h), but if you think about it, that sort of follows.
Please note, though, that if I have never met you, and meet you for the first time, then it is perfectly acceptable for you to have a backstory of any length.