We've all heard:
"A lady never tells her true age"
"Never ask a woman how old she is"
Having my husband temporarily forget how old I am when he ordered my birthday cake earlier this week got me to thinking about age in general. I normally don't think about my age and obviously my husband doesn't either. Even though my birthday is in March, in my own mind I use January 1 of each year as a benchmark of how old I am. I guess in a way, that gives me a couple of months to try it out before it actually happens.
I have been honest about my age my entire life with the only exception being when I was 17 trying to pass for 19 so I could get into the dance clubs. I never had to lie about it again and it's been like that my entire life.
The only birthday that bothered me was when I turned 20. Somehow, in my mind at the time, turning 20 was that line in the sand that represented adulthood. Maybe I didn't think I was ready or maybe I hadn't had enough time being a teen. Either way, that apprehension didn't last long and I've been comfortable with each and every birthday since. I've always been willing to volunteer what my age is or make whatever comment I felt like whether or not it gave away that "magic" number to others.
I've never been one to knock off a few years when the subject does come up. What is the payoff to tell someone you are 39 when you are 49? I'd rather be honest to at least give them the option to think:
"Hey, she looks good for 49."
"She looks like hell for 39"
Maybe I'll change my mind as the years continue to creep up (God willing) but for now I wear each and every one of these 49 years like a neon sign. Each one represents another year of a life well lived and it is never lost on me that middle age and old age is a "privilege" that many will never get the opportunity to enjoy or experience.
So tell us, are you honest when asked about your age, do you avoid the question altogether or do you knock off a few years? Tell us in the comments, your secret is safe!