Friday, March 12, 2010

To Tell Or Not To Tell...

We've all heard:

"A lady never tells her true age" 
or 
"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."

rather than;
"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!


post signature

59 comments:

Patricia said...

I am 35... not ashamed to share my age although I prefer to say 26 and holding!

Rabbit said...

No one ever believes I am as old as I actually am. (I'll be 34 this year.) Not even a month ago, I got carded for cigarettes! Cigarettes! You only have to be 18 to buy cigarettes! I know I should be flattered (I guess) but I was thoroughly annoyed - because I didn't have ID with me - and they would not sell to me. Age doesn't bother me though, in general. I was so excited to turn 30 when it happened - and I can't wait for 40. It's all about how you live your life to me, not how many years it took you to get there.

Simply Suthern said...

I've never fudged my age except as you when I was younger to get into clubs or buy beer. I didnt have to really fudge. Everyone always assumed I was of age because I looked older than I was. That worked well then, Now, Not so well. LOL Happy Bday, and glad you are proud of the years, We've earned then.

staceyjwarner said...

I just turned 40 and I'm always honest because normally guess I'm much younger so it feels good, LOL!

much love

Mary said...

That's the great thing about working in the schools: You can tell the kids you're 29 when you're 40+ and they don't know the difference!

Trish said...

Im pretty young and dont feel the need to try and be younger even though alot of people cant believe Im as young as I am. Ive always admired women who were older than me, I cant wait to keep experiencing life. Im not afraid of getting older. I suppose Im like you, I dont think I would try and hide my age on purpose...hehe.

Debbie said...

No I have not lied about my age since I was 17...every time I was almost legal in NYS, they changed it....but since I have turned 21 and on....I feel honored every birthday to still be here, and I am trying my best to grow old gracefully....and personally I think a lot us women look better now than when we where in our 20's and 30's!~ Good post!!~

Terry said...

I am 42...I think...hmmm..yeah, 42...but I got carded when I tried to buy cough medicine. I must have not looked too young, but a little strung out...That's ok. I am who I am! :)

GunDiva said...

Nope. Haven't lied about my age, though people tell me they don't believe I'm 38. I think I look every second of my age, but others don't so who am I to rock the boat?

Dual Mom said...

I've never seriously lied about my age. Yeah, I joke about being 28 but c'mon, what kind of a dope would really believe me?

Ageing scares the crap out of me. Wandering around the neighbourhood in my nightie not being able to remember my own name doesn't sound like much fun to me. Nor does wearing an adult diaper.

Tammy said...

I am always honest with my age too...I look younger than I my actual age so that kind of helps. Its how you feel on the inside that count! :)

Michele said...

What a great post.
I am always honest when asked about my age. I love being 41.. although I do wish the time would slow down just a bit ;)

June said...

Only when I was a teen did I lie about my age.
Now it's just a matter of remembering how old I am!!
It helps that one of my best friends was born same day, same year.

Secretia said...

I tell people that I've been dyeing my hair gray, little by little for years now.

Carol said...

Almost 46 and proud of it! There isn't a single year I would trade, so why try to hide any of them! You are right, middle age is a privilege and I'm grateful and plan on staying that way!

Daffy said...

Most of the time I forget...I really have to think about it. I've caught myself telling people that I'm older than I really am simply because I'm a stooge and cant' remember. Of course, then my attempts at correcting the blunder only make it look as though I'm lieing....

newmumover40 (to be!) said...

I'm 41. I never lie about it, but I do avoid the answer sometimes, especially with my students. Mostly I get the 'wow you don't look 41, I would have thought early 30's'. Who wouldn't want to get that response by telling the truth??!!

I don't know what 41 is meant to feel like, but I certainly don't feel all that much different - in body, mind or spirit. Still just the same me! But I do like the experience and insight that living 40 years has bring and I wouldn't go backwards for anything. I love the 40's!!!!!

My Mercurial Nature said...

I don't lie about it & the question itself doesn't bother me. For now, at least, the idea of aging isn't horrific enough to start lying to myself (or anyone else).

Noelle said...

I'm 42 and don't mind telling people. The only time I have panic attacks is when I think about all the stuff I still want to do with my life...and then I freak out a little because I feel like I'm running out of time!

Kat said...

I'm 45 and I tell people that AND the fact that I have TWO grandchildren :) I think age is a state of mind!

Connie K said...

I turned 40 this year and i love it ! I have been through so much in my life i feel like i earned every year and am proud to always say am 40 !

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

I've never lied about my age. Don't see the point in it. Eventually, the lie catches up with you .

mommymommymommy said...

I am 45 and never lie about it!

brainella said...

I'll be 40 in August. I don't see the point in lying about how old I am. I've worked damned hard to get this far!

yonca said...

Almost 42! And I don't mind to tell anyone what my age is.Have a great weekend Deb!

Aging Mommy said...

Pretty much all my life, people have assumed I am younger than I actually am - which was a pain when I was in my teens and twenties as I would have to produce ID to get a drink in a bar etc. But my mother (who I take after) always told me don't complain about looking younger than you are as one day you will be glad you do. Of course she was right!

Anyway, age is just a number - it's how you feel inside that counts and how you look after yourself in life. I am fitter now than I was in my twenties and I don't mind telling anyone how old I am

Heather said...

I'm 35 and I don't lie about it. And six more months I will be 36.

Respectfully Yours said...

I don't lie about my age either. However, I have to think about it and do the math in my head...YUP - I am 47...Yikes.

The Garden Bell said...

Here's what I do. I change to the next year up in Jan, when hubbie adds one, I add one...then when my b-day comes in Sept, I'm totally fine with it already. But, at 53
{52} who the heck cares anyways.

Weekend Hugs,
Kate - The Garden Bell

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

I'm honest. But, like you, 20 got me a little upset. 30 and 40 were a breeze, and I have no qualms about 50, tho I'll wait the year and a half till it gets here, thank you.

Matty said...

I remember being told as I grew up that it wasn't polite to ask a woman her age. So I held true to that standard.

All my life I've been told that I look younger than my actual age. I guess age is in the eye of the beholder.

Me....bunny said...

Like you...the only time I lied about my age is when I was 16 and was recruited by all my girlfriends to go buy booze at the liquor store...I had the biggest boobs...anyways, age has never been a biggie for me. Maybe it's because when people find out I have 3 grandchildren they're shocked. Maybe it's the "I don't care what age I am" vibe..who knows.It's not an issue.....YET...lol

tootles,
bunny

Frugal Vicki said...

I loved and hated your post at the same time. I loved it for the honesty, and I really liked the comparison of looking great for 49 or hell for 39, because right now, post two c-section babies less than two years in age, I look....like....I don't really know because I can't even face myself anymore.
Do you remember that point of change? where the "optional" lotion each night became mandatory, but you were still "felt" too young to have to do it.
Makes me kind of sad actually
But YEAH because I think you have a FANTASTIC grasp of how awesome you are!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Most of the time, I get shear amazement when I tell people that I am 46. I don't mind telling my age. My mom does but I figure, it's a blessing to live to see another year so I don't feel like short changing it will do it any justice. Boo is 50 and he looks like he is in his early 40's. He also doesn't have a problem with telling his age.

I think it's really all relative to the way you feel about it.

Frau said...

When I turned forty I decided to stay there. Bit now that I'm 44...shhhh! don't tell anyone I feel lately that I freaking look my age. It's hard to pass off young when your child it getting older. I like saying it sometime just to see people reaction! My Mom always lied about her age and has we got older she told people we were from his first marriage cause there is no way she could have children this old! Have a wonderful weekend.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

I usually add a year to my age and then realize I haven't had my birthday yet. I think the only time I lied about my age was when I was young and wanted to be old enough to get into a bar.

On the flip side, now I'm thrilled to get carded...of course the lighting has to be juuuuuust right for that to happen.

kyooty said...

i'm too young to be concerned... or not.... I don't discuss it especially on the internet.

Posh Totty said...

I am 35, I could not care less, age is just a number.

mama-face said...

OH, DEB! I have been so out of sync with my favorite bloggers!! I can't believe I am so late on reading about your birthday adventures. At least I got to read all about it at once.

Hey, we could have been friends in HS. Although you would've been too cool for me; but it's a nice idea. haha. I love your birthday cake...and your husband.

I relate on many levels...this year I had to THINK about how old I was. Let's see I was born in 1962, so that means...seriously. It just doesn't matter anymore. And I buy my own gifts anyway. (Not the cake though. hey, wait a minute. I didn't even get a cake...)

Happy Birthday to you!!!

Bev G said...

How can you possibly be 49? It just seems like yesterday you were running around in barefeet with a clothes basket upside down on your head....

Linda Medrano said...

Deb, it's funny you say turning 20 bothered you. Turning 22 bothered me for kind of the same reason. I realized I had been thinking for a lot of years "I can't wait till I'm ...a teenager, 18, 21" and now there would never be another year I would look forward to! Who every says "I can't wait till I'm 64?" LOL. Yeah, if asked I tell my age. Unless it's a child and then I tell them "Honey NEVER ask a woman her age."

liz said...

I think you have the absolute right mindset about age. I have never understood why people make such a big deal about it because it doesn't say or reflect who you, as a person, ARE.

I have the opposite problem, though, because people always think I'm younger than my real age. I still get carded, even when I'm buying beer at the grocery store with my 4 year old in tow.

BTW, I found you through TMB, and am following.

Thanks!

gayle said...

I honest and truely don't lie about my age but I have a hard time remembering if I am 56 or 57.

3LittleMonkeys said...

I often get mistaken for 25 even though I'm 32! I'm happy about that, I wonder how long I can pull that off?! Eye cream...come to mamma!

VandyJ said...

I have to credit genetics for the fact I look much younger than my age. I have shocked people when they find out my age. I have complained in a joking way about getting older and some days I feel every year but mostly I don't think about my age. I did find it harder to remember my age after I turned 25. I really had to think about then.
Now I don't have to think about old I am and don't have a problem with it. I am 36 and proud of it.

The Nakamuras on Saipan said...

Yeah, I'm always honest about my age-I mean, why lie? I don't get that. I'll be 49 in September. Physical age never really mattered to me after I turned 21. Good post.

ZenMom said...

I'm pretty upfront about being an old fart. No use trying to hide the inevitable.

Seriously, age has never been a big issue for me. I'm glad to see its not for you either.

Melissa said...

I have been turning 25 for several years now, and no I won't say for how many years! You get to pick your own age, did you miss that memo?

NYCGAL said...

The age that bothered me was 25. I was married to my ex husband. No kids, no house, broke. I felt old. That sounds funny to me know. I don't like this birthday coming for some reason - 45. It is like ok now I am in my "mid
40s" vs early 40's. So far so good that peeps think that I am younger than I am. It's all the damn facial products that I used lol!!

Melinda Arnold said...

No problems telling my age either! I'm lovin' the 40's!!
I did have a problem when I turned 20, I felt adrift, lost, like I was an adult with no freakin' idea what I wanted or where I was going...if I knew then what I know now!!

Gropius said...

Would you believe I went to the dermatologist to get checked for skin cancer this week & he was like "well I see you're 34." NO! NOT! I have 2 more months until 34. For the love of Pete, that's screwed up.

Aunt Juicebox said...

I always lie about my age. If someone asks me, I will say I'm at least 2 years older than I am. They always guess me as being a lot younger anyway (even my doctor didn't believe me) so when I say I'm 38 they're always really amazed at how young I look for my age. :)

raquel roysdon said...

nice you got a check, what a horrible thing to happen though.

Anita said...

I've been paging through the comments. It's interesting how no one says they look older than their age. We must all have good genes, eating very well and exercising. :)

52 for me!

Have fun being 49!!!

Anita said...

Oh, I forgot to tell you that I enjoyed seeing your adorable childhood pictures in your post a couple days ago.
Who's your wardrobe person and hair stylist? So 6os chic! :)

Buckeroomama said...

I don't really get it when people lie about their age. I think it's a bit coy. I tell my real age --unless I forget (!). Past a certain age, I really had to think about how old I really was. I'd been known to give the wrong age a couple of times, but only because I honestly forgot! :) Selective memory. Heh.

Arizona Mamma said...

I tell my age. Except for recently, I was talking to someone at the gym and it wasn't until relaying the story to my friend later and that I realized I said I was 3 years younger than I am. I did it completely on accident. My mind simply dropped the years as if they never happened.

Too Many Hats said...

I'm honest, although I have toyed with the idea of adding 5-10 years, just to have people think I look really good for my age ;)

Heather said...

Most of the time I forget how old I am. Just two days ago on the phone with my mother, I asked her how old I was. Quick mom do the math! She is no quicker than I am! LOL!

"She looks like hell for 39"

Yup that's me! Only I will be 41 in May. I have always looked and acted much older and this tends to give people the impression that I am lying.