I don’t know if it’s a Boomer thing, an island thing, or just a thing with people I choose to have conversations with, but I don’t know anyone who lies about their age.
Okay, I don’t know any ADULTS who lie about their age. That is more accurate because I do occasionally run into the four-year-old claiming to be five and the eight-year-old who so longs for puberty that “I’m nine” pops out almost without thinking, prompting the issuance of an involuntary groan from somewhere near the please-don’t-rush-it area of my brain.
But grownups declaring a false age? Nope. I’ve not even heard a dodge in a long time, nor a “How old do you THINK I am?” recipe for disaster. When the subject comes up, as it does, real numbers pop out.
Being 56 … see what I mean? … I’m old enough to remember TV episodes in which Lucy or Donna or June clearly made the point that asking a lady’s age was a sin punishable by glares and accusations of totally inappropriate rudeness and that lying about how may rings were on one’s tree was not only a right, but a responsibility to womanhood in general.
People were expected to chronologically constipate at 29, or at the very outer limit of 39, and stay that way until sometime around 80 when they could relax enough to unclench and own their age.
Trying to pass as younger has never made much sense to me. It seems preferable to be seen as a semi-ravishing 50-year-old who appeals to some tastes than a tired 39 who looks to have been rode hard and put away wet way too often.
I mean, really! Who do people think they’re fooling?
Anyone with eyes notices hair color that comes from a bottle and spots neck wrinkles and liver spots even post-botox, so the charade seems to be a game of one. Does anyone really think that the generation of your mother’s hands at the end of your arms is an invisible phenomenon?
In my crowd, thinning skin and too-frequent urges to pee are nothing to be denied …. What would possibly be the use of that? … but commiserated and comfortingly compared.
For the most part, people in my world are okay with the aging thing. We can name it, we can claim it, and we won’t be shamed into lying … the capital of the State of Denial … because there is no shame in the neighborhood. We may creak and crack and come in handy as visual aids in lectures on gravity, but we hold our heads up high on these scrawny necks of ours, happy enough to be whatever age we are.
After all, we are well aware of the alternative, and that is NOT dewy youth no matter how hard one tries to make it so.