Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Musings on Age

SS, aka, Dame Nuisance, is one of the few bloggie friends I actually know IRL. She and I have grown closer over the past year and I am honored to call her a close friend. She is a fiery redhead who is not afraid to speak out and one of the funniest women I know...if you haven't checked out her blog, Black Holes and Macrame, here's your opportunity to do so. She never disappoints, whether expounding on a 'Dilbert' like day at the office, recalling conversations with her precocious daughter, or calling out idiots...enjoy what I imagine is a typical dinner conversation at the S house...

Not too long ago at dinner, Darling Daughter suddenly declared that she was already seven (even though she won't be seven until the end of this month). Exercising a woman's prerogative to change her mind, she then declared she was actually eight years old. Darling Husband foolishly decided to disagree with DD and told her she was six going on seven and not eight. DD disputed this and the argument was on. Finally, after many rounds of 'no-you're-not-yes-I-am, nuh-uh-uh-huhs,' DH said in exasperation: "You can't just make your age up!"

I had stayed out of their argument up to that point, but it occurred to me that, yes, we
and we
make our ages up, so I nodded my head along with DD and said "Yeah we can." DH blinked and then acceded defeat with grace and humor, and DD spent the rest of the evening as an eight-year-old by choice (if not chronology).

The days of being seven
and a half
or eleven
and three quarters
are long gone for me. As is the anticipation of turning sixteen, eighteen or twenty-one. Somewhere along the way, somewhere between twenty-one and thirty, things change for us. There are no more ages to happily anticipate because of the onset of new privileges. There is no longer any good reason to admit your age (if you are inclined to admit it at all). You certainly don't round your age up or keep an exact count and say that you are twenty-nine and a half. You are twenty-nine until the last microsecond before midnight on the day of your birth, even if you were actually born at six a.m. You may even start referring to your age in a general sense: 'I'm in my thirties'. Then forty looms large and suddenly, with a loud screech, you slam the brakes on and decide that holding steady at thirty-nine sounds pretty darn good. I, for one, will be celebrating my fourth annual 39th birthday this year. For the mathematically impaired that means I'm going to be ... thirty-nine (ha! Did you really think I was going to say anything else? A lady never tells ... and neither do I).

But I warn you: If you tell someone that you're thirty-nine in front of a six-almost-seven-year-old, prepare to be outed. Because to the mind of a six-almost-seven-year-old, it is always good to be older, and there your chronological age will be, blinking in the sunlight, as pink and goose-pimply as a newly sheared lamb, while you stand there wishing your offspring had just uttered an untimely expletive instead. You know the one, it's the expletive now pinging around inside your head, the expletive you are desperately trying not to bellow at the top of your lungs in a sudden onset of Tourette's. Sometimes I think I'm being silly. But Nonetheless, until I'm a cigar-smoking, whiskey-swilling centenarian like George Burns, I'm sticking to thirty-nine ... just like Jack Benny (damn ... I just aged myself, didn't I?).

Well, then, here's to being old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway ... or something like that. They say the memory is the first to go ...


wendy said...

Ahhh...I liked that. It hits home with me for sure cause THIS year is my last year in my 50's.
holy freaking smokes........I'll be 59. I can't even begin to think of being 60.
But although I'd like to FEEL like I'm 30, I don't want to go back.
I like where my mind is now..........where is it exactly?????

I'll drink to that.

Tony Single said...

Dame Nuisance, it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I myself am stuck in a permanent "don't care" loop when it comes to my age. I might be fifty. I might be five. I might be a cabbage. It's all relative to me. :P

Chris said...

Working with college students, I am often asked my age. Unfortunately, I have reached the point where the reaction is too often, "Hey, you're a year older than my dad!"

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I tend to tell people my age for fear they think i'm older. But in DD fashion I am 54 1/2.

ReformingGeek said...

We refer to it as "low", "mid", and "upper" and "milestone". I don't like changing from one to the other. ;-)

Traci said...

Great story. I may be jumping the gun a little and I mean no disrespect to anyone not happy about 40. But I feel like I'm on this most amazing journey to this magical mecca called 40(although most of the time I am miserable with growing pains). Through this journey, I am hoping that at 40 I will be as beautiful and confident as the women I know who make up the 40 and older crowd.

Lori (JaneBeNimble) said...

Hello SS and Amy,
It's nice to meet you both! I'm loving the comments here ~ you have a zesty crowd and site and I'm sure to be back for more.

Now, hmm..., about age. I don't know why, but I've never really felt I needed to disguise it. But, then I feel like I do something wrong when I offer it up in conversation.

Am I weird? Please tell me. I won't be offended. ;)

I'm in my last weeks of being 39 and I look to 40 and think, Cool! I'll be in the same bracket as Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, and Halle Berry. I like the way the gentleman at the grocery store said it to me the other day, "Forty is the new Thirty. No worries!"

I think some of the most beautiful, lovely, amazing women out there are in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. Plus, my neighbor is 83 and just stunningly beautiful. Ha ha, I like how Tony put it, too, "I might be a cabbage...it's all relative."

Great post and blog. See you soon!

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

It's a shame that we have no age-related benefits to look forward to, unless you count silver sneakers and AARP!

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