Monday, May 18, 2009

Lying aboout your age

There was a sidebar when I checked on my blog this morning. It asked 'Why do women lie about their age.' I tried to find the answer, but came up with nothing.

I have lied about my age at two two periods of my life. One period was when I was between twenty one and twenty three. When I first began working as a Physical Therapist people looked at me and said to themselves 'What does that dumb blonde know about anything. My back is hurting so badly today, I would rather have that older therapist work on it'. Her disappointment was so obvious when I called her name, I had to assure her of my expertise. I told her I was twenty-nine. And once she was lucky enough to have me treat her back ache, she never asked for anyone older. My looks was a detraction but I had strong hands and I knew what I as doing.

The next time I felt like lying was much later. I was 86 when good friends asked me to come along to Port Townsend to hear a lecture. We were meeting in a theatre. A few seats in the front row were screened off. We sat in the row behind the verboten ones. In came a lady, dressed to the teeth and with heels that clicked loudly enough to turn many heads. She marched directly to the front seats and sat down in one of the special ones. A young man came along and said quietly: Are you supposed to sit there? Without rising but with a loud voice she said: 'Young man, I want you to know, I'm nearly ninety, and I sit where I want.' I felt we should all have applauded. Such power! And I decided that I would use that expression. I had only four years to go, so it was nearly the truth when I copied her. I went on a cruise around the world that year and it helped me a few times. Especially when we had to get in line and wait endlessly.

I am now 89 and in six months I'll have reached that magic number. But since I moved into my current address 90 does not seem so magic. Friday afternoons some of us meet in a sewing, knitting group and one of the ladies who makes the most beautiful blankets with her crochet hook is 104. And ninety is not such a big deal.


Beth said...

Oh, you give me hope! My grandmother lived to be 98 and just went to sleep one night and didn't wake up. No surgeries, no major ailments; 7 children born at home. I want to be like her (and you). I want to travel around the world at 86! and knit at 104! eat lunch at the marina and start a blog. You inspire me.

Della said...

I do love your perspective! You inspire me also. :)

Haphazardkat said...

I've never lied about my age--but I did experience the pain of looking like I was 14 when I was 20 and the lack of respect that came with it.
Now it has paid me back in kindness as I'm fast approaching my 44th birthday and receive shocked looks when I mention my age followed by the magical words, "oh my gosh, I would have never guessed you were that old!" ha ha ha...double edged compliment!!

Vancouver, WA

Vicky said...

You are an inspiration!! And go to prove that you're only as old as you feel.... I know some 20somethings that are 90somethings in their head, and vice versa.
You have made my day! x

Leni said...

Oh, I know only too well the problem of looking younger than your age! I suffered all through my youth, and was only pleased when I got to an age when it was flattering to be thought younger! However, now I'm a 'Senior Citizen' (so much nicer to say than 'Old Age Pensioner') I have to show the photo on my Freedom Pass every time, as people think I must have stolen one from someone older! I can't win! ;-D

I, too, would love to live to 90 and be as active in mind and body as you and the other 'inmates' (a term my mother always used for the residents of her Sheltered Housing Complex) :-D

Elaine in the UK

#3 said...

My mother was discriminated against not only because of her youth, but because she was movie-star gorgeous. She's still got it today...

jg2 said...

I figure old or young, I'm just whatever I am. Someday my age will catch up to me or me to it and it will all even out. One friend tells his age in days which always sets me to giggling as I watch folks get the idea to do that themselves. (I would offer that it's much easier if you use a spreadsheet like excel, which has the capability to count all the leap years already built in.)