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.