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age

I turned a year older last month, but to me age is just a number. The day before my birthday I happened to venture out to Gamestop with my son.  I was pretty much in my typical casual Saturday attire: make-up free, basketball shorts, a white-tee and flip flops. My hair was up in a bun and I had on my glasses.  My son is 14 and he’s about a 1/2 inch taller than I am, even though I’m about 5’10.  We walk up to the cashier to pay for his new game, which was rated M for mature. I had the cashier cash and she looks up and asks for my identification.

“Identification for what,” I asked.

“I need to make sure you’re over 18,” the cashier said.

“What?? That’s my mom!” my son said.

“Wait…,” the cashier said in shock.

The cashier looked at my driver’s license, then back up at me and is amazed at my age.  She apologized for carding me, and I told her I understood it was her job.  A few hours later, I was once again carded when I went to buy a bottle of vodka. Once again, I felt like I was walking around with a fake I.D.

This has become my life recently. “Miss, I need to see your I.D,” says just about everyone.

According to a few friends, I’m the black Benjamin Buttons. Sure I may have turned 37 this August, but they said I must have found the fountain of youth and I’m not sharing with them.

But not everyone is proud to share their age with others. Some lie about their age *gasp*.

In a recent episode of “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” where Oprah looks back at a conversation she had with actress Cybill Shepherd in 2010, the topic of lying about age came up. Oprah believes that when you lie about your age you “denying your very existence.” 

“Learning to love ourselves as we age is one of the most challenging things we can do,” Shepherd said on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

“You’re denying, energetically, the years you have earned here on the planet earth,” she says. “You’re denying those experiences. You are denying your very existence by trying to lie about your age.”

I lied about my age before I reached 21, when I used a fake I.D to get into the club, but now, I proudly flaunt it.  Mistake me for a younger age, I won’t go along with it, but politely correct the person just so I can see the look in their eyes.  I learned this from my mother, who still doesn’t look a year over 40, and my maternal grandmother who’s still dancing around to her Otis Redding at 84.

My son asked me one day what am I going to do when I turn 40. As if  my world is going to come to an end.  I looked at him and laughed. At 40, of course I’ll be older and who knows, maybe a little wiser, but I won’t allow an age to define me.

Have you ever lied about your age? What’s the best thing and what’s the hardest thing about the age you are now?

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  • Pera

    I´ll be 33 in december but nobody outside my family seems to believe it, once at my niece´s school a kid asked me which grade I was, a man at the gym asked me about my mom who is actually my sister just 3 years older than me, things like that happens to me all the time, I believe thanks to my mom´s genes who looks like another daughter of my dad despite they are the same age.

  • No, as mention if you take care of yourself than black don’t crack so there is no need to lie about your age. But I do think it is a perk and the ultimate compliment for an older woman who looks so young that she has to correct people stating her correct age. My mom is in her 50s and she was at the bank trying to get some senior citizen benefits for her account and the teller was floored because she thought she was in her 30s…lol

    But Lynn above makes a good point about age discrimination. Stating your age especially when it applies to career or job employment or opportunities is a little daunting. I finally found a path I wanted to go in my career but it is a bit daunting when you are the oldest intern there or applying for fellowships with your peers still have milk behind the ears (and mind you I am only in my mid-20s…lol) So it is kind of like are my perspective employers are going to give me the chance or go with someone who they can get more mileage out of sort to speak.

    • JaeBee

      “Stating your age especially when it applies to career or job employment or opportunities is a little daunting. I finally found a path I wanted to go in my career but it is a bit daunting when you are the oldest intern there or applying for fellowships with your peers still have milk behind the ears (and mind you I am only in my mid-20s…lol) So it is kind of like are my perspective employers are going to give me the chance or go with someone who they can get more mileage out of sort to speak.”

      It works in reverse as well. I am older than you are, but people always assume I’m at least 10 years younger than I truly am which then leads them to assume that I may not be as experienced as other individuals. People assume that those who are older have more knowledge, and as such are often more willing to listen to the things that they say, follow their advice, and give them a certain level of respect and deference that they wouldn’t bestow to someone that they think is “young”. I’ve actually witnessed the head of my department refer to several “older” workers as being “seasoned” in the presence of “younger” workers who in actuality had spent more time working in the field and had held graduate degrees for a longer period of time.

  • Me27

    I don’t lie about my age, but I don’t volunteer it either. If someone asks, I will tell my age, however most people don’t ask; they just assume I am in my 20’s. The only bad thing about looking younger is people tend to be extremely condescending until they find out how old I really am.