A few weeks ago, I did something I vowed I would never do, I lied about my age. Well to be accurate, I didn’t so much lie as I stretched the definition of the late 60s to include 1965, the year I was born.
I was submitting a piece to an online publication that caters to women in their 40s, and I didn’t want to advertise the fact that I would be leaving the club in less than four months. The thought then crossed my mind that perhaps I should go through all my essays, take out any reference to my actual age, and replace it with more vague terms such as, “midlife,” “Gen X,” or just start saying I’m in my forties and just forget, at least for the next five years, that October 27th will bring me my official AARP application form.
It’s not my obligation to announce my age, is it? My youngest child just turned 10. So my experiences as a mom are still relevant to women in their 30s and 40s who are also knee deep in homework, play dates, and PTA meetings. Why should I make myself less attractive to that demographic because I’m a few years older?
It’s tempting to turn the clock back a bit whether it’s for one’s career or personal life. I totally understand why some women choose not to reveal their true age. But in the end, I decided to not lie about soon hitting my half-century mark. The fact that my piece was rejected made it a tad easier. Here are my top 10 reasons why I will now always be truthful about my age:
10.) After almost 50 years on this planet, I will be damned if I’m going to deny even one minute of my hard-earned wisdom.
9.) I’m really looking forward to saying to people, I’m 50 years old, I don’t have time for this nonsense.
8.) Thanks to my Italian genes and my distaste for baking in the sun in my teens and twenties, I am frequently taken for much younger than I am. I really like people looking surprised when I tell them how old I am. I don’t think I would enjoy it if I told someone I’m 42 or 45, and they just looked at me like, yeah, what else is new? Or worse, said wow, I thought you were older.
7.) If I start shaving years off my age in order to sound more relevant aren’t I contributing to the problem, not the solution?
6.) My mother has never lied about her age, and she raised me with the idea that getting older is far better than the alternative.
5.) I have friends who never got to see their 40th birthdays, never mind their 50th. I owe it to them to enjoy every year I get on this planet.
4.) I hear those AARP discounts can really add up. I have three kids who want to go to college. With costs for higher education rising every year, I am going to need all the help I can get.
3.) As it is I have a hard enough time remembering the dates of birthdays of my immediate family members, never mind my own. How am I supposed to keep track of my new birthday too?
2.) My children would surely rat me out.
1.) As old as I get, I will still be seven years younger than my husband.