Of all the things the human race has to worry about, age shouldn’t be one of them. Sure, we should think about our overall health, but that should be from day one and continue until we die. I don’t know about other countries but in the US the “prime” ages seem to be between 21 and 25. Within these ages exists a place where telling your real age comes with pride. You are no longer an awkward teen, you are given a bit more respect as an adult, and you’re nowhere near the proverbial “hill” we all go over. I remember at age 25 hoping time would simply stop. I was perfectly fine with that number and no more were needed, thank you very much.
My mother has always been a great role model of how to handle the age thing. She never lies about her age and she openly discusses it if the topic comes up. Since she had me later in life she was typically older than the other mothers and she didn’t seem to mind one bit. My mother was also gifted with a youthful appearance. She has aged beautifully and I don’t blame her one bit for taking pride in that.
It is because of this upbringing that I can’t understand where my own insecurities come from. Perhaps it is because I’m now 10 years older than she was when she had me and I’m still without a child. For as much as age should not be a factor when it comes to attractiveness or ability, the sad fact of the matter is age does effect one’s ability to get pregnant. Perhaps it is because of this fact that ageism is still so prominent for women. But I won’t get into that now.
One thing I do have in common with my mother is that I haven’t physically aged too badly. I still get carded at the age of 40. Maybe they’re just being nice, but I’ve had some pretty interesting reactions when they see my date of birth. Typically I get, “Oh wow you look great” or “I never would have guess you were that old.” What the hell is a 40 year old supposed to look like exactly? I watch TV, I’ve seen movies, I know people my age and older. None of us are walking around with gray hair and canes. In fact, thanks to improved medical care we even live to our 50s!
I had a rather intrusive encounter with a waitress when we went out to eat one evening. I ordered a beer and she carded me. Once she saw my date of birth the look of shock was obvious. Then it got weird. She informed me she was the same age as I am, only a month older to be precise. She said she wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t seen it and said I looked so much younger. I was a bit uncomfortable, but thanked her. Then she said, “How do you look like that, but I look like this (she points to her whole self) if we are the same age?” How do you appropriately respond to that type of question? Do you lie and say they look great too? Do you fake plastic surgery? Clean livin? Good genes? Time traveler? It was so uncomfortable and I can’t even remember what I said. I’m sure it was tactful as she was handling my food.
There comes a point where saying someone looks good “for their age” isn’t really a compliment. How about they just look good? Oh you run 5 miles a day, that’s amazing for someone your age, is NOT a compliment. There are thousands upon thousands of people that are of all ages doing amazing things, accomplishing goals, look fabulous, and living their friggin lives. Come on people, have we not advanced enough as a society to stop stigmatizing people based on age? Hahahahah, I know wishful thinking.