So one day, I started to lie about my age.
It's not what you think. I put some conscious thought into the decision.
Here's what I thought:
Ladies, you have it wrong.
You, some of you, get to be about 29, or 30, and you just freeze right there. You're telling people that for your next birthday you're 'hitting the big 3-0', or whatever, and people around you are telling you "No! You don't look that old! Aren't you like 25?" and you feel good. You want to hold on to that feeling, you don't want to get older, so you continue to tell people, you're 'hitting the big 3-0' even though you are 31. And 33. And 35.
Or maybe you're not at any particular number, but you decide it's time, and you start to shave a year. Or two. Or five.
Either way, it eventually reaches a point where, when you tell people your 'age', they aren't saying "No! You don't look that old! Aren't you like 25?" Instead they're just looking at you kind of funny, kind of uncomfortably, and saying "Really? ... really?"
Now I thought about all this, and I thought I'd figured a way to get that "No! You don't look that old!" feeling all the time, in a way that would never run out. I figure, if you're looking for that "you don't look that old" feeling, you need to go the other way; You need to tack some years on! That way you should always get people saying you don't look that old, because you aren't that old! You'll always have that "you don't look that old" response, thus you always get that good feeling!
Thinking that I had come up with a foolproof plan to get myself some good feelings on a continuing basis, I decided to go a little overboard and tack on 12 years. If the responses I got were too vehement I could always trim it back to 10, or 8... So when I turned 40, I started telling people I was 52. When my birthday was coming up, and I mentioned it, people asked me how old I was going to be. It went something like this:
"Yeah, my birthday's at the end of the month."
"Really? How old are you going to be?"
(Expectantly) "Fifty two."
Nice? Okay? That's terrific? These were not the responses I was looking for! So much for my 'foolproof plan'! It never occurred to me that I actually looked 52! Talk about depressing!
Now, like someone poking a bad tooth with their tongue, I've stuck with this. I'm now 54 ... or 42 ... and when people are completely accepting of my claim that I'm 54 it barely hurts at all. I don't twitch and sob anymore, which was getting me some odd looks. Instead I just grin and walk away ... and wait until I get home to cry.
By the way, a couple of years ago when I began to occasionally get my grandfather's AARP magazine in the mail by mistake I did not think it was funny. I do now... occasionally. I still get emails from them sometimes. At the time, though, I was pretty pissed. I was on the verge of slapping some fresh tennis balls on my walker for the trip to their office to complain, but it was nap time, and by the time I got up, drank my prune juice and watched my stories, the day was almost over! The day after that there was a birthday party down at the Senior Center, and by the third day I had decided to leave the AARP people alone. If I piss them off they may be able to get my excellent parking privileges rescinded!
Talk to you later ... if I'm still around. You never know, at my age!