Are you hiding your age?

j0430507 300x300 Are you hiding your age?You know how Entertainment Tonight does their birthday announcements at the end of each show?  It always cracks me up to hear that someone, who up until a year ago was my age, is now magically two years younger.  Seriously? Did you think we wouldn’t notice?

Lying about our age is certainly not unique to this generation. Our mothers did it, and their mothers before them. But in a time when turning forty is embraced more than ever, many of us are still hesitant about embracing it.  If forty really is the new thirty, why hide it?

I’ve always been one to embrace my age. In fact at age 28, I was telling everybody I was 30, so convinced was I that 30 would be my best year ever (more on that later).  But around age 28.75, to be exact, I began to notice hesitation when responding to the question, “how old are you,” particularly if the inquiry was coming from someone younger.  It was just a moment’s hesitation, but it was there nonetheless, and I was shocked that I, of all people, would succumb to the deadly age embarrassment syndrome. But the thing is, I’m NOT at all embarrassed about turning forty. In fact, I’m one of the ones looking forward to it.

I’ve recently realized, it’s not turning forty that concerns me, it’s other people’s reaction to me being forty that does. And by other people, I mean other know-it-all thirty year olds like I was. I remember thinking at thirty, that I had ten good years left. Ten years to cram in the fulfillment of every wish, dream and fantasy I’d ever had. That’s how convinced I was that once I turned forty, it was all over but the shouting. Don’t ask me where I got the stupid idea that life (at least a fun life) ended at forty. But there I was in my early thirties, restaurant hopping, spending borrowed money, taking salsa lessons, karate classes, playing tennis, pool…a whirlwind of activity, convinced that staying active would keep me thirty forever.  Then my mid thirties happened, and my dream of a perfect decade crumbled under the reality of lay-offs, credit card bills, a broken toe (I’ll tell you about it another time) and, well…reality.

Now, as forty quickly approaches I realize that I need it as much as I needed thirty.  I don’t need it to be the new thirty. I need it to be forty – full of the same hopes and dreams that thirty was, but with a dash of wisdom born from life lessons.  No, I’m not embarrassed to say I’m turning forty. And when a young thirty year old gives me that “bless her forty year old heart” smile, I’ll smile back, knowing that one day, she’ll be here too.

What’re your thoughts on hiding your age? Share them in the comment section above.


  • Pingback: MSN’s Wonderwall asks, is 40 the new 25? | Women at Forty

  • http://www.tamiel7.wordpress.com/ Tricia Amiel

    I have a strange (maybe)relationship with the appearance of my age; according to many people, I look much younger than 39. I ardently disagree, because I know what I looked like before, and this is NOT it. It used to really irritate me to be thought of as younger–I was not flattered by being carded when I bought alcohol, or once even, when buying a Lotto ticket, which happened when I was 28. Worse than that was when I took a job at a power plant as a technical writer’s assistant, a place in which I was surrounded by retired Navy personnel, all male, all 50ish or more, all white, all sooo different from me. They thought I was ten years younger, and treated me like a silly little girl; I spent the first year of that job having to defend my intellect, my ability to get the job done, and worst of all, that I did NOT need any fatherly advice.

    I’ve let go of all that now, though I still don’t enjoy being underaged, which often translates to being undervalued, underappreciated. I love being my age, and look forward to being older…I want people to give up their own notions about what forty looks like…cuz this IS what it looks like. I’m 39, running toward 40 at top freakin’ speed!

  • http://www.tamiel7.wordpress.com Tricia Amiel

    I have a strange (maybe)relationship with the appearance of my age; according to many people, I look much younger than 39. I ardently disagree, because I know what I looked like before, and this is NOT it. It used to really irritate me to be thought of as younger–I was not flattered by being carded when I bought alcohol, or once even, when buying a Lotto ticket, which happened when I was 28. Worse than that was when I took a job at a power plant as a technical writer’s assistant, a place in which I was surrounded by retired Navy personnel, all male, all 50ish or more, all white, all sooo different from me. They thought I was ten years younger, and treated me like a silly little girl; I spent the first year of that job having to defend my intellect, my ability to get the job done, and worst of all, that I did NOT need any fatherly advice.

    I’ve let go of all that now, though I still don’t enjoy being underaged, which often translates to being undervalued, underappreciated. I love being my age, and look forward to being older…I want people to give up their own notions about what forty looks like…cuz this IS what it looks like. I’m 39, running toward 40 at top freakin’ speed!

  • admin

    Hey Tricia,

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve always felt that when people said you don’t look your age, I wanted to say but I do because this IS what it looks like! LOL. But a part of me thinks that we’ll be enjoying the compliments more as we get older. Thanks for commenting!

  • admin

    Hey Tricia,

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve always felt that when people said you don’t look your age, I wanted to say but I do because this IS what it looks like! LOL. But a part of me thinks that we’ll be enjoying the compliments more as we get older. Thanks for commenting!

  • http://www.seetheworldproductions.com/ Kalin

    I never lie about my age. And when I turned 40 I was so happy to be “40 and Fabulous” that I told everybody! I understand why women lie about their age, but I have more respect for those who don’t.

  • http://www.seetheworldproductions.com Kalin

    I never lie about my age. And when I turned 40 I was so happy to be “40 and Fabulous” that I told everybody! I understand why women lie about their age, but I have more respect for those who don’t.

  • admin

    I hear you Kalin, but it’s that “you’re that old?!?!” look on some young ‘uns face that makes it tempting sometimes. But I don’t lie either.

  • admin

    I hear you Kalin, but it’s that “you’re that old?!?!” look on some young ‘uns face that makes it tempting sometimes. But I don’t lie either.

  • Tricia Amiel

    I have a strange (maybe)relationship with the appearance of my age; according to many people, I look much younger than 39. I ardently disagree, because I know what I looked like before, and this is NOT it. It used to really irritate me to be thought of as younger–I was not flattered by being carded when I bought alcohol, or once even, when buying a Lotto ticket, which happened when I was 28. Worse than that was when I took a job at a power plant as a technical writer’s assistant, a place in which I was surrounded by retired Navy personnel, all male, all 50ish or more, all white, all sooo different from me. They thought I was ten years younger, and treated me like a silly little girl; I spent the first year of that job having to defend my intellect, my ability to get the job done, and worst of all, that I did NOT need any fatherly advice.

    I’ve let go of all that now, though I still don’t enjoy being underaged, which often translates to being undervalued, underappreciated. I love being my age, and look forward to being older…I want people to give up their own notions about what forty looks like…cuz this IS what it looks like. I’m 39, running toward 40 at top freakin’ speed!

  • Grace

    Hey Tricia,

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve always felt that when people said you don’t look your age, I wanted to say but I do because this IS what it looks like! LOL. But a part of me thinks that we’ll be enjoying the compliments more as we get older. Thanks for commenting!

  • Kalin

    I never lie about my age. And when I turned 40 I was so happy to be “40 and Fabulous” that I told everybody! I understand why women lie about their age, but I have more respect for those who don’t.

  • tanya4man

    My MOTHER still lies about her age and now she's trying to get me to lie about mine! I refuse and it totally pisses her off. As of today (I'm 40), she had to “upgrade” her age. My oldest daughter said to her grandmother, “You had mommy at 11?” The young bride story didn't fly that high! She admitted to being 58!

  • womenatforty

    My mom never lied about hers, she just never talked about it much. In fact when we were kids we were told “children don't ask adults their age!” Now she's proud of her age, especially since she looks great! LOL at your daughter busting her grandmother wide open!

  • genesis0218

    Ditto, ditto, ditto! Due to a high metabolism inherited from my dad's side and always eat a balanced meakl from my mom's side, I appear 5-7 years younger. I echo the struggles of being treated lesser than…. until I opened my mouth. My sharp tongue would pierce right through all that listen here missy – do your time garbage. But back to hiding ages…. I don't lie about my age, but I do tend to conceal it now moreso than before until I can get a feel of where the other person is coming from. A few times, I've had to go there with the “dear you're only one year older than me, so chill” spill or “wait honey I'm old enough to be your momma so watch your tone” lashing…..

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/IIODUX5NZVRY7JJKH76XOSOYE4 Elle

    I always looked very youthful for my age and when I told people it would turn into a circus freak show, so I just started lying. The other problem with being past a certain age (35) is people have all these preconceived notions about that age and where you should be, how you should act and dress etc. Especially for women it feels so judgy. There’s also very real discrimination and ageism and some people probably lie to avoid that. I don’t understand the “be proud of your age” Proud of what? Not dying? LOL. It’s not really an accomplishment until you’re past the life expectancy. I always thought that notion was amusing. Age is just part of who you are.