Monday, November 23, 2009

The Age Old Game of Lying...

When I was a kid I couldn’t wait to get older. Now that I’m 42, that’s not the case so much anymore. But this week the age game seemed to play a starring role in my life. First, a friend confided she wasn’t sure how she’d react to turning 50, even though she’s years away. Then, another scolded me for asking a mutual friend her age, saying “you should never ask a lady her age.” What is that all about anyway?  Why not?  

The climax came when I discovered a guy I met shortly after moving to Portland had lied about his age. I’d always suspected it but now that I was certain, I couldn’t help but think “Really dudeman, this is how you start off relationships?” Shaving off five years of his age meant he was almost ten years older than me, not just the four or so I was led to believe. Which explains a lot… like the blank look he got on his face when I talked about watching The Jetsons every Saturday as a kid.    

The biggest thing about this to me is: why lie? What purpose did his lying achieve? Was he that insecure and sensitive about his age?  Are we ALL too sensitive about our ages? 

Obviously there’s a difference between lying about your age and refraining from revealing it. Regardless, I try to see age as just a number and I’m a friend to all numbers. Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes it’s not. When I was 27, I asked my 9-year-old neighbor if she thought a guy I liked might like me back… to which she shrugged and said, “I don’t know. I’m nine.”

This week I had friends over for a spaghetti dinner. Our ages ranged from 26 to 42. The weekend was consumed with college football surrounded by friends and lots of strangers. The ages probably ranged from 5 to 75. And every single one of those ages is perfectly fine. I’m a firm believer that having friends of all ages keeps us young. 

Life is short and the aging process is inevitable. Perhaps it’s our responsibility to represent our age whatever that number may be. Besides, no one gets out of here alive and the longer we’re here the older we get. So why fight it? Embrace it. Own it. Just don’t lie about it. 

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