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15 May 2012 @ 04:16 pm
you were so much older then you're younger than that now  
In a conversation about the direction of change in quality of life with colleagues recently, one of my coworkers "complimented" me by saying that he thought I was in my 20s, after I referred to being in my 30s.

Now, I don't really think this is true. I don't even think I seemed like I was in my 20s through most of my 20s, much less now that I'm approaching the back half of my 30s. And I know he was trying to say something complimentary ... so I laughed it off and continued the conversation.

But, my actual reaction was more like, "WTF, dude, I've LEARNED these years. Don't take them away!" I guess probably there will be times in my life when I take it as a compliment to be taken as younger than I am (though mostly, I find the age thing pretty neutral), but it was interesting to me to feel so shortchanged by it in this case.
 
 
I'm feeling: chipperchipper
 
 
 
Elizabeth Hunterlillibet on May 15th, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC)
That's wonderful!

I'm generally amused by how disconnected my numerical age seems to be from my physical age (if that's the right term). By the time I was 12, people guessed I was around 18. When I was 18, people thought I was 25 and by the time I was 22, people regularly guessed 30. Then I moved to the West Coast and suddenly people began to guess lower, so that when I was 30, the guess I most frequently heard was 26. That trend seems to be continuing--I don't think anyone has guessed 40 or higher yet. I don't begrudge them, since it usually involves people placing me closer to themselves in age, but I just laugh because I know all the moments that have added up to where I am today.

One of my best age-related stories: When I turned 39, friends took me out to dinner at Clio. They happened to be in the bathroom or getting coats or something while I waited for the car to be brought round. The young, Turkish doorman asked if I'd had a good evening and I said yes, that it was my birthday, and a wonderful one. He asked how old I was and I laughed and said that you never ask a woman that and the penalty is that you have to guess. He stammered and said "28?" and I laughed again and said no, 39. He said "So I was not so far off, just one year," and I repeated "No, 39." He goggled and said "Y-y-you are almost f-forty?" I admitted this was the case and he shook his head and said "In Istanbul, you would be 29. I think American women are much younger than Turkish women," and I said "I suspect we have much easier lives."
harimad on May 16th, 2012 12:54 pm (UTC)
Excellent, and likely true, answer.
tickles, the angry lemurclara_girl on May 15th, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC)
i get this. i just started my 30s; my partner is in his 40s... given first glances we seem to be in our... late 20s?

but hell, if i hadn't done what i did in my 20s i wouldn't be here doing this in my 30s! (... of course if i hadn't had my 20s, what would i have... had? would i be older than i think i am?)
lazyzlazyz on May 16th, 2012 12:06 am (UTC)
When you were 3 you were going on 20.
pumpkin_pi on May 16th, 2012 12:47 am (UTC)
I was just talking with a colleague this afternoon who was absolutely gobsmacked (yay, I get to use that word!!) that I was in my "early 40s". She said she would have sworn I was in my early 30s. I pointed out the grey patches in my beard and the grey hairs around my temples. Her response was essentially that I just seemed more relaxed, happy, in-shape, and focused on the "more important things in life" than the folks she knew who were in their 40s...and some people just grey early. She is in her mid-60s. I happily took the compliment and secretly thought about how it said as much about her perceptions about folks of a certain age as it did my actual looks and personality....and perhaps that in her eyes, I'm doing it right And I definitely need to remember to ask "why" the next time someone makes a similar comment about how old they think I am :) Her answer felt fantastic :D
blkblk on May 16th, 2012 01:40 am (UTC)
People who are older than me (say, a decade or more) tend to estimate me as younger than I am, even once recently down to the teens.

People who are younger than me tend to estimate me as slightly older.

I guess my looks and my personality are starting to balance out?