Throwback Thursday: Age of reason(ing)

Dear readers: This #TBT feature originally appeared on Grandma's Briefs February 22, 2010. Thank you for reading my rerun.


I've always found it kind of odd when older women say they're one age, then it's found out they're actually older. I've read of this happening with celebrities and non-celebrities, where they've insisted for years that they're this old, then the truth came out upon the woman's death that they're that old, shocking adoring fans or family.

Tsk, tsk, I would think to myself. Is it really that important to pretend you're younger? Is one's vanity so paramount that they resort to lying to themselves and to others—sometimes for years—about their age?

Well, after a conversation Jim and I had the other night, I'm rethinking my tsk-tsking.

We were discussing my age—for reasons related to my desire to join a group that had an age requirement— when Jim said, "But you're XX, and that's close enough."

No, I clarified to my darling-yet-sometimes-forgetful honey, I'm actually XX, a year older than he thought.

"Lisa," he said slowly, as if addressing a child, "it's 2010. You were born in XXXX. You are going to be XX in June."

I thought about it, used my fingers to count out the years, cocked my head to the side like the dog does when he's perplexed, and let it sink in that he was right. I'm younger than I thought. I'm younger than I'd been telling people.

Wow! How wonderful to regain my youth so easily, so quickly, so much more inexpensively than by slathering on face creams and soaking up industrial-strength-for-resistant-gray hair color!

Hallelujah! I'm young again! Well, at least younger.

It led me to reconsider the women I'd bashed in the past for lying about their age. Maybe they weren't vain beauty queens trying to retain a smidgen of their youth. Maybe they weren't lying. Maybe they very innocently and honestly thought they were a certain age. Then each time they considered it or were questioned about it, that age remained the same ... for years ... possibly even dropped by a year or two or ten (hey, what's 10 years when you're 80, 90 years old?). They weren't cunning, conniving and conceited; they were just like me.

I read once that the mind can retain only a certain amount of information, so less important info is dropped—forgotten—in favor of newer, more important information. Maybe that's what the deal is with age: It's just not that important. Unless you're looking to reach legal drinking age, join AARP or fill out your retirement papers, age really doesn't matter. It's one of those bits of information the brain no longer needs.

So instead of internally bashing myself for seemingly becoming one of those women who lie about their age in the name of vanity or—worse yet—becoming so old I'm losing my memory and can't remember even the most basic of things, I've decided it's not that at all. It's actually that I've lived so long and I've learned so much that my brain is full. Yep, I've reached maximum brain capacity so the minutiae of my life must be dropped, deleted, purged in order for new and useful tidbits to be retained.

I'm not becoming a forgetful old woman after all. Nope, I'm young enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, I like myself!

(Now, if I start forgetting how old my children are, that's when I need to start worrying!)