Can I ask how old you are?


cc licensed flickr photo shared by Frosted Peppercorn

Last night the Significant Other and I went to eat out at our favorite Greek restaurant.

Our food service attendant was a cute, chatty girl who midway through our meal sauntered over to our table and asked, “Excuse me, but my coworkers and I were wondering if it’s okay to ask you how old you are.”

Seriously, does this happen to any of you?

I was a little irritated to have to interrupt my taste buds from savoring the forkful of “gyros tyganaki” I had just put in my mouth to answer her question.

However, irritation was quickly replaced by panic at the thought that I was being considered for the senior citizen discount.

Then I heard her say, “I hope it’s not rude, but you’re just so pretty, the other girls and I are placing bets on how old you are and how old your husband is.”

Leave it to the Greeks to brazenly admit to a customer the reasons for their behavior.

At that point I had no trouble informing her that I was, ahem, thirty-four.

(Peals of laughter from the Significant Other)

“Don’t you mean forty-four, dear?”

(Swift, sharp kick to the shin under the table. Grunt palpably heard)

“I’m not identifying YOUR age, ‘dear,’ I’m identifying mine.”

(Redirecting myself to the waitress) “And Honey, tell your colleagues he’s nearing fifty.”

(Sounds heard from the Significant Other choking on house wine).

“Seriously, Bella?” He looks at the girl and says, “That’s not true and her real age is…”

He looks at me and catches sight of the smoke coming out of my ears and fire burning in my eyes my left raised eyebrow and right index finger, poised delicately on my chin.

(He continues) “Her real age is, ahem, thirty-four.”

I smile in satisfaction and we carry on with our meal as if nothing had happened.

This little “scene” serves to remind me of how we live in an “age-conscious” society.

Women no longer strive to age gracefully. Instead, they arm themselves with Botox and plastic surgery; intent on fighting the aging process with their lives, if necessary.

And that’s because sadly, most people believe that aging robs you of your beauty.

If you don’t believe me, think of the times you’ve heard someone say, “She must’ve been beautiful when she was young,” when referring to an older woman; as is being older automatically robbed her of her beauty.

That’s why in circumstances like the one in the Greek restaurant, I always refer back to my nana’s sage advice.

I’ll share that with you today and in return, I only ask that you share it with someone else.

All you have to do is think back to the happiest time of your life; the time you felt your sexiest, your smartest, your most productive, or any other time you’re proud of.

How old were you then?

Then that’s your age.

For me, the greatest time of my life was when I was thirty-four.

And come hell or high water, that’s how old I’ll be forever.

And I dare the Significant Other or anyone to say otherwise.

So tell me, how old are you?

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16 thoughts on “Can I ask how old you are?

  1. Cute story. My grandmother will never tell us how old she is. She has convinced herself and nearly the rest of us that they didn’t get the year right on her birth certificate! I have friends that are both older and younger than me by about 10 years. I have a hard time remembering sometimes how old I am!

    1. The same thing started to happen to me right after I turned 30, that’s why it was easier to pick the age I loved and stay with it!

  2. That would be 19, when out of nowhere an undercover cop stopped me (it was on a school day) and asked me why I wasn’t in class. The expression on my face must’ve spoken volumes, but it was what I said that made him want to hurry away to bust the next juvenile delinquent. I said…”Oh wow oh wow oh wow! You’ve made my day! I go to college and am on my lunch break. Wanna see my I.D.??”

  3. 30. What a great age. I was so happy to leave my 20s behind, I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. There was a lot of heartache in that decade and closing the door on that chapter was so liberating. So 30 will do just fine. :)

    1. Heidi, I agree, thirties are the best in a woman’s life. My twenties were all about experimenting and not getting a whole lot of things right!

  4. I still have a year to go before the 30’s hit me but I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem with telling my real age ..up until now ..when I’ve noticed a couple of grey strands and that makes me wanna think again ;)

  5. I have days where I feel a hundred years old, and then I have days where I feel like I am 17. My 39th birthday is coming up next Monday, and I can’t believe how fast life is going by. My husband who is 32 years older than me tells me it only gets faster the older we get, so I am trying to savor every year. Here is to being perpetually 34!

  6. I’m 33 this year and I think my body is starting to tell me that too. Sometimes I think age is just a number. Sometimes I think to myself, WOW… I used to think 33 was really old and that I’d be married with 2 kids by now. Sometimes I think damn… I’m really not over being 22 and fresh out of Uni!

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