My boyfriend’s birthday is today and last night we went out to see The Donkey Show at the Oberon Theater in Harvard Square. We had a great time. But then, it happened. The same thing I’ve been watching happen as person after person I know have been having birthdays recently. There is always someone in the room – usually several someones – who will deny the birthday girl/boy’s age. This didn’t happen in the past much in my memory, but then, my crew has only recently been crossing that 40-year-old threshold.
There is nothing more condescending or irritating to me than having someone (usually a man) ask me “so you’re turning 29 again huh?” No. I am not. I’m 40. And I’m happy to be 40. Just as my boyfriend is happy to be 40 and every person I have been to their party recently has been happy to be 44 or 42 or whatever age they are. It is only the other attendees who bring it up, inherently apologizing for the other person getting older.
There is no shame in aging. I would not go back to 29. There are too many things I know now that I didn’t know then. I’m a better person today than I was back then. I am happier today than I was then. I am fabulous just as I am and so are all my friends.
So I invite you to reconsider the next time you try to play down someone’s age. Denying their years also denies a part of them. Tell me that I look fabulous (because you know I do), tell me that I’m amazing and how did I get so amazing in such a short time, but don’t tell me that I’m still only 29. I’ve earned these grey hairs and wrinkles and I (and many of my friends who I discussed this with) don’t appreciate you refusing to see them.
I’m old and I’m proud. And I’m dating (by his own declaration) a lecherous old man. Ain’t life grand!
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