I turned a year older last month, but to me age is just a number. The day before my birthday I happened to venture out to Gamestop with my son. I was pretty much in my typical casual Saturday attire: make-up free, basketball shorts, a white-tee and flip flops. My hair was up in a bun and I had on my glasses. My son is 14 and he’s about a 1/2 inch taller than I am, even though I’m about 5’10. We walk up to the cashier to pay for his new game, which was rated M for mature. I had the cashier cash and she looks up and asks for my identification.
“Identification for what,” I asked.
“I need to make sure you’re over 18,” the cashier said.
“What?? That’s my mom!” my son said.
“Wait…,” the cashier said in shock.
The cashier looked at my driver’s license, then back up at me and is amazed at my age. She apologized for carding me, and I told her I understood it was her job. A few hours later, I was once again carded when I went to buy a bottle of vodka. Once again, I felt like I was walking around with a fake I.D.
This has become my life recently. “Miss, I need to see your I.D,” says just about everyone.
According to a few friends, I’m the black Benjamin Buttons. Sure I may have turned 37 this August, but they said I must have found the fountain of youth and I’m not sharing with them.
But not everyone is proud to share their age with others. Some lie about their age *gasp*.
In a recent episode of “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” where Oprah looks back at a conversation she had with actress Cybill Shepherd in 2010, the topic of lying about age came up. Oprah believes that when you lie about your age you “denying your very existence.”
“Learning to love ourselves as we age is one of the most challenging things we can do,” Shepherd said on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
“You’re denying, energetically, the years you have earned here on the planet earth,” she says. “You’re denying those experiences. You are denying your very existence by trying to lie about your age.”
I lied about my age before I reached 21, when I used a fake I.D to get into the club, but now, I proudly flaunt it. Mistake me for a younger age, I won’t go along with it, but politely correct the person just so I can see the look in their eyes. I learned this from my mother, who still doesn’t look a year over 40, and my maternal grandmother who’s still dancing around to her Otis Redding at 84.
My son asked me one day what am I going to do when I turn 40. As if my world is going to come to an end. I looked at him and laughed. At 40, of course I’ll be older and who knows, maybe a little wiser, but I won’t allow an age to define me.
Have you ever lied about your age? What’s the best thing and what’s the hardest thing about the age you are now?