{My Story} It’s My Birth Date And I’ll Lie If I Want To…

If turning 50 wasn’t bad enough I have a daughter who has taken a keen interest in my age. It’s probably because she doesn’t know how old I really am.

[Editor’s note: The essay below, by FOF Ramona Duoba is part of a series of personal blogs from our readers. Have your own story to tell? Email your idea to sara@faboverfifty.com]

By Ramona Duoba

Being obsessed with aging or anti-aging is a way of life for many women, but has the obsession gone too far when you can’t be truthful with your own daughter? I suppose many people would say I’m setting her up, or that my inability to tell the truth about my age is an example of self-loathing or some deep-rooted trauma that I haven’t come to terms with. It’s not. I just don’t like aging. It’s that simple. There’s nothing wonderful about looking at a passport photo from 10 years ago and comparing it to the one I have today. There’s a harsh difference.

A couple of years ago when my daughter Eva was in the first grade she asked, “how old are you?” I was taken aback. I had been lying about my age for so many years I wasn’t sure if I should be honest with her. She’s young, she doesn’t need to know everything right now, I thought. Kids these days are burdened with too much information. It’s my job as a mother to keep things simple and wait until she’s a bit older. “I’m 26. Why do you ask?” “We were just talking about our moms today,” she said. I don’t understand why a group of six- to seven-year-olds are talking about age. I never thought about my mother’s age until she turned 70. Prior to that I was never concerned.

Perhaps I’m an advocate for lying in order to feel better about yourself. Let’s face it, it feels good when you tell someone you’re 10 to 20 years younger than your real age and they buy it. Even if they don’t believe you I can’t imagine someone would ask to see some form of identification for proof. (Admittedly, I still get a charge when a TGIF waiter cards me.) I would argue that Botox, fillers and plastic surgery are an acceptable form of lying, so what’s the big deal if I keep the truth from Eva? At least for a little while.

My sister once made a comment on my Facebook wall about my birth date. “Is there a good reason why your birth year is missing?” she wrote. Feeling betrayed by my own sibling, I deleted her comment and phoned her immediately. “I will ‘de-friend’ you if you ever pull a stunt like that again,” I told her.

I thought I was safe. Eva thinks I’m 26 and age will not be an issue for years to come. When she asks again she’ll be old enough to handle it. I failed to realize that New York City kids may be slightly different from the ordinary kids I grew up with in Detroit. I never discussed my mother or her age. What difference did it make? She was my mom and she was older. I remember my mother telling me it was rude to ask someone their age. I should have used that line on my daughter.

“Mom, Anna said if you’re 26, then you had me in college. Did you have me in college?” Here we go again, another lie. “Oh, you didn’t hear me correctly. I said 36, not 26.” She seemed satisfied.

“What kind of math are they teaching first graders?” I asked a friend. I don’t remember word problems being part of the curriculum. I can just hear it now…if Eva’s mom is 26 and Eva is 7, how old was Eva’s mom when Eva was born?”

It’s not easy to keep up with this lie. Birthdays come and go and every year the age is altered. I wonder if she’s kept track of the ever-changing number.

I’ve tried to tell her the truth, but find myself holding back. This past December she said to me in a concerned tone, “now wait, you’re not going to be 50, are you?” This was my chance to come clean and explain to her why I haven’t been completely honest. But, how could I? She seemed genuinely disturbed by the idea. “Oh no, not yet, now don’t you have a Tiger Beat magazine to read?” This is a strategy I often use. Create a diversion and change the subject.

Even as I was writing this piece Eva read the top line. “What do you mean if turning 50 wasn’t bad enough?” What is she doing reading? It’s enough she’s honing her math skills, but now she’s reading my work. “I’m writing a piece from a friend’s perspective, it’s her story,” I told her. “What else is bad?” she asks. She didn’t read the next line, so she has no idea. “My friend also had cancer when she turned 50,” I tell her. Oh my god!! I thought. Did I actually say that? Did I actually inject the “C” word in this cover-up? This is an all-time low and without a doubt, for those who believe in karma, I probably just cut my time on this planet.

Many of the friends I grew up with have kids in college. In Manhattan it’s a different story. Women here work on their careers and wait until the last fertile egg to have a baby. I’m not alone. I have many friends in my age group with young children. Though I’m not sure how many actually go to the lengths I do to keep this information from their children.

My daughter is being raised to embrace all kinds of people. She describes most boys as annoying and the girls are sorted into two categories, “mean” or “nice.” But now, thanks to me, she describes women as young or old? “How old is my grandmother?” She is 77 years old, I tell her. “Wow that’s old.” Ouch, If she only knew that my mother had four kids by the age of 35. She has seen all her kids grow up, finish college, get married, and enjoy grandchildren. Perhaps this is why I avoid the age issue with my daughter. While we all cherish our careers and accomplishments, of course it’s at a cost. As I approach my birthdays I look at my daughter and regret not having her sooner, not having more children.

The other day Eva was loading an app on her iTouch. “I need your birth date. What year were you born?” Uh-oh, here we go again. Here’s my chance, but no…. “Around 1970,” I tell her. “If Eva’s mom was born December 20th, 1970, how old will she be in 2012?”

57 Responses to “{My Story} It’s My Birth Date And I’ll Lie If I Want To…”

  1. Judy Langdale says:

    We are not vain in our family….If someone asks, I tell them my (true) age – 63. It doesn’t hurt that I look younger and everyone is unbelievably surprised but I give credit where it is due, and tell them, probably genetics…..my parents looked youthful well into their 50’s. I do remember one time my mother met a neighbor on the bus; somehow they got talking about age or something related. The neighbor guessed my mother’s age wrong (about five years more) so my mother added 10 years to her true age at the time leaving the woman gasping and lauding how much younger she (my mother) looked. We found it all very humorous……lighten up about this subject for heaven’s sake.

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  2. Taylor M says:

    My parents have never lied to be about their age, even though sometimes I wish they did (JK). I have “old” parents for my age group, but they were never ashamed of their ages or when they chose to have me and I respect that. I used to be a little embarrassed when I was in grade school because my parents were always 10 years older than every one else’s. They explained it’s partially because I am the last of their kids (I have 2 older siblings 5 and 8 years apart), while most of my other friends were the first child. It is also because I was “unplanned” which in no way hurts my feelings; it makes me feel even more loved because they decided to keep me and raise me and never go without letting me know how happy they are that they were blessed with me. To this day I see these age differences. I work in a family business where the father is over 5 years younger than mine and their oldest child is 8 years older than me. But I’ve come to realize that ages are meaningless. Who cares if someone’s parents are older or younger than yours? No one. At the end of the day my only concern is not about my parents’ age, but their health. As long as you are taking care of yourself and live a happy, healthy life I think that is the best thing you can do for your daughter. Everyone knows as you get older staying healthy is harder to do, so revealing your true age might make her respect you even more.

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  3. lynn says:

    Wow! I hate aging. My husband gets angry at me because of my self loathing. But I never would lie about my age. Especially too any of my children. I think it is harder for a woman who was a pretty girl to age then it is for the girls who grew up less attractive. I am only being honest. I was one of those girls who turned heads when I walked into a room. Drove down the street. Other females disliked me because they knew their boyfriends where eyeing me. Now at 50,No one double takes,eyes me,no one notices me. That feels horrible. That is the worst reason why I hate aging. And I am 4’11” I weigh 103 pounds,and work out on my bowflex machine 60 minuts at least 5 nights a week. Help me lord.

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  4. Shelly Savorillo says:

    I do not understand at all why you would lie about it and then write an article about it What are you afraid of? Ask yourself is this how you want to raise your daughter? To be ashamed of who she is? You obviously were not given the encouragement you needed growing up and you have allowed society to fuel your insecurities. It seems you cherish your career and accomplishments more than you cherish your greatest gift, being a mother. When you die would you rather be remembered for the accomplishments you made in your career or as the woman who raised an honest, happy, secure daughter? When you do tell her and I hope it is soon she will forgive you as long as you have taught her forgiveness like aging is a part of life.

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  5. catydid says:

    I can’t believe someone pays you to write this and what’s worse is, I can’t believe I read it. Agree with debbie about intergrity lacking

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  6. Ramona M. says:

    I’m 52 and proud of but it’s your daughter so don’t listen to all tese catty women who think they are better than others. That tells you what kind of people they are. I’m sure you will tell her when you’re ready. Good luck.

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  7. Carpool Goddess says:

    My age is the least of my worries. Mine are super-sleuths and want to know every detail of every bit of my life. It’s the hard questions I don’t want to answer 😉

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  8. Maryl says:

    I have to agree with some that there might be a bit of overreacting going on here. As someone pointed out we tell our children there is a Santa Claus and Easter Bunny. Is that a lie or just part of a tradition we have passed down through the years. Similarly it’s somewhat expected that people will withhold the truth about their age. That may be why “it’s not polite to ask someone’s age” came to be. Personally I feel it has less to do with me and my age but more how others will react to it and as was suggested expect that I am past my prime and have nothing to offer. So I guess the best we can do is to educate not just our children but also all those within earshot that 50+ does not infer life is over. I remember as a child learning that my mother was 40 and being shocked. And I would kid with my daughter that I was 21 for so long we both knew it was a joke. Your children are going to find out anyway. To each her own. Thanks.

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  9. JustD says:

    This was ADORABLE! I’ll be 60 this year and my grandkids are always bragging on how great I look and how atypical I am than their friends grandmothers, but that said, don’t sweat it. Women misrepresent things about themselves all the time, their weight, their dress and waist size until it cannot be hidden, if they’ve been botoxed (and yes, that’s a lie itself) and that’s just barely the tip of the iceberg. So when some women choose to condemn you for your choice, just remember, it’s YOUR choice and if you’re clear on it and comfortable with it for now, whose business is it anyway.

    Kids today are exceptionally more intutive and some of that is because they are more exposed to information that we were not privy to as children, and I blame Disney for a lot of it LOL. Regardless, I ENJOYED your piece and understand why you choose to go the direction you go…since I am now turning 60, I am considering reverting back to 50, I’m told I look 45, so until and unless I’m asked, I’ll just wait and see what bubbles up! Thanks for the article, it’s precious!

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  10. Victoria says:

    I don’t think it’s a good idea to tell the truth about everything, but lying to your own kid about your age, well, that seems dangerous. The daughter could be very hurt when she finally finds out. It could put a real barrier between mother and daughter. I am not sure what is accomplished by pretending, anyway. I don’t like aging either, but lying to a person who is that close to you about anything as significant as one’s age is a risky business. Age is not “superficial,” nor is it trivial, and that is a good reason to tell the truth about it. I might avoid telling someone my age in certain situations where it might be disadvantageous. But I can’t think of any good reason to actively lie about it, especially to a loved one.

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    • susan says:

      WOW !!!! B-E-T-R-A-Y-A-L !!!!!!!

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  11. Helen says:

    I think Ramona can lie about her age – that’s her business. Lying to her daughter – well, that’s her business too. Neither of the above are the same as my choices. Since Ramona has written about this, she has opened herself up to comments – a slew of which seem very harsh to me.

    I LOVE how old I am – 44. I have always looked older than my age – which was really groovy until I was about 19. Still, I had a misdiagnosed heart ailment that nearly took my life at 40. The cardiologist told me they don’t usually find what was wrong with me til the autopsy…. I thank God everyday for the chance to see my kids grow up. Last weekend, I sang at the funeral for my dear sisterfriend Tracey who won’t get to do that; she was only 5 weeks older than I.

    Anyway, my mother has always looked quite young and I have gotten really sick & tired of the thousands of times I was told we could be sisters. Made her feel great (though she is not vain at all) which is good, but I’ve never told her it always makes me feel like crap on a stick. I look lots like my dad who, in his 70’s, more & more resembles a troll. :o) Still, I am grateful that though I’m no great beauty, I am not disfigured either. As a musician, great beauty or disfigurement would be yet another obstacle to overcome.

    Aging is a process of detachment for me, so for me, lying about my age would get in the way of that and – more importantly, get in the way of what I am trying to teach my kids (ages 24, 17 and almost 15): that your appearance is not very important in the grande scheme of things; your character is far more important. Of course you want to be clean and look well but not to become the plaything of fashion.

    My daughter, the almost 15 year old, asked me about 6 months ago to stop coloring my hair BECAUSE she loves my silver. I’ve got a lot of it and I earned every one of those suckers. I have stopped coloring my hair because there is SO little I can do to please her these days (ages 14 & 15 for me were no joke).

    I guess as long as there is some perceived benefit to being young, people will lie about it….but I wish they wouldn’t.

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    • Robbie says:

      I’m always amazed and grateful when I wake up to another day with my daughter. I have too much information rattling around in my head already. And for me as I age it’s hard enough just keeping up with the truth!

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  12. janis says:

    I always lie about my age. I hate being this old. I even lie to the people I graduated with. Ha. They don’t buy it but it is worth a try. :].

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  13. Laurakb says:

    I like telling people my age so I can see the look on their face and hear their comments on how I look so much younger. Plus what difference does it make? We are who we are, the good and the bad. No one wants to age but lying about it doesn’t make it not happen. Age is catching up with me, despite my best efforts. But everyone is different and if you don’t want anyone to know your age that’s your choice. As for the game you’re playing with your daughter, I’m not a psychologist but seems you’re making a huge deal out of something that doesn’t warrant it.

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  14. Elizabeth B says:

    Wow. I don’t understand. I LOVE telling people that I’m 52. I look younger than that and I always get compliments. Honey, when you lie about your age, people may buy it, because who lies about something so silly. But behind your back, they are saying you look terrible.

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  15. Toni says:

    wow! I feel nothing but pity for you.

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  16. Robbie says:

    I know that this article was (I hope!) slightly tongue in cheek. You do not lie to those that you love and respect. It is insulting to their intelligence and degrading to the liar. I love my daughter and her brother beyond sensibility and see no reason to lie about my age or anything else. There are other things to lie about I’m sure. None come to mind at the moment.

    I have a daughter that will be 9 this year and I will be 50 this year. She has only one sibling, a brother whom she is very close to. He is 26 years old. She was, as he says, his high school graduation gift. She came 9 days before his high school graduation.

    She tells her friends that her mom is older than their moms because she, herself, is a very special gift to the world. Which is what I have been telling her since the day I found out I was pregnant.

    Oh yes! I did lie about squash tasting good. I didn’t want her (or her brother at that age) to think that it was nasty until she tasted it. Me personally, I don’t like squash and neither does their dad. Both kids like it though.

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  17. Janet says:

    I’m proud to tell people that I’m 50 and have 5 children and 5 grandchildren. Usually people say that I look like 40 and that I don’t look like I have 5 kids, either. Wearing wide brimmed hats to protect my skin from the sun, eating right (most of the time), and keeping fit has its rewards – especially when I look at my handsome 43 year old boyfriend!
    I look at how much wiser, kinder, and at ease with myself than I was in my 20’s and 30’s, and I can’t see any use in telling people that I am younger than I actually am.

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  18. Faye says:

    I lie the other way–say I’m 70 when I won’t be until this summer.

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  19. Gina says:

    I found it hard to finish the article because I was not thrilled with the sentiment expressed or the values she is teaching her daughter. So sad. I am older than 50 and I find that life just gets better and better. We go through stages just like children do and each stage of our lives seem to be important, full of learning and joy and yes sorrow too. But ultimately all are rewarding. I am so sad for this woman who is setting herself up for major unhappiness as the years pass.

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  20. wendymcmonigle says:

    Age is just a number. If you look and feel younger then it’s no big deal. It’s a state of mind. I don’t feel any different than when I got out of college. The big indicator is the 4 kids are getting older…. well I don’t seem to be…

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    • Robbie says:

      My sentiments exactly! I have days when no one believes my age. Funny how when they think I’m so much younger those are the days when I FEEL my age in my joints…

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  21. Nan says:

    IT IS NO ONE’S BUSINESS YOUR AGE!
    It is not lying! I have been “39” for 100 years now!
    I don’t lie about anything. I don’t like when people say, “gee you look good for your age.” What exactly does that mean?
    We have a male friend that who sent me a letter stating that Aunt SO-in-SO is 3 years older than her husband, but no one knew for years. And he must have listed about 8 couples that most of the ladies were older than their spouse. Who cares?
    If you don’t want to hear “39.” Then don’t ask me.
    AND, how about when you go to the doctor and they treat you like your deaf or something. “Okay, dear, can we take your BP?”
    My kids know how old I am.
    Recently, someone found out my true age, and now they treat me differently…like I’m their mother or something. Why? I’m the same person I was yesterday.
    I could go on and answer all of you, but I said my piece.
    Good luck to you who are approaching 50! Maybe they’ll treat you the way you’d like to be treated!

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  22. d.wales says:

    If you’re going to lie, go up in years. I like to add 6 or 7 years to my age. That way people go “Wow, you look great for your age!”, rather than thinking “Wow, she’s had a hard life.”

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  23. Susanach says:

    I’m with you, Ramona! It’s your right to keep important information about yourself private. I tell my age only to those close to me (and I don’t judge you for not telling your daughter your true age).
    Don’t any of you members of the Total Honesty Police realize that we live in a terribly ageist society and it’s crucial, for some of us, to continue to be viewed as vital members of society (i.e. Not Old) so we can continue to work and participate as we choose? Yes, yes, it would be great if we could teach everyone to value their seniors, but I don’t have the time. I work, I have a teenager, and I need my age not to be an issue.
    When people do ask my age (so rude!) I usually make a little joke as a response. Feels better than outright lying. But the worst thing is when someone does learn my true age (like the receptionist at the doctor’s office), they go on and on and on about how I don’t look “So Old” or how they “Just CanNOT Believe It!”. This is tiresome in the extreme.
    I’m envious, in a way, of those who can proudly proclaim their senior status and not be viewed negatively. I don’t have that luxury, and I bet Ramona doesn’t either.

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    • Nan says:

      Susanach! Amen!

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  24. Bmack says:

    I dont have that luxury. My oldest daughter was almost 20 when I had my youngest. It was diffulcult when she started preK and I realized the other mothers were closer in age to her sister than to me. My youngest finds this funny and had a wonderful time telling her sister that one of her friends’ mother was only 3 years older than she (the sister) is! The upside is this has made me take better care of myself. Recently i was travelling with daughter #2 and several people thought we were sisters! So what do I care if people know I’m 55 years old?

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  25. susan miller says:

    I AGREE WITH THIS LITTLE WHITE STORY(NOT LIE) I AM 69 AND STILL EMPLOYED IN A VERY SUCCESSFUL HOSPITAL AND PEOPLE ARE AMAZED TO KNOW I HAVE A 16 YR. OLD GRANDSON. I NEVER TELL MY AGE BECAUSE OF PEOPLE’S PERSECPTION OF WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING9( AT HOME IN A ROCKING CHAIR) INSTEAD OF GOING TO WORK EVERYDAY AND DRESSING YOUNGER AND GETTING A WAY WITH IT. I FEEL ABOUT 45 AND WILL NEVER USE THE WORD OLD OR SENIOR CITIZEN. I BELIEVE AT MY FUNERAL I WILL NOT ALLOW MY AGE TO BE MENTIONED OR TELL MY GRANDSON TO NEVER MENTION THE FACT HIS NANA IS HER AGE. My Southern Grandmother always would told people,”Honey, my age is like my phone # it’s unlisted”!! Act like you are 30 and your body and mind will follow.

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  26. Geri says:

    Come on, ladies. Don’t you see the humor in this piece?

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    • dbbie says:

      No I don’t see the humor…I thinks it’s sad and sick to see what great lengths women will go to hide a number. I have been through hell and back many times in my life. It has made me the women that I have become. This could only happen with age and experience. It has taken me fifty years to be able to say that. To deny my age is to deny the experience known as life which is a gift from God. What example do we set for young ladies if we don’t show them what it means to be fifty. Fifty should not be a death sentence but be a landmark of achievement marked with accomplishments. How can we ever be a land that appreciates it’s elders if we can’t even except middle age? Why do some assume that being fifty means looking bad. I don’t look bad I just don’t look like a little girl…we are a country that went to Mrs. Clever and the heals and pearls everyday, to the 60’s and bra burnings, to the we can be anything in the 80’s to no direction at all. When are we going to see what it means to be a great 50 yr old women in the media in this county?

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  27. RK says:

    One of the life lessons I’ve learned, at age 55, is to be gentle with others about their struggles, as I would want them to be with me. So come on, friends, let’s be gentle with Ramona about this, as she struggles to deal with aging in her own way.
    My own personal preference is to be honest about who I am, how I look, while continually working at creating the best possible version of me. So I’m fit, healthy, young in spirit and heart, and hopefully a good example for younger women I know about how FABULOUS AND FREE-ING aging can be, and how proud we can be of the selves we have created over the years. And at this point in life, who really cares what others think?

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  28. Michest says:

    My mother lied about her age, as she was almost 3 years older than my dad. I did not find this out until I got engaged and my dad said “must run in the family, marrying younger men”. I did not understand, so he told me to look at my mom’s driver’s license. I thought this was so funny, because it turns out that both sets of my grandmothers were also 2 or 3 years older than their spouses. My brother is also 3 years younger than his wife.

    There is irony here. My dad gave the wrong year for my mom’s tombstone, so for all eternity the world will think she was a year older than she actually was after decades of saying she was 3 years younger.

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  29. MarieO says:

    All the self appointed righteous folks here are too funny (or hypocrites).

    No doubt when asked by your children all of you have been honest and told your children that the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus do not exist. That you have spent time experimenting with narcotics in college. Maybe that dad really wasn’t tired but drunk. Or when asked where babies come from you all explained in detail sexual intercourse between a man and a woman to your four year old.

    Can anyone here honestly say they have always been 100% truthful?

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  30. Older ThanIlook says:

    Wow, a lot of haters on here! I totally agree with the author. Sorry, but I never let anyone outside of my ‘inner’ circle know my ‘true’ age either. Why should I? People treat you differently when they think you are a lot older than them. My kids will know my true age when they are mature enough to keep that info to their true friends as well, not a bunch of nosy Marvin’s. I am 43 with an 8, 4, and 2 year old. I know that I don’t look more than 35. I don’t lie to anyone about my age, but I don’t divulge it freely either. My eldest son thinks we (my husband and I are in our 30’s, so what?). My father was in his early 70’s when he passed away, but he looked like he was in his 50’s. I really don’t get what everyone is getting so upset about?

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    • dbbie says:

      So you lie about your name and your age…and that’s ok to you…wonder how you would feel if you found out someone had been lying to you your whole life…where do you draw the line on when it’s ok to lie?…how do you think people feel about you knowing that you lie?…glad I don’t have to live with a guilty conscience…as the old saying goes lier, lier pants on fire…PS- life to to short to be a hater(which I’m not) I’m a realist that has a life that is to important to be hung up on a number

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  31. Reese says:

    The worst thing is what the lying does both to the relationship with the daughter and to the daughter’s well-being overall.
    First of all, kids aren’t dumb. This poor, insecure woman has a daughter who KNOWS Mom is lying to her. Mom is building a distrust between them because, as others have asked here, “If she’ll lie about that, what else is she lying about?” as the poor child grows older, she may well ACT as though she trusts and believes Mom but, a part of her will ALWAYS think, “Is she telling the truth?” And that lack of trust is something that will become all the more important the older the daughter gets.
    On another level: Mom is teaching her daughter to be ashamed of herself! She is, indirectly, teaching her daughter that she lacks value. If Mom so lowly values herself, and me, because she is no proud of who she is and she lies about it, I must be as valueless as she is.”
    Is that really what you want to teach your daughter. Mom is perpetuating a culture of second-class stature. She is teaching her daughter that who she is is nothing to be proud of. In the end, Mom is making herself an object of ridicule and she is forever destroying her daughter’s self-image as well as her own relationship with her.
    Hey, mom! Here’s a head’s up for you. Take care of yourself. Be the very best you, you can be. When someone asks you your age. Be honest.
    To quote Coco Chanel, “Ladies, if you must lie about your age, tell people you are older than your age. Then, when you are older, they will marvel at how young you look!”
    There is still some debate as to how old Chanel was when she died but, I don’t lie about my age. I’m not necessarily happy about how old I am but I’m not ashamed of it either. Yesterday I turned 63 and, as I like to tell people, “I’ve got two kids and a 23 year old grandson. I’m 63 and I earned every day of it!”
    The usual response is, “No! You don’t look it. I’d have never guessed you were that old.” In fact, I was once mistaken for my son’s girlfriend! But, when people say I don’t look my age, I simply point out that, “This is what it looks like on me.”
    So, Mom, stop sending your daughter the wrong messages. Be proud of who you are and teach her to be proud, too – of you and herself.

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    • MarieO says:

      Interesting reply, though if I were her daughter, I’d have much more respect for my mom for having written the article and having the courage for having it published on the web than had my mom hid behind some pseudonym preaching self righteousness on internet forums.

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  32. Leslie Bonner says:

    It’s too bad that you feel the need to lie about your age to your daughter. I think I’d come clean sooner rather than later. Do you have a license or passport that she might find?
    I make an effort to look my best but I am under no illusions that people think I’m younger than I am nor would I be dishonest if anyone asked.

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  33. catbefit says:

    I so cannot understand rationalizing lying, especially when the truth will not in any way hurt your daughter. I inspire people to get in the drivers seat and take control of their lives through midlife and beyond, and ignoring the blessings we receive of wisdom and experience that are the natural byproduct of aging is a sad commentary. I don’t pass judgement, it is not my place, but just looking at the other comments, suggests rethinking your actions.

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  34. phyllis weiss says:

    I am nauseated about this article..Seriously…And I grew up in the middle of Hollywood..A real disgrace…

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  35. phyllis weiss says:

    Here is the bottom line….My kids are 32 and 29…To lie to your children shows a lack of character beyond words…..My boys respect the fact that I am so honest about my 64 years on this planet and am grateful for every breath……I work out everyday……Fact….This woman’s article sickened me……A real turn off to teach your own child that you are that insecure and will go to any length to cover up your age…..REally pathetic….My boys love the fact that I say it like it really is…

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    • Reese says:

      Thank you, Phyllis. I wish more people would look at the world through YOUR eyes!

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  36. BlueBear says:

    In less than a week, I will be 68 years young. Lying about it is fruitless! The years go by so quickly and my age is the last thing I would lie about. How much nicer it is to be told, as I was last week at my hair stylist’s, that I look so much younger. People are floored when they find out my real age! After all is said and done, it is what you are as a person inside that matters. Your age has nothing to do with that! It is vanity that makes you lie and I feel sorry for you if that is all that you are!

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    • Reese says:

      Absolutely, BlueBear! With all of the really important things to worry about in the world, how old you are shouldn’t even be on the list. (I once had somebody ask me my age and I actually had to stop and think. It’s just not something that is, or should be, important in the overall scheme of things.)

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  37. Sue says:

    Please tell your daughter sooner rather than later. When you’re a child, 30, 40, 50 etc all seem really old, so don’t worry about her reaction! You can say that you waited a long while before having a child as you were waiting for someone special like her.

    My Mum would never tell us her age, which I think was because she was older than my father, but she didn’t lie to us about it. Sometimes she joked that she was 21, which we were old enough to calculate (from our own ages) couldn’t be true, but it was done as a joke. When I was 18 I had to put my Mum’s age on an application form, and I had to ask my Dad what her DOB was as she refused to tell me! I think the first time she actually admitted to her age was when she was 75!

    Children will accept that we lied to them about Father Christmas or the tooth fairy, but this is something more important. If you don’t want other people to know, make this something special that only your daughter and you talk about and tell her to please keep it a secret.

    My cousin didn’t tell her daughter that her “father” was in fact her stepfather and when her daughter found out by accident as a teenager, she was very upset.

    Be brave and tell her. I know you won’t regret it.

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  38. Stew32s says:

    I am a 53 year old mom to an 18 year old. I was almost 35 years old when she was born and was so incredibly thankful for her arrival, no matter my age. As she grew up, entered school, etc., it was quickly evident that my husband and I were at least 10+ years older than the parents of most of our daughter’s friends. Regardless, I never, ever dreamed of lying to her about our ages. The idea of perpetuating any sort of embarrassment of how old I am, who I am or my choices in life that would cause my daughter to possibly question herself and her life is unthinkable. In this world where the focus on body images and the struggles to challenge what is considered an acceptable appearance, the LAST THING we women should ever do is support deceit!!!! I agree with a previous post – when your daughter discovers you have lied to her, she will automatically question everything you have told her. I would never want to cast that shadow over my precious relationship with my daughter, my only child. I am proud of the mom I am to her. I celebrate my age!!

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  39. chrisskins says:

    I have had friends “shush” me and tell me, “You’re not 50. Your “new” age is 45.” I just turned 54 and a man told me not to tell people. Pretty crazy. I’m not screaming it from the mountaintop, but not hiding it either. I tell people that I’d rather be good in my division than terrible in one I don’t belong to.

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  40. Sheila says:

    First of all, it’s no one’s business how old you are. People only want to know so they can put you in a box. “she doesn’t act/look her age” “she acts/looks older/younger”.

    So how is a 50-year-old supposed to look/act? Awesome.

    We tell our daughters our age doesn’t matter it’s a number. Instead– look at this that I have done/what I am. Some day she needs to know how old you are. Why? because she and her friends are gonna be surrounded by a bunch of women who think they are too old/too young too something. And it is your responsibility to teach her that age is a number and awesome is forever.

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  41. Maggie says:

    Lying to your kid, or anyone else for that matter, is a terrible idea. Does integrity come that cheap? Instead teach your daughter to be proud of her age – even when she reaches yours!

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  42. Jacky Saulnier says:

    I found out my mother had lied to me my whole life (and everyone, except my father) about her age when she was in a nursing home and too ill to confront about it. Even though she only lied by one year (one year! what was the point?), it hurt, because we had a very close relationship otherwise. She’s now deceased, and it’s still a little ding in my memory of her.

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  43. NN says:

    When I turn fifty (which is not that many years from now) I am more than likely to think that good, now this sentence is over.. I did my part, and now I can go to nothingness.
    if you know the story “we all get the same sentence, it is called life”,
    I hate growing old, and the only way to get out of being crepid and weak and ugly, is to die.. and I don’t find living as a old crony something I like, as I dislike the signs of age and question the point of living as it is.

    Good thing I have never had children, I have no bad concience when I quit.

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  44. debbie says:

    Here’s what struck me – When you say you are 10 years younger than you are, maybe they are thinking – Wow she looks old! – Wouldn’t you rather hear you look great! Is this why age is such an issue for women? Is it passed down from mom? – I don’t particularly like aging, but I’m even less happy thinking about the alternative, I mean you age or you die. When I hopefully reach my 90’s I don’t think anyone will be impressed that I look 85…

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  45. Walker Thornton says:

    Wow. You’re teaching your child to be embarrassed about who she is. And, that lying is acceptable.

    What’s wrong with aging–it is inevitable. I embrace my age, as there are no other options–and I let my granddaughters, ages 4 and 7, know that my age has nothing to do with attitude, success or any of the other joys in life. It’s a more positive, uplifting spin on life than hiding in a web of lies.

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  46. nisha says:

    Well, one can be proud of the age they have lived….it is matter of pride to tell your daughter that though you were not so young when you had her, you still have done a wonderful job and will do the same in future….,,love http://www.comingafullcircle.wordpress.com

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  47. Hope says:

    What a sad commentary on aging. When (not if) your daughter finds out you’ve been lying to her about your age all along, she can only wonder what else you’re not telling her truth about. Admittedly I live in the Midwest, so I guess I don’t understand why it’s more important to lie about your age in NYC, but I sure hope my daughters got a better message from me than that re: aging and loving yourself. Sad.

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  48. dbbie says:

    Wow if you will lie about something as superficial as your age what else will you lie about? Integrity doesn’t exist in your world. Your only one day older then you were yesterday. If you woke up this morning thank God and get over it. As my friends and I turned fifty we celebrate having survived and half century in our small town and look forward to the next. That’s something no 20 something can say.

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