As I reminisced about Dad’s other life, especially the part involving Virginia, it brought to mind a childhood experience where I learned a valuable lesson. Dad had taken us to Virginia’s cute little tidy house and we all had such fun. It was always a reprieve from the hell our mother tried to keep us in.
We were ready to leave when Virginia asked me how old I thought she was. Dad looked at me with a bit of terror in his eyes. I was young, and opinionated, and was especially known to spill out whatever I thought. So Dad was right to be concerned about what I might say. Virginia continued to ask me and even though I hemmed and hawed, she was not going to let me off the hook. I quickly began to try to put some numbers together in my head. If Dad was 35 then this woman must be at least that old. Since I thought in my little pea brain, at the time, it was always good to be older, I came up with my answer. I said:
Oh, I’d say 37.
with a big smile on my face. Virginia’s face crumbled and she muttered something under her breath, probably
What a little witch!
We made a quick retreat to the car and fled the scene. Dad told me that you never guessed a woman’s age with a high number. You should always err on the side of youth so as to compliment her, he explained. I didn’t exactly get what he was talking about but I went along with him. Seemed like faulty logic to me since I had correctly guessed her age (“Ha! A point for me!” my pea brain informed me).
I learned from that time on that most women liked to have people tell them a lie about their age. Since that time I always share my age with anyone curious enough to wonder. I am proud to say I am 64 and relish the thought that I am pretty fabulous for my age. I also refer people who inquire to a Sir Paul McCartney composition, “When I’m Sixty Four”, which I believe was somewhat popular when Sir Paul was in a little group called The Beatles. You may have heard of them.
As far as acting my age? Never! That’s one of the nice things about being 64. It is just a number and since I haven’t seen a book of rules for how 64 year olds act, I believe that gives me free rein to do pretty much as I please. Now that’s something to embrace.