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Thread: Do you tell people who ask your age?

  1. #11
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    I always do, gray hair kinda puts me in a range. Maybe it is comfortable because i have always looked younger. I like using it in the context of one of my staff complaining they feel old or tired while i am going strong ( not anyone with a real medical issue of course)

    my most interesting reaction was a student who said i looked good for my age, followed up with ' you are going to die soon!

  2. #12
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    I answer with my age (60). I agree that it isn't a question I typically would ask those who are beyond the single digits. There are some exceptions, such as talking about retirement plans for example.

  3. #13
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    Two more weeks and I hit 61 years OLD - and I don't use "old" in a negative way. It's not negative to say "she's a 1 year old", is it? It's aging, it's a natural event, it starts the minute you are born and continues up until you die - LOL. In some cultures (I am personally aware of Korean culture), asking someone their age is the way to find out the age hierarchy of the immediate group and the level of respect/verbage to be used.
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

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  4. #14
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    Interesting. Around age 60, I noticed sales clerks looking at me and then asking a sideways age question like, "Are there any discounts that I should apply today?" So they didn't want to automatically assume I was a senior lest I take that as an insult, but I thought that was a diplomatic way for me to say Yes or No.
    Personally, I don't care if someone asks, and I'm especially happy to get the discounts we seniors are entitled to, so Ask away!

    Like rosarugosa, it's not something I would typically ask someone. Maybe she was about to give you a compliment (or what she felt was a compliment) by saying how young you look for your age?

  5. #15
    Senior Member pony mom's Avatar
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    I don't mind telling my age. I'm 52 and am always told I look late 30s-40s. My hair is getting a bit salt and peppery so that will be a giveaway at some point. It helps that I'm thin, flat-chested and have a short haircut and take care of my skin. And I act a bit young and goofy for my age.

    My coworkers are all much younger than me (I'm the oldest in my area) and will often say they forget that I'm older than their parents : (

    Unfortunately my hands are looking a bit arthritic, with crooked bumpy joints. Hands and necks will always tell a woman's age.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    i don't mind telling people my age, but also question the politeness of someone who asks. I guess it depends on how I know the person and why they are asking. I don't really think it's an important item for most other people to know.

  7. #17
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    Funny story, I think... When I was a kid, my little sister asked my mom how old she was. My mom answered her with, "who wants to know?" assuming she was repeating the question of a classmate- Bingo! So Mom said, "I'm 102."

    Fast forward a whole bunch of years. When I started teaching, after working in another career for 20 years, my first group of students crowded around me at recess on the second day and asked the same question, "How old are you?" I thought it a rude and fairly irrelevant question. I briefly thought of saying, "Tell your mom to come and ask me herself" but thought better of it.
    Remembering my mom's answer to my sister, I said, "I'm 102."

    The next morning there were 6 parents waiting to see me before school! One of them said to the group, with great exasperation in her voice, "oh, she's not THAT old!" and she and 3 others left!! The other 2 stayed to introduce themselves and chat a bit.

    The truth was, I was old enough to be their parents, and the same age as some of the kids' grandparents. But it didn't matter and I think I got my point across. I never did answer the age question at school until the spring I was retiring. One of my best students asked, "How old are you, anyway?" I said,"I was 66 in January." Her response was, "Well, thank you for teaching so long so you could be my favorite teacher!"

  8. #18
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    That is cute, Chris.

    As I have watched the group that swim/paddle and socialize solving the world's problems each morning, I believe that determining one's age is a form of establishing hierarchy. Many have health issues and come for the benefit of buoyancy easing their joints while they do exercises and visit, as a number have been doing for decades. I just swim lengths, tread water and visit briefly so didn't fit the usual criteria. Why was I there? I do know a number of them as acquaintances for years so am quite comfortable being there and they smooth my way. People are interesting creatures.
    I think that I will respond with either 'I am receiving OAS (Canadian SS)' and redirect the conversation or 'why do you ask? I never think about birthdays or age?'. Both are true.

    I don't think that asking one's age is polite. I puzzled why and then remembered that years ago a friend was asked his age. His response - how old do you think I am? The person asking the question suggested an age that was 15 years older than my friend's actual age. My friend was devastated and had been struggling with depression issues already over turning 40 years old. It took a lot of talking to relieve the hurt from someone just being nosy.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    That is cute, Chris.

    I don't think that asking one's age is polite. I puzzled why and then remembered that years ago a friend was asked his age. His response - how old do you think I am? The person asking the question suggested an age that was 15 years older than my friend's actual age. My friend was devastated and had been struggling with depression issues already over turning 40 years old. It took a lot of talking to relieve the hurt from someone just being nosy.
    I'm sorry for your friend being depressed about their age, but I can't help thinking that if he had just answered, it would have avoided being hurt by a bad "guess". I will be the first to admit that I'm horrible at guessing ages!!! Hence, why I will ask. But to each their own, I guess.
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

  10. #20
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mschrisgo2 View Post

    The truth was, I was old enough to be their parents, and the same age as some of the kids' grandparents. But it didn't matter and I think I got my point across. I never did answer the age question at school until the spring I was retiring. One of my best students asked, "How old are you, anyway?" I said,"I was 66 in January." Her response was, "Well, thank you for teaching so long so you could be my favorite teacher!"
    What a funny story! And with such a happy ending--what a sweet thing for your student to say!!

    I think the whole "never ask a woman her age" is changing a little. Because women now are less invested in looking like a Stepford wife, we're more accepting of our age. I'm about the happiest I've ever been at 66 and I don't care who knows it.

    That being said, here is a little fun sidebar to the conversation: have you guys ever used How Old Am I? https://www.how-old.net

    It takes a picture of you (or you could upload one) and guesses how old you are. Try it! But don't take it too seriously. The first time I used it they said I was 87, even though just a few years back, people mistook my son and I as husband and wife. And I have another picture of my kids that tested and they were SPOT ON for with my oldest son, DIL, grandson and DD, but they pegged my second son 20 years older at 55! I've never told him that.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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