I lie. About my age. Always have. Always will. This topic usually comes up around other people’s birthdays. Last week, our Marketing Specialist Kristy Mahoney, celebrated her birthday. So the topic drifted to when my birthday is. Even my birth date, for me, is still too close for comfort.
But I do have a reason for my reticence about age truth- telling. Most of my career has been in television. When I was auditioning for TV parts, I would go on a casting call for say a 25-year-old. If I were 28, I was too old. If they were looking for a 30-year-old, my 25 years on this planet were just not enough. You see my dilemma, right? So a few of my friends and I decided to start putting an age range on our head sheets. I was no longer 25, I was 20 to 30. What if no one had a need for my 33 years? Okay, I’m 30 – 40. So that career path put me on the road to a life of lies.
The fear of growing older is called Gerascophia. That’s not my issue. I am getting older. I just don’t want to talk about it. Ever. My family knows. We never, ever discuss my age. Half of them have forgotten it by now anyway. My brother has become my older brother. He’s not. But people know his age, so he must be older than I am. Even my mother and all my in-laws go along with Lynne’s lie. They know this is something I don’t negotiate.
There are studies about this issue. They are called “The Science of Lying About Your Age.” See, it’s science. We’ve all heard the old saying “Age is just a number.” But a lot of people besides me feel it’s nobody’s business. If you shave a couple of years off your age because you truly feel younger than what’s on your birth certificate, science (science, again) says you may live a longer life. People who think of themselves as younger than they are looking at an extended life expectancy over those who do not according to a study by the University College of London. I’m liking what I’m hearing.
But my reasons for keeping my age-old secret is probably more simplistic. Age is only important if you are wine or cheese. And I am neither. Discussion ended. However, truth be told, my birthday is May 2. And I do like cake. That’s all I’m saying.
Lynne Conlan is Executive Director of the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce. Call her at 813-634-5111, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.