Once upon a time my mother requested that, for her birthday, she receive a daily five minute phone call from her children. Moms are good at suggesting the sort of gifts that money can’t buy. This evening during our daily chat she asked what age I’ll be turning next week. We all know that she knows how old I’m turning; it’s just bizarre to actually hear the number twenty-eight out loud. Isn’t it fascinating the way that our minds can lock in a person’s age and throw away the key? I have clients that started coming to me when they were in high school. So even though they’ve graduated college, every year around their birthday they remind me hold old they really are; I’m still bewildered that we’re discussing careers instead of discussing prom. It’s like an annual punch in the gut.
I don’t really mind getting one year older. I can’t remember the last time I actually felt my age anyway. (… if I had a nickel for every time that someone told me that I’m an old soul…) When I was 13 yrs. old I was tested in order to be placed in an enrichment class. The examiner informed me at the end of the day that my mind functioned about the same as someone who’s 21!
No, it’s not the fact that I’m getting older that gets to me. It’s that my next age is an even number, not an odd number. Call me crazy, but I really get the feeling that odd numbers are more pleasant, more forgiving and more lighthearted. Even numbers come across as rigid, angular and generally off-putting to me. When shopping, for instance, I’d be more inclined to purchase a dress that cost $17.99 than a dress that cost either $18.00 or even $16.00.
What’s up with that?
I’d love to continue telling people that I’m 27, or even jump the gun and claim 29. If I go ahead and put the number 29 out there, then I’ll feel slightly less deceitful in that my motives are truly about odds and evens and not about seeming younger. The problems lies in that we all know that 1) I have a terrible memory and therefore avoid lying and 2) if I tried to get away with always being an odd number, I’d end up explaining and reasoning all the time during the even years. Perhaps, beginning on Tuesday, I’ll initiate a new age campaign for myself. Perhaps I could carry around a laminated, detailed explanation of my age for those occasions when people ask, “How old are you?” Or maybe I can just answer, “$27.99”- like I’m a price. Hmmm, except that could definitely be taken the wrong way. Goodness, I’d hate for anyone to think I’m for sale…
This is so square piece of me. And I wish you knew what that meant, but I’m hanging onto that story until I have some childhood video footage to back it.