Older than …

I work with about fifty other people. This includes teachers, special education assistants, clerical staff, administrators, and a few itinerant people who pop in and out of the school once a week or so. There are around 500 kids in the school, ranging from age four (some Kindergartners have late birthdays and haven’t yet turned five) to thirteen (one or two of our Grade 7 kids).

I think it would be safe to say that my workplace is comprised of people with a very wide range of ages.

Yesterday in the staff room at lunch, a group of teachers was talking about age as I came into the room. Someone said something about being born in 1983. Oh, I thought. I got married that year.

Someone else chimed in about not even being born at that point yet, while another teacher responded that he’d been in Grade 7 in 1983. Yet another person asked him what year he’d been born in, then. I thought, you can’t figure that out? You’re a Grade 7 teacher yourself and you don’t know how old Grade 7 kids are and how to calculate what year he was born in?

But he simply replied that he’d been born in 1972. Wow, I thought. I was in high school in 1972, in Grade 9 I think. I was technically old enough to be his mother (though I hadn’t even had my first real kiss at that point of my life).

Another woman then mentioned that she too was born in 1972. Someone else announced that those two were a year older than she herself was, having been born in 1973. Another guy said that he was a child of the sixties, having been born in 1969. Well, I thought, now we’re getting slightly closer to my own vintage – but I turned twelve in December that year, so I think I would qualify as being more of a child of the sixties than he would. I actually was a child in the sixties, not an infant.

The woman standing next to me then said, “Wow, my husband is so much older than everybody here, and he’s already way older than me! He was born in 1962!” I thought, still not close enough! I actually remember starting school in 1962.

At this point, I took a good look around the room. Was I really the oldest person there? Now, I know for a fact that there are a couple of staff members who are a few years older than me, and at least one who was born the same year as me. But none of them were there at that particular moment. I truly was the oldest person there!

I very quickly left the room then, lest someone ask me what year I’d been born in.

I suppose I could tell them, but usually people don’t believe me, as I look a lot younger than I am. (I really do! Ask PG or DD – or even my mother! Also, I’ve been told that I act a lot younger than I am. Which may or may not be true. Or even desirable.) So anyway, even though I know that age is just a number, I prefer to keep everyone guessing. It’s less stressful and more fun for me that way.

And in the meantime, I’ll just keep out of the staffroom during discussions of age. We older people can’t hear very well anyway.


15 responses to “Older than …

  1. “I suppose I could tell them, but usually people don’t believe me, as I look a lot younger than I am. (I really do! Ask PG or DD – or even my mother! Also, I’ve been told that I act a lot younger than I am. Which may or may not be true. Or even desirable”

    You seemed pretty young and fit when I met you! You also give off a positive energy which makes people seem younger. πŸ™‚

    • Pauline – Well, aren’t you sweet to say that – thank you! But you just remember, young lady: homework first, then video games! And no, you can’t go out on a school night! (hee hee hee!)

  2. When I turned 50 in June I was, to say the least, ambivalent. Though how you can be ambivalent about your age is weird – you’re as old as you are and there’s nothing you can do about it. I have no problem with being 50 (except for the fact that my teens were the disco years and that’s a scary thought even today). Plus, like you, I look younger than my age – it’s nice being told, “50? No way!”

    • Jazz – That’s a real ego-boost, isn’t it? But yeah, the disco era is pretty hard to explain, particularly when there are photos as evidence!

  3. Ok, so I’m younger than you (I’m sorry πŸ™‚ ) but I can relate to looking younger. Whenever I tell people I have an almost 18-yr old son, I can see them doing the mental math and trying to determine if I’d even hit my teens when I had him LOL.

    • Nicky – I have a wonderful story about that from a trip DD and I took to the UK: we’d had a lovely chat with an American couple sitting beside us at breakfast in our B & B. After we ate, she and I said our goodbyes to them and got up to leave. As we did, the woman stopped us and said, “Before you go, can we just ask you one question?” Sure, we said. “We’ve been trying to figure this out, and we just don’t know, so we had to ask: are you two sisters or just friends?” I just giggled but DD looked absolutely shocked (she was 17 at the time). She sputtered, “She’s my mom!” The poor Americans were so embarrassed! I blithely told them, “Yes, I’m her mom. I had her when I was eleven, you see.” They were even more upset and didn’t seem to know what to say to that, so I had to put them out of their misery by telling them that I was just joking, that I was actually older than they apparently seemed to think I was. Ah – good times!

  4. I’m older than you are, but does it really matter? We get the wisdom that comes with our age too and that is really a big bonus. You can’t take that away from us. If I could keep that and be younger again, I would want it instantly, but not if I didn’t get to keep the wisdom. It is hard fought for. I look younger too, but frankly, it doesn’t matter. First and foremost I’m the product of my life’s experiences and if that’s positive, then that’s what I’ll accept. Oh, now I sound preachy. Sorry about that!

    • Nora – You’re not preachy, just the voice of reason, because you’re absolutely right (again!). I am thankful for the wisdom I have gained over the years too (such as it is!), and although I might sometimes wish to be chronologially younger, I would never wish to give up my life experiences either. I do like myself (most of the time), and I wouldn’t be me without those past experiences!

  5. Same age as you. Also have been told that I do not look my age. Then, I was at an event where the (much older) woman at the desk was telling me the prices, which were $1 off for seniors, which meant aged 55 or older. I asked, (just out of curiosity – it was an informal event) if proof was needed. No, she laughed and said, “so that will be $5, then”. I was momentarily taken aback. But I paid the senior’s price and had a little weep afterwards.

    • VioletSky – Oh. I don’t even know what to say, except that I seem to be so insecure about my age that I would have had a BIG weep afterwards!

  6. Well I don’t know if it is any consolation, but I was 13 in 1969 so I am a year older than you!

  7. I bet you look deliciously young. Anyway, I’m not about to mention my age but as you bandied dates of birth around I thought, ha, a bunch of whelps still tinkling in their nappies. But, I will say, in doing the math, that you are the same age as my wife and she only considers me a geezer at the odd moment.

    • mrwriteon – As I get older, I find myself appreciating more and more the fact that I do look young. It was a pain when I was constantly having to show my ID when trying to buy a bottle of wine or get into a restricted movie, but I suppose I’m reaping the benefits of it now. But it still bugs me that I even care that I look young – why can’t I just accept my age and carry on with my life?!