When anyone moves to a new city or country there are certain questions the natives are going to ask. For me, it's where do I originate (the accent is a dead giveaway), where did I live in the states, and how old I am. The latter question gets me every time.
If age is nothing but a number, then why is it so fucking important?!?
Don't let my use of strong language give you the wrong impression – I actually don't care how old I am. What I am very aware of is that the asker does care! I know that I look amazing. In the mind of many, having the amount of years you've been on this planet is a piece of the puzzle – YOUR PUZZLE – and just like that they think they have you figured out.
Or at least that's the way it plays in my head.
You meet a guy who's twenty, you instantly figure he's into partying, drinking and getting laid. You meet a girl of twenty-six, she's of the marriage mind set and aiming to meet mister right (or already has and is moving on to the next stage). You meet a single guy at thirty, he's instantly a bachelor, most likely established within his career but still playing the field. You meet a single women in her mid-thirties, she's probably the embodiment of the Bridget Jones story (or any other number of chic-lit books) dying to meet a man, settle down and have babies.
Or maybe that's just my neuroses talking?!?
It all started at school. In a new city, surrounded amongst people who all decided to change their lives by going back into the education system. On the first day I spoke of my life: I said how old I was and told them the year I graduated from undergrad. Thank goodness everyone was so nervous that no one listened to me or absorbed the info. Now, at least twice a week one of my classmates asks me my age, only to get the same answer "How old do you think I am?"
In my mind, isn't THAT what matters. How old do you perceive me to be? Needless to say everyone now thinks I'm hiding some big secret. It's all anyone can talk about – How old do we think Mlle Pierre is? People have guessed 23 (which frightens me that I may seem to be that young and naive) to somewhere closer to the real thing which I've all told them is a number in the thirties but (luckily) the typical answer is twenty-seven. Which is how old I think I am on a day-to-day basis. PERFECT!
This has gotten so comical to me that I'm thrilled that I've embarked on this experiment. But it is now spilling out into everyday life. Was out the other night and while talking to a guy, who asked the unanswerable question. I batted my eyes, smiled and said 'How old do I look?' And then he was stumped. Too afraid to say anything he stared blankly from me to my friend, which then prompted my friend to exclaim that I never tell anyone how old I am.
Needless to say he ran (though I feel he would have ran if I had said anything over twenty-five anyway).
So even though its this insignificant number to me (that I'm taking to the grave). It holds much weight to everyone else. What is a lady to do?