Saturday, 1 December 2012

I'm ninety-six, you know!

No. Not me. A neighbour, who loves to surprise people by disclosing her age (she looks much younger, and is alert and active). And this set me thinking...

What age does one have to reach before not wanting to disclose it? I know some people don't mind, but I'm afraid I do. There's a kind of shame that comes with becoming old(er), and I'm not sure why. It's as though we've failed in some way; as though it's somehow our fault

But then we - or some of us, like our neighbour - reach a time when age is something to be proud of. When is that? Ninety, perhaps? And why?

But it can be useful. I recently tried out a horse belonging to a hunting farmer, and while extolling its virtues, he repeatedly told me that it wouldn't jump the very high hedges and walls. I kept telling him that I didn't want to jump high walls; that my hedge-jumping days were over. Finally, in desperation, I told him my age. He was gratifyingly surprised, but didn't mention hedges and walls again.

 (I bought the horse, and he arrives on Monday. He will have a post all of his own. But he and I have agreed to leave walls and hedges to others.)

26 comments:

  1. What a brilliant post - you are so right about the age thing, but I've no idea why it suddenly feels okay to boast about it rather than whisper it like a guilty secret.

    Congratulations on finding a new horse - I can't wait to read about him - and see photos :-) x

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    1. I'm glad you understand, Teresa! Horse news to folow soon...

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  2. I think the older a person gets and still looks quite good, probably encourages the boast. But age is all in the mind anyway. Look forward to seeing your new chum!

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    1. New cbum arrived this afternoon, and he's gorgeous!

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  3. Your neighbour was 30 when I was born, Frances. Good for her, being alert and active.
    But I'm so happy you're getting another horse. And yes, leave the walls and hedges to others, good idea. Active is one thing, crazy is another, especially if we want to live to be 96.
    K

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    1. Kay, I had an aunt and uncle who both died in the last year, and both lived well into their nineties. Having seen what they went through, I'm not sure I want it!

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  4. I don't mind people knowing my age, but I've never yet had the urge to state it to random strangers.

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  5. Whoops, posted before I meant to - it's my age, you know ;-) I hope you and the new horse will be very happy together - and that you'll include photos on the post about him.

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  6. Yay!!! A new horse! Can't wait for you to introduce him to us, Frances!
    As for the age thing, I never understood why people get all silly when it comes to either revealing or keeping secret their own age. One's age is simply what it is - a number of years counting from the day we were born, and NOBODY had any influence on when they were born, therefore, nobody has any reason for looking down (or up) to someone simply because of their age.

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    1. Only you, Meike, could come up with such impeccable logic for this!

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    2. Meike, I think you feel that way because you're still young. You wait till you're my...oh, never mind...

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  7. Wow you've bought another horse. Brilliant and you found other one that talks. I knew you were a horse whisper. I can't wait to get to know him.

    Age is a state of mind. I love knowing that life is for enjoy at any age and older age is just as fun as being young only I don't think the mature generation like the younger generation to know :-) Well, we have to keep some things a secret otherwise they'll want to hang around with us and cramp our style.

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    1. Hmmm. I'll think about that one, Paula!

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  8. Wonderful news about the horse and looking forward to his blog. I don't mind telling people my age because I think I look younger than I am, or so folk tell me. So I hope that continues!

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    1. Do you find that helps, Magggie? I'm not sure..

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  9. After prematurely telling everyone she's 95 all year , I hope that a spritely lady I know doesn't find the real thing too much of an anticlimax now .
    Still , she can always begin on "I'm 96 , you know "...

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    1. Oler people do that, don't they? They begin telling people they're a year old than they actualy are. I find myself doing it. Oh dear. Very bad sign...

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  10. I don't mind saying my age, but I don't particularly want to hear older people always mentioning how old they are.

    One very old man I know asked me to guess his age, which put me in an awkward position. I guessed an age much lower than I thought it would be, so as not to offend him. He was delighted to be thought sixty when he was eighty-five! He went off chuckling to himself and saying that he couldn't wait to tell his wife and that was quite a nice feeling.

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    1. Joanna, someone once asked me to guess her age, and I over-guessed by quite a bit. Oops!

      But then, she should't have asked!

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  11. Looking forward to hearing about the new horse. As for the age thing when I was younger I was embarrassed by my age because I always thought that I looked older than I did. Now that I'm older I don't want to think that I look my age but I think I probably do. Weird.

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    1. Yes. At what age do we stop wanting to look older, and start wanting to look younger. Interesting...

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  12. I must admit I am vain enough to want people to say 'no..surely not..' if my age comes into the conversation....but only IF it comes into the conversation.

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  13. Frances play the Glad Game. You are growing older. Many don't have that privilege.

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  14. I know, I know. But that doesn't help. GB!

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