How old are you has ceased to be a polite question nowadays. You’d think one was asking for a menstrual chart or a combination to a safe. I once asked a girl this and she said she’d be 18 this year. This was in January and her birthday is not till November. Maybe I am 17 would have been more appropriate but she wasn’t lying now, was she? People are so guarded about this information that it boggles my mind. People who do this hiding game all seem to desire one advantage and that is to be able to claim they’re older or younger depending on the circumstance that they find themselves. Some people are really moronic about it too and they might as well give up the gambit. How else can you explain a man with seven kids, some of them married, with hair that looks like he was shaved with a machete claiming to be ‘not quite forty yet’.
Some people cannot hide their age and or age group and such a saying as “age is just a number” isn’t far from their lips. Personally I believe that age is just a number too. It is just a bookmark in the timeline of our lives. It is not like anyone can get a double promotion or skip some birthdays into the future and I really don’t see why anybody would be embarrassed that he or she has spent a certain amount of time on earth, be it too small or too much. But for most people who think age is just a number, our reasons for thinking so couldn’t be more conflicted. Most people that say this have something to gain. Sugar mommas and daddas don’t think age is anything but a number. Dolly Parton and Oprah probably think age is just a number. All cosmetic surgeons will tell you age is just a number. But I can tell you with a fair amount of certainty that the folks in one of those retirement homes will vehemently beg to differ. I’ve divided people into three blurry categories based on my experiences with people.
The Brat Club (6 – 17): these guys are generally too impatient and if they had their way, they’d make the earth spin faster about its axis and revolve faster around the sun. That would hardly make any difference but they wouldn’t care. These guys will do anything to appear older. The younger members of this Club measure their height at least twice a day and they will take advantage of even half a listening ear to tell you of all the grand things they’d do when they get older. Things like riding a unicorn into space and stopping by the planet Saturn to get soda and burger. The older ones in this group have different pastimes. Among their favourites are counting pubic hair and imitating their favourite singer’s every move.
The Hybrids (18 – end of middle age): the fellas at APA haven’t said conclusively yet what marks the range for the middle age so it’ll remain ambiguous as it is. This group is the most interesting and consternating for they have almost no common traits at all. A single person from this group is capable of exhibiting so many characteristics (the whole spectrum) that it’s almost unbelievable. It is this group that one needs to be careful about because they can pass off as anything most times. They are the most insecure and shallow people in all the earth. The members of this club say things like they don’t want to be put in a box or draw away attention from their achievements on account of their age. Well, I know what’s worse than being put in a box. It is floating around without a box. You’re bound to be a certain age. How can making it a secret help? If you’re 35 and want me to think you were 30, I may be very bad at judging and think you were 46. Does that make anyone happy? I think not. Despite all their antics, they seldom lie about their age. They just don’t tell.
I know women who will take offence if you called them aunty, which is what they are by the way. They’ll smugly remind you that they’re very much capable of giving birth to you and you should show some goddamn respect by calling them mummy, mama or any of the usual variants. Last time I checked, it was possible to have only one set of parents. Some women will demand your head be separated from the rest of you because you called them madam, ma’am or ma. They’ll ask you if you were blind and can’t see the jeans they’re wearing? Even my mom goes to extra trouble to make sure people know that I’m her son. Not her nephew or her cousin but her son. That way the poor acquaintance does a quick math operation in his head and decides to tread softly.
The Geezer Club (end of middle age – expiry date): this group is my favourite. They are not self-conscious of their age. Instead they’re proud of it. These guys spend majority of their time telling you of stories and adventures that make you think you’d be better off watching paint dry. But since it is the humane thing to do, you stick around. Only one of my grandparents lived long enough to know me at all. The last time I saw her, she was telling me of the last time she witnessed a solar eclipse. It was the most grueling thing. Half the time she went off on an irrelevant tangent recalling redundant details and I ultimately have to bring her back to the eclipse thing. The other half, she spends chastising me as though I was solely responsible for the demise of the old school and the establishment of the new one. All in all, these guys are the happiest of the lot provided they are not sick or queuing for entitlements somewhere or still working to support a good for nothing son who happens to be a fairy or still married to the same dumb broad who just won’t die.
Remember, age is just a number!