How old am I?

I hate it when people ask me how old I am. Not because I’m concerned about aging (much) or because I’m embarrassed to admit my age. Actually, it’s because I don’t really know.

I truly can never remember how old I am. This odd phenomenon is partly a function of my aversion to numbers. Numbers are generally meaningless to me. I can’t remember them. I get them wrong. Any kind of spreadsheet might as well be in a different language, for all the sense they make to me. When extra people are joining us for dinner I have no clue how many places to set without sitting down and having a serious think. I swear I got all A’s in my math classes (well, except for Trigonometry my senior year when I got a “B” but I swear that was because I missed two weeks of school due to a horrid bout of bronchitis). But bottom line, numbers are my nemesis.

Because I can never remember how old I am, I have to do the math any time I’m required to give my age. Almost always it’s a subtraction problem that makes me hit a brick wall. But this morning it occurred to me that it is now 2014. Because I was born in 1964, this is a relatively easy one to figure out…except for the fact that my birthday is at the end of the year, so I have to remember to take one year away until December. Oh, and also there’s the fact that in my freaky little mind we turned some kind of corner at the year 2000, so there’s no linear time line for me to access in my brain. I can’t picture it comfortably, so it’s very tricky.

Here’s what would be easier: I would just like to reference my age relative to events. I was born the year after Kennedy was assassinated; four years before Sesame Street first aired (seriously, I find that an important time marker!). I was 21 when I got married; 25 when our oldest was born; 29 when we had our youngest. Those numbers make sense to me.

Really, nothing else counts.  Especially me.


2 thoughts on “How old am I?

  1. This is a great way to count your age, I intend to adopt this one – and pretend I can’t remember my birth date! It really is much more meaningful, especially as events like this shape us much more than how many years we have spent here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s