Here’s something that probably doesn’t happen often. Actually, I’m wondering if this ever happened to anyone else in the world other than to me. And it happened today when I was celebrating my 50th birthday over lunch with my husband.
I was carded! Yes, we ordered two glasses of champagne and the waiter asked for proof of age. Did he really think I wasn’t yet 21? Was it my hair, which I swear I’ve never colored? The outfit, which was very middle-aged appropriate?
Or could it have something to with the fact that when I got to the restaurant a few minutes before my husband, I asked the hostess to ask the waiter to ask me for proof of age when we ordered drinks. I explained to her that I just turned 50 and all I really wanted for my birthday was to be able to say: “Someone asked me for proof of age on my fiftieth birthday!”
So now I can. And guess what? I felt so good about myself even though I contrived the whole thing. In fact, scientific studies have provided some evidence to show that lying about yourself really is a good thing after all. In moderation, of course.
For years, psychologists have known that a lot of us exaggerate our qualities, whether it’s height or grades, or whatever. And I guess, I overestimate how young I look. But there’s a reason: When I was 12, I looked 8. When I was 21, I looked 14. People talked baby talk to me my whole life, which isn’t a good thing. And everyone told me that I would feel so much better when I’m old and look young. At the time, I thought they were talking about me as a future 40-year-old, but really, the teenage me thought, who cares what you look like when you are 40? So now, I’m 50, and if you do the math (I did), that means I should look 33.33. But I was thinking that I could maybe pass for 20. An exaggeration. I know.