I ask you the question: Is it okay to ask a person: “How old are you?”

Because of this question, I’m going through culture shock!! I even grew up here and I’m still going through culture shock!

Today was about the 5th time in a week that I’ve been asked: “how old are you?” The first 3 times I said “none of your business” and laughed my way out of it.. but now it’s getting serious… These Floridians all seem to want to know how old I am!

Why? Do I look older than I am? Do I look younger? Is it that I’m too immature to be this old? What is it?

Okay, it might be that they might be trying to see WHO I went to high school with, that is completely possible, but then again, why not ask: What year did you graduate?

I’ve lived in various places around the country. When I lived in NYC one time I think I asked a guy how old I was and he curtly replied, “oh, how AMERICAN of you”. I think I learned at that moment NOT to bring up age. Or perhaps it was when I was commenting on my friends’ luck that her husband was 16 years younger than her and she completely derailed the conversation and made me look foolish.. that I learned.. YOU DON”T ASK A PERSON”S AGE!!!

I thought it could never hurt! Oprah proudly tells everyone her age and says its horrible that women DON”T tell their age. But it DOES hurt! People are MESMORIZED by peoples’ ages! And they treat you different because of your age, and you can lose a job because of your age. Yes you can, because I did!

When the TV station found out that I was OLDER than their targeted demographic, I was immediately bumped to the anchor desk. Now.. I’m a SENIOR staff member. Sure, the 23 year old who replaced me was quickly discovered and moved on in her career but I know that the fact that I was a particular age gave them the idea that it was time to MOVE on. I liked anchoring but liked reporting a LOT more. There was a lot more freedom, but because of my AGE, I wasn’t able to keep the same position. I also know a major network anchor that goes to great lengths to conceal her age.

So me? I don’t TELL my age. Is that so bad? I think in Florida I’m looked upon as a snob and a freak! They look at me like I’m insane when I don’t divulge my age immediately.

But what I’ve learned is that people categorize you into a certain age GROUP that says.. “they’re older than me.. they can’t do as much as me” or they’re just SO overwhelmed that someone THAT old could look THAT good.

Now that I’m here and have found out that Floridians tell the world EVERYTHING that is personal, I am caught between a rock and a hard place. I’ve been “advised” NOT to share my age, but I don’t want to come off looking like a jerk. Two women today left in a huff when I didn’t tell. She said; “but you’re in FLORIDA”.

I’m curious about YOUR community!? Is it this open? Are the Floridians being nosey, or rude or just curious?

I’m sticking with the “I’m 29 and holding” statement that my mom used to say. That way, I can watch my friends grow old, and I’ll stay young forever!