+ Discussions

Discuss: Aging Gracefully, or Maybe Not

“Age ain’t nothing but a number.”  Not just the title of an Aaliyah album, but a cliche spoken by young and old alike to defend their capabilities and desires.  And an uncomfortable reminder that in just 81 days, yours truly will turn 30.  But I’m not the only one feeling a bit shy about her age these days.

The bio for Jessica Chastain, Academy Award nominee and star of “The Help,” lists her age as 30 and her birth year as 1981.  Trouble is, Chastain went to high school with former American Idol contestant Mandisa, who recently revealed that Chastain is actually 35.   How helpful of her.

Now, it’s true that Chastain has never expressly stated that she is 30.  She’s dodged the question of age in most interviews by accusing the questioner of being impolite.  However, her official bios on IMDB and Wikipedia all say 30, so careful verbiage aside, the girl’s been indirectly lying about her age for awhile now.

It’s not difficult to understand why a female actress whose star is on the rise wouldn’t want to be type cast as approaching middle age.  After all, Hollywood is a traditionally cruel place for women to grow older.  But Hollywood isn’t the only place where women conceal their biographical information.

Facebook kindly allows users to obscure the year from their birthdays.  The Telegraph found that lying about your age was the second most common untruth told by women with online dating profiles (the first was shaving a few pounds off of their weight.)  And in this difficult job market, some people are concealing their age on their resumes so that they don’t fall prey to the curse of being an older jobseeker.

I know a number of women inside and outside of D.C. who fudge the numbers on their ages.  My Father’s secretary was 29 for the whole of the 1990s. In fact, she only stopped claiming to be 29, when I turned 29. (She had once been my babysitter, so even with my poor math skills that one didn’t compute.)  

A former co-worker of mine has carefully concealed her age from nearly everyone who knows her.  There doesn’t seem to be anyone who knows her actual age.  Even the people who went to law school with her are clueless.  And since she looks exactly the same now as she did when I met her eight years ago, that secret won’t be revealed until someone chisels it onto a headstone.

As for myself, someone asked me last week how old I was, and my first instinct was to answer, “Somewhere between 21 and a Wal-Mart greeter.”  It’s not that I’m uncomfortable about being 30.  Okay, that’s a lie.  I’m squirming like a harlot in church over it, but despite my emotional qualms, I know that it’s not such a big deal.  

Or, at least, I know that it wouldn’t be if I didn’t feel like the oldest person on Capitol Hill.  Perhaps, if I worked in a normal environment where the middle and upper managers weren’t still blowing the ink dry on their college diplomas, I wouldn’t be able to relate to Chastain’s problem.  But given that my Monday lunch meeting (an LA from a Southern office) just turned 23, I totally understand her desire to give her birth certificate a bit of a makeover.

The trouble is, powerful women in their 40s, 50s and 60s are constantly espousing the glory of embracing your age.  “50 is the new 30,” they say.  “Age is a gift,” they say.  But as my friend K said recently, “It’s easy for post-menopausal women to tell us to embrace our ages. Without the ringing of your biological clock, age becomes a much easier pill to swallow.”

Whether you embrace your age or wince every time someone adds a candle to your birthday cake, it’s hard to deny that America is an ageist culture.  So today’s question is two-fold: 1) Have you ever lied about your age (up or down)? and 2) Do you lose respect for a woman who lies about her age?  Leave your answers in the comments.

LEAVE A COMMENT

    42 comments

  1. KJ says:

    I don't ever outright lie about my age, however, within the past year I avoid discussing it like the plague. I am 24 years old, however people most often guess I'm about 26 or 27. I am graduating from law school in May and therefore am currently on the job hunt and would prefer no one know my precise age.

    In the past year, I have experienced severe ageism when I tell people how young I am. (I have never been asked in a job interview, but it comes up in casual conversation in the workplace.) I can almost feel the levels of respect drop immediately and they start making jokes about 'oh you're just a baby' etc. etc. Therefore, I have learned to keep my mouth shut, but I don't think I will ever downright lie.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  2. K says:

    I am 22 and I have lied about being older. I work in DC and frequently go out to think tank events and represent my company publicly, and I don't want people to think I'm less smart or capable because I lack a lot of full-time work experience. I graduated from GW last May… when I tell people in meetings that, they generally think it was for my MA. I usually do not correct them.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  3. W says:

    I haven't lied about my age, but I have been tempted to. I am young for the job I have, and it is amazing how frequently people lose respect for me when they see that I am younger than expected. It's always interesting to see their facial expression when they meet me for the first time after corresponding only over email and phone. I'm sure that as I age, I will be tempted to lie about my age but in the opposite direction.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  4. aw says:

    I definitely don't lose respect for a woman who lies about her age, as long as it's not pulling the wool over the wrong person's eyes (if you're lying to a potential spouse, I'd disagree with the choice). Each woman has to evaluate her personal circumstances and do what's best for her situation.

    That said, I embrace getting older. I'm 27 and I mostly wear well-tailored suits, while others my age in my market are in cute skirt/blouse combos or revealing dresses; it's two different approaches to working in a male-dominated industry and a male-dominated firm. I hear the men talk about these other women, and while they're praising them for being “sweet” or “hot,” they never mention their abilities and they don't sponsor them for promotions and raises. I've also heard other women referred to as “girl” or even “little girl” far too often, while the 40-60 set is viewed as having “made it” in the business and respected. For me, the older I get, I'm taken more seriously and I value that over remaining in my twenties. It just depends entirely on someone's circumstances.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  5. CatG says:

    It's difficult for me to deliberately lie about my age b/c I honestly forget what it is. Then again, I also don't celebrate my birthday either so that probably doesn't help. Fortunately I'm rarely asked and in a pinch I do know my birth year at least , so I can subtract from the current year. Problem is I have an August B-day so that figure will be wrong 8 months of the year and…oh crap, I just figured out my current age. Darn you, Belle!

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  6. Kristen says:

    I'm 35, perhaps the same age as Chastain, and I have a hard time sympathizing with her. I guess because I admire women who are proud of who they are, age and all. If you are lying about your age, are you missing an opportunity to change another person's prejudice by impressing them with who you are, young or old?

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  7. MM says:

    Same as some of the previous commenters – I was very young for my job when I first started on the Hill, and as an SA, oversaw interns who were older than me. After learning the hard way that they would stop listening to me once they knew I was younger, I started making a point to not talk about my age with them (thinking back on it, I'm not sure why this was difficult, age should never have come up with them, but somehow it did on a couple of occasions). Now I'm finally getting to the point where I feel like I'm the usual age for my position, and it's nice not to feel so self conscious about it – although I do sometimes still feel strange in meetings with outside people who are much older than I am.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  8. Katie says:

    At my current job, I tried to keep my age under wraps because everyone is older than me and I was interning. Now that I have been hired, I let it slip how old I am (24) and then everyone started telling me that I'm a baby, just beginning my life, etc., and some have even asked if I was even able to vote in the last election and how old my parents are. I think perpetually being 29 is kind of a cliche, but I don't lose respect for women who choose to alter their age.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  9. k-t says:

    I have never lied about my age. I did have a guy lie to me about his age; he said he was 10 years younger than his true age. Probably fit pretty well with his maturity (there wasn't a second date).

    I think lying about one's age is just a sign of insecurity, which I can understand. Who isn't insecure about something? But who are you really fooling?

    In my 20s, I found that some clients–especially male chauvinists from different cultures–had trouble taking me seriously because of my age and gender.

    As someone who just turned 40, I think a woman's 30s are a great age. Old enough to have some really good professional experience, yet not “out of it” culturally. Old enough to know what she is looking for in a life partner. Still young enough for procreation, should she wish to do so.

    As I'm only a few months into my 40s, I cannot comment on them yet, but I'm sure there will be ups and downs, like any other decade. I think that dreading a particular milestone birthday is a self-indulgent waste of time. You age one day at a time–or one minute at a time. Make the most of every age and have no regrets.

    But maybe I'm a little skewed in my perspective as I'm planning on living to 100. I'm not even halfway there yet!

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  10. KRC says:

    I'm currently interning with a city government, and my boss is only two years older me. The numbers don't really mean anything because we both graduated from the same university and it's obvious to everyone else how close we are in age. That being said, age seems like such a state of mind and is expressed best by how you carry yourself in the workplace.
    Who cares about the number? Immaturity doesn't have an age.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  11. DCQuarterlife says:

    At one point when I was an unpaid intern…with two masters degrees and on my way to a PhD…I made sure to point that out and make sure people knew I was not a college undergrad.

    Now I avoid talking about my age because of the position I'm in, but inevitably I'll be talking to someone and they'll say something like “do you have kids?” “Oh, you sound young!” and it gets really annoying that they judge my work by that.

    I never lie if someone asks (sometimes I'll round up to the next year if it matters in gaining respect) but I avoid it when I can.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  12. Nina says:

    In my professional life I really don't care. As long as you're not falsifying academic credentials I really do. not. care. However, I have caught acquaintances, friends of friends, and even friends lying about their age in social situations especially to men. I DO judge for that. It's not like you have to announce it at our first handshake, but don't lie to me or lie in front of me if you want to be my friend.

    I think the age and biological clock situation might be conflating two different things, though probably related. I think it is kind of a leap to say that the eternally 29 year old office assistant wants to fool herself into thinking she has extra baby-making time.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  13. Bluejay says:

    I actually don't disclose my age because I want people to think I'm older than I am, in the professional context at least. I was a bit young when I graduated from high school, but really I just was very successful very early in my career and am now occupying a position where most of my peers are 5-8 years older than me. If people far junior to me at work knew I was their age (or in some cases a bit younger) and making 1/3 more than what they make, I think they'd lose respect for me or feel bitter/suspect favoritism. In fact, I've worked hard and I'm very good at my job; yes, I'm lucky to have gotten into an industry I'm very good at, but I haven't benefited from connections or favoritism. Even outside the office, I am fairly well known in my field and have published a lot. I just don't think I'd be viewed as authoritative if people knew I'm only 29. So I don't have my graduation year included in my bio, and if people ask me how old I am, I usually respond “old enough not to have to answer” and laugh it off. I think most people assume I'm around 35 and that's a-ok with me.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  14. Heatherskib says:

    On my 18th birthday, I wasn't carded because I was “At least 36” according to the cashier. At my most recent position I had to provide proof of my degree becasue a few people doubted I'm old enough to have gone to college. (Despite expensive well cut suits, serious hairstyles, quality jewelry and the wedding ring on my finger) iI'm signifigantly younger than most of my friends. When asked- My answer is I'm 30ish.
    People have certain assumptions of what to expect at certain ages. I work in an office where my coworkers are predominantly 10 years or so older than me. So are the principals and school board contacts I work with regularly. Consequently- I make it hard to nail down my exact age.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  15. m says:

    I've been quiet about my age ever since I turned 37 (I'm now 40). I look younger and I like keeping people guessing. Nobody asks, so it never comes up.

    That said, turning 30 was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. I didn't view it as the end of my youth or anything like that. I was a late bloomer and I finally saw myself maturing in my 30's and, more importantly, I saw others maturing as well. I came to really like people for who they are and what they bring to the world, not just as fun people to go to happy hour with or go to shows with, or gossip with, etc. That gave me a whole new enjoyment out of life that I wouldn't trade for years off the clock.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  16. IRMcK says:

    I'm turning 30 in fewer than 81 days, but I'm okay with that. I'm actually pretty excited – I've been telling everyone within earshot about this milestone birthday.

    Actually, I used to work harder to hide my age when I was 23/24/25 and meeting with lobbyists and constituents. I still look young, but now, when they patronizingly ask, “So how long have you been here, sweetie?” I've got a solid answer. I do wonder if I'll miss the patronizing questions when they stop coming, though…

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  17. SarahT says:

    As a late twenty-something, I generally just avoid answering specific age questions. I won't lie but I won't correct people either when they guess on the low side, which is pretty often. Not that I mind being my age, but I've noticed that in your early 20s there's a lot of “oh you're just starting life!” but in your late 20s there's a lot of “oh so when are you getting married? don't you want kids? don't you want a wedding?” type of questions that I would rather not deal with in a professional setting. It's downright rude actually. And for that matter, it's spread to social settings as well. For that alone I'd rather not disclose my real age. Also, in Jessica Chastain's defense, who really cares if she lied? Casting directors and agents will always suggest that you tell people the age you can play, not the age you really are. Like I said, I'm a late twenty-something but there's no way I would be cast as my own age. The longer you can play younger, the longer you can work. It's a sad fact of Hollywood and we're lucky that we don't have to deal with that in a professional work environment.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  18. Emily says:

    This is incredibly interesting. I work in a corporate environment – all professional women aged 45 or older. We have one lady who works part-time (she has young children) who is 31. I have worked here full time for 2 years and I'm 23 (I graduated college in 3 yrs and worked full time while earning my Masters). People tell me I look 16 or 17. The result? People (both coworkers & clients) assume I'm an idiot sorority girl when they meet me. Since I've worked here awhile, my boss(es) & coworkers know this isn't true & that I'm highly capable. However, I've had multiple instances when my boss has set me up with a new client and their response is “How old are you?!” or “My daughter/granddaughter/daughter in law is about your age” which is unbelievably embarassing. Also, it's not unusual in staff meetings for my boss or coworkers to refer to someone outside of our business (a broker or bookkeeper) as not knowing what they're doing because they're just “an idiot little girl”. I try not to take it personally because I know they're not referring to me and they know that I rock at what I do, but I know they feel that I am the exception, not the rule. So if I were to ever lie about my age, it would be to make myself older, not younger. However, lying about my age wouldn't help since I look freakishly young. I just compensate by doing really good work and hope for the best. FWIW, my boss always raves about my skills to clients to put them at ease.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  19. Rose says:

    haha my boyfriend and I recently had a discussion where he was telling me that in professional baseball, a LARGE number of players fake their birth certificates (to make themselves look 3-5 years younger) so they will receive better contracts because teams will assume they have more years left until their decline. I guess it's easy to do because so many of them are from other countries. I guess this might apply to other professions as well!

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  20. Anne says:

    I've never lied about my age, but I've never seen what the big deal about age is, anyway. I'm 31 and proud of it– and you could not pay me enough to re-live the so-called “glory days” people talk about, such as high school or your 20s. For me, things have gotten better as I've aged, and I've always thought that would be true for the women I admire or aspire to be like, too. Why cover that up?? You're wiser, tougher, and in a lot of cases, more beautiful.

    Having said that, I'm Southern, and there are three things I have been taught and very firmly believe it is acceptable for a woman to lie about: her age, her bra size, and her natural hair color. Call me old fashioned, but unless you're in close company, it's rude to even ask– it's a reflection more on the asker than the potential liar.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  21. Anne says:

    Caveat to my above comment: Southern oddities aside, there are some situations in which you can never lie about your age, like say to your spouse/potential spouse, or a legal form. Just so we're clear : )

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  22. E says:

    In my twenties I would add a couple of years to my age, as I tend to think people in my profession (law) value age and experience. I stopped doing that when I hit 30, as that number sounds a lot more respectable to me. I'm 34 now, and although I have added anti-aging products to my skincare routine, I wouldn't dream of wishing those years away. I love my 30s. And, as someone who lost a brother in a car accident when he was 24, I have a hard time feeling sympathy for someone who doesn't want to get older. Sure, there are some unappealing aspects of aging, but every birthday that I celebrate is a gift, and one that not everyone gets.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  23. Heatherskib says:

    I do have one more addition. So far, no one in the generation above me has survived past 50. I have an aunt left who's 49- she had non hodgkins Lymphoma in her mid 20's.
    Whatever your age is- do try to live every day to the fullest, and be glad when you are blessed to age another day.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  24. Sam says:

    I haven't lied about my age, though I've miscounted it a time or two (I was only off by a year though). I am a September birthday so I've always been the youngest in my group of friends. And I lucked out in the same way at work too (I'm second youngest, only to a 23 yr old). While I freak out about where I am in life vs my age, I still don't see the point in lying about. I do, however, have an aunt that has been turning 28 for well over 15 years. I recently told her that if I was turning 29 this year, so was she.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  25. R says:

    @Anne, can I also lie about my weight please? just 5 pounds will do for my DL.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  26. Mary says:

    I wish I could lie and tell people at work that i'm older. i'm 25 but very petite so I look much younger. i was recently carded at an R rated movie! I'm the youngest person in my department – everyone else is at least 30+. From some of the 40+ folks I have received comments like, “i think i had just graduated from college the year you were born” or “you're only 25?? that makes me feel so old!”. But in my circle of family and friends from home, everyone my age is getting married and having kids, so i'm starting to look like an old maid for having no interest in either. I wish i could tell colleagues that i'm 30 and friends/family that i'm 20.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  27. LS says:

    Oh my gosh what an awesome discussion topic. I don't have many female friends and my office is almost all men so I don't think I know anyone who's lied about their age. Personally, I've never thought about it although I'm not sure how I'll feel when I'm in my 30s.

    @Anne – You would not believe the number of men who have asked my age in a bar. I've told the vast majority of them “that's completely inappropriate” and have walked away. If I'm in a bar, I'm between 21 and it's none-of-your-business. I understand I look young, but if you're really that concerned about it, think of a more sauve way of asking (like what year I graduated or how long I've been with my company). All those guys need a serious lesson in manners!

    Just as a side to all the women who look super young, do not dispair! You're going to be laughing it up when you're older. My mom got carded when I was a teen and she was in her late 40s. That memory is a serious comfort when men criticize my looks.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  28. jen says:

    i don't lie about my age. i agree with those who've already commented that youth is not respected in my workplace, so i've actually had to correct people when they've guessed too young and started down the “you're a baby, with barely any experience!” road.

    btw- belle, don't sweat it. 30 was the best year of my life (so far). it really only gets better (at least that's true 5 years later….)

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  29. Montana says:

    Hey-
    From an older point of view-, let me just say that having just turned 51 I never lied about my age and still don't. As you age and lose friends, family, colleagues you should be proud that you're still here. Hopefully, you'll come to feel that your age is a badge of honor. Time catches up on all of us so.stay out of the sun and tanning beds and have a great weekend everyone!

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  30. Sharyn says:

    I graduated HS with Jessica Chastain in 1995. You can do the math. I give gals in Hollywood a pass on fudging as to their age, but in the modern Internet age, the truth is bound to come out. It does make me chuckle every time I see her age listed as 30. Who knew I was so young?

    Belle, as far as I can tell you have a successful, well established career (and blog) at 29. Turning 30 should not bother you. Happy early birthday!

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  31. jen says:

    I am still “blowing the ink dry on my diploma,” but I look 16. Talk about the shock on the look on the lobbyists' faces when I a) walk in from the back room and introduce myself confidently, and b) actually know what I am talking about.

    That is being young gracefully – the prelude to aging gracefully. People who think it's funny to joke about my face in front of me get a lie about my age. Yes, I'm actually 16 and I graduated early from Harvard as a child prodigy! Now let's talk about transpo. Thanks.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  32. Nancy says:

    I have never lied about my age – even when others assumed I was younger than I was and I would have been able to get away with the lie. I've never felt the need to pretend to be younger, or older, than I was – even when I was a returning law student at the age of 28, the youngest attorney at age 31 at my first in-house position, and now being an almost 46 year old with two kids in elementary school and clients who still believe I am younger than I am. Now, I do color my hair because I was offended by the salesperson who thought my kids were my grandchildren. Personally, I am looking forward to my 50's (and no I'm not post-menapausal yet) and being even more comfortable with who I am and what I've accomplished. For me, that's why the 50's are the new 30's – there will be teenage children keeping me mentally young, career success to still achieve and enjoy, and an ever growing retirement account. My bigger struggle will be when to go 'gracefully grey'.

    Yes, I loose a bit of respect for women who do lie about their age depending on the circumstances of the lie.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  33. Capitol Hill Barbie says:

    Great discussion post Belle! I'm shocked at how many people lie about being older. I look young for my age, but I've never lied about it (except in high school and college for the obvious reasons). When I was the youngest in my office, I was always proud of how much I had accomplished at my age and felt no need to hide it. Now, I definitely feel old around some younger colleagues, but I would never lie. Besides, my in depth knowledge of all things My So-Called Life and Freaky Freezies would allow anyone to instantly pinpoint my true age.

    Belle, don't be afraid of 30. It is an amazing milestone, you have done a lot with your time and should be proud of that. Happy early birthday!

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  34. DC29forlife says:

    I've always loved my birthday and didn't really fear the number. However, this year is different, I too am turning 30. I am successful, happy, and satisfied. However, 30 makes me cringe. I can't help but remember thinking that there was time to have a career and a family and that my friends who were getting married in their 20s were nuts. However, as I approach 30 and am not married, I can't help but remember Charlotte from SATC and say “where is he already?!?” And I know this is only because I am turning 30 (and I don't want to be 35, with a hangover, whinning that same questions as she was on SATC) and the fear is the 20 somethings will take all the good men (even though I didn't manage to in my 20s) and I will end up alone. Rational? no. Reality? no. Enough to make me lose some sleep at night thinking what if I am successful but alone? yes
    You're right — after the clock stops, age doesn't matter. But as it slows… it does.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  35. Theresa says:

    Maybe this is part of growing up and working in the Midwest, but it never has occurred to me to lie about my age. I am young and the only woman in our office and often am part of entertaining clients – both male and female – who appreciate my youthful perspective. Though I also look young (I am 23 and people still think I am in high school), I receive more compliments that I have a mature, confident business personality and my clients and coworkers are impressed that I am smarter than they would've given a recent college graduate and sorority girl credit for. Not only can I contribute to the intellectual discussions among my coworkers, but they also come to me for advice because I have a unique perspective. Hopefully other offices view youth and vivaciousness as an asset in the workplace too!

    Belle, congratulations on turning 30 and being such an accomplished young woman. You are truly a role model and (for me) the blog I hold all other blogs up to.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  36. Sarah says:

    I never lie, and my actual age does not bother me. Nor does getting older – it's going to happen whether you like it or not, and the alternative is being dead, so you may as well embrace it. In my office, I work with middle and senior level staff, so I am one of the “babies” of the office, but it's worthwhile to get exposure to people who are further along in their careers and have plenty to teach! As for looking at times younger than I am, I know I'll be grateful of it as I continue to age.

    March 9, 2012/Reply
  37. AR says:

    Very interesting discussion! I am usually honest about my age when asked, I've never seen the need to lie about it. However, being at the cusp of my thirties but very petite, I look much younger than my age and this is starting to be a bit of an issue professionally. I work in a client-facing, corporate environment and I've noticed that my petite stature is a disadvantage at establishing credibility because people assume at a glance that you're fresh out of college. Anyone else experience this and how do you overcome it? I've always believed that it should be your knowledge and competence in your work that should do the talking for you, but it's a (sad) reality that appearances matter!

    March 10, 2012/Reply
  38. Francine says:

    I have never understood lying about your age if you're not in an industry where it matters. Why would I tell people I am 32 if I am really 38? Do I want people thinking: “Wow, she looks like SHIT for 32.” No. For vanity purposes, it makes more sense to say you're several years older. If you're 39, say: “I'm 46.” Then they're thinking: “Holy shit, she looks AWESOME for 46.”

    I have never lied about my age (in my 40s now), have always proudly stated it, and in large part because people always claim to be surprised I am as old as I am and go on about how young I look and what's my secret. So there's that. Why would I want to say I am much younger and watch them scan my face with anxiety in their eyes?

    March 11, 2012/Reply
  39. gingerr says:

    I don't lie about my age, particularly in the context of a job. Lying, or should I say getting caught lying, is worse than the actually age!
    But I don't make deducing my age totally transparent. It's a cruel world and employment in the private sector isn't an iron ricebowl. There isn't any reason to give somebody a reason to pass your resume by, as in, she's so old we can't afford her…

    As far as Facebook and other social media goes — putting your exact date of birth out there invited identity theft. While any one site may not contain the entire banana – date of birth, place of birth, mother's maiden name, hometown, current residence, it's not unheard of for interested thieves to put these items of information together, then you're venerable.

    So it's not just vanity to keep your personal information to yourself.

    March 11, 2012/Reply
  40. MM says:

    How ironic! My 30th birthday was on Friday (the day you posted this). I don't know what I'll say in later years, but you should 100% embrace turning 30. I think we all spend too much time comparing ourselves to others, making us think we're not far enough along in our careers or haven't gotten to the point we want to be in life yet. I spent my 30th birthday celebrating exactly the way I wanted to and reflecting on how much has changed in my life in the last decade. When I just look at myself and stop comparing myself to others, it's easy to see that I'm exactly where I want to be in life.

    March 12, 2012/Reply
  41. Blair says:

    I turned 24 a month ago, but I've been an LA for almost a year. I handle defense and appropriations issues, so I spend a lot of time among seasoned Hill vets, military officials and experienced lobbyists. I never state my specific age. I have a hard enough time getting taken seriously when they assume I'm 26 or 27…

    March 13, 2012/Reply
  42. Beth says:

    Well, honestly, Jessica C looks at least 35 (36 now). She looks good, make no mistake, but she does not in any way look 30. As an aside, people with slightly plumper faces tend to look younger.

    August 24, 2013/Reply