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The Age of Minding Your D*mn Business

by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief Social Media Strategist at xynoMedia

I never answer the age question. Ever.

I think it's irrelevant to all conversations - other than one you might have with your doctor - and people  really only ask you so they can fit you inside a box that they've made for you in their heads.

AgeThink about it...people ask you how old you are so they can determine, based on your topic of conversation with them, what they think your answers and responses SHOULD be.

I also find that people think it's OK to ask a woman this, but it's rare that men are asked this question. I could be wrong about that, but that's been my experience.

When people ask me my age, I tell them flat out, "I don't answer that question - ever."  I don't qualify it or apologize for not telling them. If they're nosey enough to ask, I'm blunt enough to tell them how I really feel about that question.

So, you can imagine my surprise when recently someone went on a bit of an "age quest" to see if she could determine how old I am.

Quite innocently enough, this person asked my age at a meeting. I gave my standard reply:

"I don't answer that question - ever."

She then went on to attempt to try to guess how old I was. As if her guessing would somehow change my mind about me telling her my age. Wrong. It only served to annoy me...but, I didn't show her that. I wanted to see exactly how far she would go with this "age" thing.

She then tried to enlist someone else at the meeting to guess my age. Even more annoying, but I played it cool.

A few days later, I received an email from her. She had gone to Facebook and looked up my age. She proudly announced, "You're 39!!" She couldn't have been more wrong. Anyone who knows me, knows that just as much as I don't talk about my age, I don't ever give social networking sites my true birth date. To me, there's something creepy about that.

I think my response to her was KILLER. What do you think?

"I was just wondering why it was so important to you [to know my age] because I know you have better things to do - like build [her company], take care of your family, etc.

And, if you were to know my age, what does that get you in the long run? I mean, what's the net-net for you in knowing my age?

I find your curiosity about my personal affairs quite interesting..."

Needless to say I never heard from her again.

Bottomline: If someone tells you to mind your business the first time they ask you something, don't ask them again unless you want to have your @$$ handed to you.

Have you had to put someone in their place about the age question - or any other inappropriate questions? How'd you do it?


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Lena L West


Thanks for your kind words. I own my age as well. Not telling my age isn't about being ashamed as much as it's about not having to process other people's crap (not that you were suggesting otherwise).

And, good on you for owning your years as well - and for being a hot grandma! :)


You're right. I don't want to go back to the days of pointless dialgoue and small talk/mindless banter because we were afraid to engage.


Girl? You don't know me that well.

Thanks to all for reading and commenting,


Yvonne DiVita

You go, Lena! Personal questions are of no matter - or, should be of no matter. Yet, we are consumed by them because we live in a world of demographics. I wrote about this over at Adotas (and was called on the carpet for it - because the commenter felt demographics rule in marketing!).

Truth be told...I am not shy about my age. No one believes me (they think I'm much younger, and I am, at heart) and when I tell them the truth, I show my pride at being the age I am, and being so tech savvy, so social media savvy, and so smart to have great friends like you and the other talented writers here.

That said...I don't go around "announcing" my age. But, I do talk a LOT about my Granddaughter...and that does tend to give things away. (You can't be a grandmother! As if Grandmothers don't come in all shapes, sizes, and ages!)

Age is only what you make of it. I so respect your decision not to talk about your age. To me, you are ageless. Timeless. A woman of essence.

Mary Schmidt


I make no bones about being 50 (perhaps because I'm surprised at reaching that age with some semblance of brain function ;-))

However, you're spot on. It's nobody's business and why should it matter when building a (real) relationship?

Other questions that I find highly disconcerting (not to mention rude, irrelevant to doing business, or both):
1. How much money do you make a year?
2. How much did you pay for your house?
3. Is that your natural hair color?

I've been asked these (and more). Now, the last thing I would want to do is go back to the "good old days" where we never talked about anything....but whatever happened to discretion and common courtesy?


Calm down grrl, damn

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