Salute to women who divulge their age
If only we could get Regina Hall’s birthday song on Spotify
Writer’s note: This post was originally published on Medium’s “We Need to Talk” on January 17, 2021.
My great great aunt lived to be 100, and I think she was one of the coldest women walking around the planet. Toss a coin, and chances are we were arguing about something — from my high school years straight up until adulthood. But I still enjoyed hanging out with her. After a temporary move, she told me via phone that she felt lonely not being in Chicago anymore. I went to the ballot box that day (for a local election several years ago), filled up my tank and kept on driving until I reached her new home in Flint, Michigan. She was stunned when she saw me on the other side of her door. I stayed overnight, made sure she was cool and drove home the next day.
One of the dopest things about her to me, besides being fashionable and thoughtful and funny as hell, was she’d introduce herself by age before name. She absolutely loved to share her age. Why? Because she enjoyed being alive and having the opportunity to enjoy what the day brought to her.
Recommended Read: “Aloha! My 30th birthday on 11/11/11”
Other women in my family, like my mother, are the same way. When my mother turned 60, we recorded a Facebook video in the park. While I was making fish faces, she immediately announced she’d just turned 60. It was the silliest video we’d ever recorded, but even with us being ridiculous, she still wanted to point out her age. She also walked around all day with a crown and a T-shirt that said, “I Make 60 Look Good.” She got stopped nonstop, including in a custard shop with a very fine cashier who crooned, “Yes you do!” Indeed, she does!
I thought about that today during my millionth Twitter debate. (I’m doing a terrible job of not arguing on social media on weekends, but I keep making this a goal.) Although the original tweet was in reference to black women being tired, it went off the rails into a topic about black men asking black women whether they wear wigs. If you’ve read my post on weaves and wigs, you already know I have mixed opinions on both. While I stand firmly in my opinion that you should never wear anything you’re ashamed of, one comment stood out among many, “that’s an inappropriate question period. That’s no different then [sic] asking a woman her age.” This is the one tweet I paused over and let out a deep sigh.