Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Birthday Lie

My family is having a big surprise birthday party next month for my dad's sister and their cousin. (We are known for botched surprise parties, so the "surprise" remains to be seen, but that's a story for another time.)  It is a milestone birthday for my Aunt, and she is quite proud of the fact that she is turning 70.  Her cousin, "Aunt Betty", on the other hand, well we all know she has a birthday in August, but no one knows how old she will actually be.  She's been lying about her age for so long.  Actually, I think there are a couple of older family members who do know but are too afraid to tell anyone, worried about incurring her wrath.  There are a few stories out there about how once-upon-a-time her real age was brought to light, for the fun of it, but the jokes didn't go over so well.  So now it's kept under wraps.
Being reminded of this family secret while preparing for the party, I got to thinking about this particular lie.  Some women have been lying about their ages for, well, ages; maybe even forever.  Heck, this past birthday made me contemplate it...A LOT!  But I wonder how these people pull it off for so long.  When I decided not to lie about my age it wasn't because I'm willing to age gracefully or for any moral reasons.  No, it was because none of my loved ones would let me get a way with it.  "Oh, shut up, you are not!" they would say.
So how is it, that after all these years, no one has called Aunt Betty out on it.  Those who do know have been humoring her.  And now here we are, ready to celebrate her birthday without knowing when her birthday really is.  Crazy!

15 comments:

  1. We're all a bit mad one way or another. I think most of us realise the little insanities in others are how they navigate life. What's a real pisser though is when you are being all nice about someones foibles and they have the unmitigated gall to call-you on some little idiosyncrasy of your own.

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    1. Oh sure, that's what makes us us, isn't it.
      In this case, I'm more in awe over it than anything else. Since I can remember, she's been that sassy lady who does what she does and doesn't care what anyone else thinks. This is case in point. I don't see it as a flaw, in fact, it'd be kind of fun to be a little more like that.

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  2. That's funny! I have never minded...and when I think I am older than all my student's parents I am always surprised to find there is one older!

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    1. Yes, that was a hard pill to take...my students' parents are ALL younger than I am now - this population barely waits until adulthood for kids. There was a period of time when I was the same age, which was good, but now it's kind of depressing. :) Whenever the kids ask me how old I am, I ask them how old they think I am. That's always good for the ego..."25?" "31?" I always smile and tell them, "Good guess!"

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  3. This knees-up is going to be a BIG affair ?. Not your run of the mill 40-50 people in someones home jumping up from behind oversized furniture if you are prepping a month out. This smacks of tents, thrones, bouncy-castles, a bar and a band.

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    1. Actually, it's been planned since maybe May? As I mentioned, this side of the family is not known for successful surprise parties, especially if my aunt is a guest of honor. The date was most likely chosen because she had it open on her calendar. She's busy and unwilling to change her plans if a party was planned on the same day...even if it's for her!!!
      No, not really a big affair. It'll be a lot of people, but we do all the work - the decorating, the cooking, the bar, maybe one of the cousins doing the music. No bouncies...but that would be fun, wouldn't it!!
      A knees-up?!?! I've not heard that one before.

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    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdRxWZ5-mvg
      I think this is the current source. But the song is speaking about when working class women would lift their skirts to dance the traditional tunes a generation earlier. Think Winslet on the Titanic if you can stomach it.

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    3. Ya know, I might be the only person left in the world who hasn't seen Titanic, but I get the reference. Kind of a cute segment. A female comedy duo in the 40s?!?! Ahead of their time!

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    4. Frankly I've seen worse. But you didn't miss much. It was a bit twee. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBPiWZOJxAY This at 2:50 in.

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    5. Ah! Kick off your shoes dancing! :)
      The band who played the song was formed here, in Santa Monica. We used to go see them in at O'Brien's Pub before Titanic made them "famous". They tour now and don't come to town often.

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  4. Turning 70 is better than the alternative BUT a surprise party would make me wish I were dead. Can't think of anything worse for me!!!! Never, never, never. Have fun though, you young one. You still qualify for the "kid's table"

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    1. Ha ha ha! What's funny, is that we keep having them where my aunt is involved, and she is one of the biggest control freaks I know (a zillion times worse than I am. :), which is probably why she always finds out about it ahead of time. There is something very sweet about someone planning a surprise party for someone else, but you definitely have to choose your s.p. candidate carefully. Not everyone is equipped to handle it. :)

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  5. when someone goes to such lengths to keep their age a secret, they must be terribly insecure and in that case let them have their little secret and be happy.
    I wasn't a fan of having to leave my 30's behind but no shame in telling someone when asked.

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