Act Your Age

Most of you know my oft mentioned example from writing class.  When I was showing my work to my writing class I received contradictory criticism: one person said my characters acted too young, while another said they acted too old.  Then I had a real life situation with the same idea- I perceived someone as acting old, while my husband thought the same person acted young.  So I began overthinking it, and now I present you with my somewhat muddled thoughts.

In the case of my story, the four female characters (late 50’s) were perceived as too old to be talking about sex and their sex lives, because women in their fifties don’t do that.  Someone else thought they were too young to be sitting around a table drinking tea and eating a tart because women in their fifties were to young to do this. Do either of those things exemplify old or young?  Personally, I’ve talked about sex with my bestie female friends. (I know- you’re shocked to learn this tidbit about me).  I also spend a decent amount of time drinking hot beverages with my friends and perhaps having a nice, baked good.  I’m older than some, younger than others, but is my behavior odd?  (again- tread lightly with this questions)

Now, the real life example.  We have a friend S.  I think S acts old because he has absolutely no idea about popular culture.  He doesn’t know the more popular books, movies, television shows or music. He is pretty unaware of what is going on in the world today.   My Husband thinks S acts young because he likes to barhop on a Saturday night.

Which of us is right?  Well, probably neither of us.  Because there is no formula for what makes someone old or young. What makes someone seem old, or young, is in the eye of the beholder.

My family calls me old because i love to watch “Murder, She Wrote” reruns, but my daughter thinks I’m young because I kick butt at spin class.  Old because I am able to get an AARP card, young because I can’t wait to see Pink next month.  Do any of these things make me old or young?

So- it’s the day I ask all of you to write my blog.

What traits make you think someone is youthful for their age, or what makes you think someone is old for their age?  Are there certain traits that distinguish young from old?