Something happened to me this week I would like to share with you – it is about telling people how old we are. I talked about this in my book “Getting Over Growing Older” in the chapter Your Age is Nobody’s Business” and how true this is my recent experience really brought into focus again.
After many months of construction, on November 24, 2019 Nordstrom finally opened its store for women on Broadway and 57th Street in New York. It is a beautiful store and I could not wait to visit and check it out. Needless to say that while checking it out I found a lovely coat I convinced myself I needed for this coming winter.
When I came to the cash register the girl asked me if I wanted to apply for a Nordstrom Credit Card. I usually decline, but this time my answer was ‘why not?’ There were many questions – and one of them was my ‘date of birth.’ Now in a case like this you have to come clean and I thought I had. When the young lady, maybe in her early 30s, pressed the button to submit my application it was rejected after a few minutes. Then the phone rang and the back office who had rejected me wanted to speak me.
“How old are you?” a voice asked. I told them and the voice said, “Ah I know what happened. Your date of birth on the application says 1979 (if only was my internal reaction) and it did not match your social security number, so I will correct it.”
I gave the phone back to the sales attendant. When she hang up she looked at me with great concern and asked, “would you like a glass of water?” What had happened? Did I suddenly look different than 15 minutes earlier? When she thought I was born in 1979 she did not think I needed a glass of water, so what had changed? The number of course. She now saw me with different eyes. The number had changed her perception of me!
So if you don’t feel like you need a glass of water, don’t tell your age unless absolutely necessary, because it is really is nobody’s business!
To all question of how old am, if it is not a legal matter or being put through the wringer at Nordstrom, my answer always is OLD ENOUGH! An understanding smile is the reaction and nobody ever asks me if I need a glass of water!
And Always Remember – A Smile Changes Everything!