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How Old Do I Look?

aging gracefullyThere are days that I stop and wonder … how old do I look? I wonder if my outside image projects my inside image. I feel youthful, but youthful with a touch of wisdom. Fine. Maybe that’s really a huge blob of wisdom.

But still, I wonder if I look close to how I feel.

It’s obvious to me that I feel younger than I look. But really … how old do I look?

I got my answer. Several times. I got it today. And yesterday. And a few days ago, too.

I recently stopped at the grocery store to stock up on some things I needed. Honestly, you would have thought I had filled my cart with buttermilk, hard candies, and Ben-Gay from the look I got from the 17–27 (whatever, they all look young to me!) year old cashier. She called me Hon.

A rather nice young man helped me by wheeling my groceries out to my car and we loaded them into the trunk. I commented on a scratch on the bumper that wasn’t there when I went inside the store 20 minutes earlier. I was still griping about the scratch when he asked me how long I’d had the car.

“Four years,” I said.

“Probably gonna be your last car, huh?” he answered.

I was shocked and more than just a little ticked. “No,” I said. “ I expect to buy at least 2 more cars before I die. Don’t let this gray hair fool ya, kid.”

He scampered away with the grocery cart before I could say any more. Or before I could say anything more within his earshot. What an impudent little bugger.

Anyway, now I’m wondering … just how old DO I look?

I guess I look pretty dadgum old. At least I do to young people. And probably some old people, too.

Yesterday the carhop at Sonic called me Sweetie when she delivered me my banana milkshake. The young woman behind the drive-through window at McDonald’s called me Sugar when she handed me the ice cream cone I ordered for breakfast this morning.

Maybe I should just stop eating so much ice cream.

Gee whiz … how old do I look?

You know? I don’t know. I really don’t. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see an old woman. Well, sometimes I do. It depends on the day. But most of the time I see someone I kind of like. I don’t notice the wrinkles and loose skin under my chin unless I put on my glasses or take a close-up gaze in the magnified make-up mirror.

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped at a garage sale. I didn’t want to buy anything. I just wanted to look at the lady’s flower garden, so I pretended I was interested in the junk she had set out in her front yard. We struck up a conversation and eventually she quizzed me about how old I am. When I told her that I’m 58, a satisfied look settled across her face.

“You’re 10 years younger than me,” she purred.

She obviously thought I looked older. She also quite obviously over-estimated how young she looks. I actually estimated her age at 12 years older than me. Oh, well. Whatever makes her happy.

Good grief. HOW OLD DO I LOOK?

Do these people see something I don’t see?

Apparently they do. And it’s probably the wrinkles, loose skin, and gray hair that gives my age away. Maybe they should just take off their glasses. That works for me!

You can find Peggy writing at This article was originally featured there.

Peggy Browning

Peggy Browning is the author of Heart & Soul Food: Tales of Food, Friends, and Family, The View Through My Rose-Colored Bifocals, and Square Peg's Words of Wisdom. She is a freelance journalist for All her books are available through Her blog is Peg's Wonderful World at

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Lynn @ Encore Voyage

Monday 14th of March 2016

When I was just starting out teaching, I told myself that I would never become Mrs. Nichols - that 5 grade teacher who had stockings that wrinkled down around her old lady ankles. I taught for almost 30 years. In my mind, I never became Mrs. N - Not me, I was always that cool, hip teacher...but who knows, really! I keep having adults with their own kids stop my on the streets to tell me how I taught them when THEY were young! So what does that make me?

Pen Boyle

Saturday 12th of March 2016

OOh know how you feel. I used to get the "No way, you don't look your age".. Hasn't happened for a while so I will just it put it down to stress, couldn't possibly be age. I live in Australia so we more mature bods don't get "Hon", maybe a rare "Sweetie". No, we get worse, we get "Dear", Oh how I hate that word, so patronising, Ageing doesn't worry me so much as the attitude, you think with all the baby boomers we now have that things may have changed. Oh well it's back to my mediation classes and a little glass of red (or 2) to boost my Resveratol.


Sunday 13th of March 2016

Cheers, Pen! I may have a glass or two myself. Just for my health, you know! ;) Thank you for reading. Peggy

Carol Graham

Saturday 12th of March 2016

I hear you Peggy. I'll take that discount -- thank you very much. But I must admit it is nice to be asked for your I D when you are 70

Carol Graham

Saturday 12th of March 2016

I couldn't believe what that kid who helped ;you with your groceries said to you. Loved the way you wrote this -- it was very funny. I am one of the fortunate ones who still gets asked if I am 10 years younger. Of course, that makes one feel good but the bottom line is how good we feel about ourselves


Saturday 12th of March 2016

Carol, I used to be one of those fortunate ones. But no longer. I'm often given the senior citizen discount without showing ID! Oh well, every age has its benefits. I'll take that discount, yes I will! Thank you for reading. Peggy

Eve Crawford

Saturday 12th of March 2016

I'm 47, but my hair is silver fox, if I call it that, as it doesn't make me sound so ready to enter God's departure lounge! . Some day I look great, others show the stress and worry of being a Carer all my life. I'm smart and that makes it worse , if I was a dumb dumb , I might not so much. On the days I look good I feel even better and the reverse is same for the other extreme. I used to get a "No way" you are that age, but that hasn't happened for 3 years so biology must be catching up with me. But I still have a twinkle in my eye and a wicked sometimes rude sense of humour so you may not see this by my appearance but I'm thinking plenty.!


Saturday 12th of March 2016

Eve, we're only as old as we feel...and some days I feel young...Other days I feel old as Methuselah. Thank you for reading this! Keep up that sassy personality and the twinkle in your eye. Peggy

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