How Age-Obsessed Are We Really?

Old and badass.

Old and badass.

I’m 35. There I said. I always write “early 30′s,” because I’m just not down with the whole aging thing (something I have admitted to time and time again); and honestly, I don’t want a 23-year-old reader to realize I’m old enough to be her mom. OK; not really, but I did get my first period at 11, so you do the math.

Yesterday a friend posted a link on Facebook to a New York Times piece on the gorgeous abode of Beastie Boys’ Mike D. and his wife, Tamra Davis. First of all, their Brooklyn home is perfect. It’s like a dream. Secondly, neither one of them wanted to give their age in the piece. As an age obsessed person, this caught my eye and I responded to my friend’s link with this:

age obsessed

As you can see, I’m really smitten with their home.

The actual quote from the Times was the following:

Mr. Diamond, who prefers not to give his age, now has two boys of his own, Davis, 10, and Skyler, 8, with his wife, Tamra Davis, a filmmaker, who also prefers not to give her age.

According to Wikipedia, Mike is 46 (although some sites put his birth year at 1965), and his wife is 51. Not that this has anything to do with their beautiful home featured in the Times’ Home & Garden section, but it’s public knowledge, so why be all coy about it?

For me, the Beastie Boys, have become my proof that you can still be cool as you age. I remember being 25 and thinking how old 35 was, until I realized that Mike D., Ad-Rock, and the late MCA, were 10-11 years older than me. So, by that reasoning, 35 actually wasn’t that scary at all.

Even now, as I’ve finally reached 35 myself (although I’m struggling with adulthood in general, because I always will), the Beastie Boys provide comfort in 46 being cool. Like, you’re not in a wheelchair yet, and you can rap better than just about anyone on the planet. I hope to be able to rap at 46, and then put out an album like Amanda Bynes plans to do.

However, because I randomly chose the Beastie Boys to be this standard for me, I was taken aback to see that Mike D. would choose to withhold his age. Maybe he knew it’s already out there, so why bother? Perhaps, he and Tamra felt it completely irrelevant to the article — which it is — so just skip the answer? Or maybe it just fucking sucks getting old, so, fuck you, I’m not telling you my age.

There is no question that our society is obsessed with youth. If you’re 30 and someone mistakenly thinks you’re 40, you’re probably not going to thank them. If anything, there will be f-bombs dropped at record speed, and maybe even a tackle to the ground as you shout, “What age did you say I look again?!”

Then there’s the cosmetic surgery industry that thrives on our fears of wrinkles and such, and charges a pretty penny to pull and poke until we don’t even look human anymore. Hey, Joan Rivers!

But as someone who decided long ago that the Beastie Boys would be the standard for aging being OK, it was interesting, for me anyway, that Mike D. chose not to give his age. Obviously no one wants to get old, and no amount of plastic surgery to look younger than we are can change the inner workings of our dying bodies (we die more and more everyday, you guys), but when your age is out there for the world to see, why withhold it? Is there some deeper meaning to all this? Is it because the Times was being nosey, and Mike and Tamra wanted to put them in their place? Why do I have to be 35? I don’t look it, right? RIGHT?

OK, readers, who else lies about their age, or just avoids saying it all together? And what do we really think about Mike D. not sharing his age in the article? Is he a vain asshole, or an awesome dude who knew it was completely unrelated to his Brooklyn townhouse?

Photo: House of Fun Masters

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    • Tania

      The only reason I find myself wanting botox is because I’ve noticed I frown when I concentrate, and I just don’t want to be that old lady who looks really angry because my forehead wrinkled from it. :(

      • Cee

        Me too! I wear glasses, so I have a tendency to squint a lot to focus. Yes, I need new glasses but…money! But now I got frowny face :/

      • Amanda Chatel

        Warby Parker. Cheap and adorable. If you’re not familiar with them, check them out. I got a pair with prescription lenses for like $110 TOTAL. Or maybe it was $120… either way it wasn’t more than that.

    • NeuroNerd

      To be honest, I’ve always wondered why age is stated in articles. Certainly, the most interesting thing about Mike D isn’t that he’s 46, and it’s not even relevant to the article about his house. I’ve noticed it in gossip magazines too.

      Why are we so focused on celebrity’s ages? I think it speaks about something deeper in our culture. Maybe Mike D is rebelling against that?

      • Tusconian

        I have no idea why, but I find it really interesting whenever I find out, and if I read an article where one person’s age is mentioned and another’s isn’t, it bugs the crap out of me.

      • donalda

        I don’t really have a burning curiosity to know about most adult’s ages. For most of us it’s pretty obvious what decade or thereabouts we belong to, so it’s not a focus for me. As for my own age, I don’t think about it too much, not as in denial, but I don’t consider it in how I live my life and it’s not anything I feel the need to reference all the time. I think it can be limiting, actually. It can hold people back. If you think, well, I’m 30 and I work in this place with 40 year olds, I can’t really hang out with these people or we don’t have anything in common because of that. It’s silly thinking. I’ve got friends that are 25 to 65.

      • donalda

        NeuroNerd, you’re absolutely right. I always wondered why age is always mentioned in articles, too. It’s an identifier that makes sense in some contexts, but not in others. The most interesting think about Mike D isn’t his age, the most interesting thing about any of us isn’t our age. We are not ages, we’re individuals. Unfortunately we live in a youth cult society where everything interesting and cool and lovely supposedly only happens to you if you’re under 40. Over 40 you’re thrown in a bucket and just thought of as old and out of it and not even a person really anymore. Some younger people seriously believe their lives are over, which is where all the kvetching comes about turning 30 and trying to shame older people who have the utter gall to actually go on living their lives, partying, having sex, wearing fashion or whatever the hell they had been doing before. I would say Mike D is rebelling against all of that. And he should, because its all bullsh*

    • Emily

      I’m just going to be like these ladies –

    • AmbienceChaser

      They do have an amazing house. I didn’t know I wanted a mirrored swing from a palace, but now I do.

    • Tusconian

      Seeing my aunt and uncle, in their mid 60s, and still active, working (in my aunt’s case), having fun, and looking good (even with all the drinking and smoking, and zero plastic surgery) makes me wonder why people lie nowadays. People in their 20s, 30s, and 40s now are for the most part going to look fine as hell and be active and mentally sound into their 70s. We have so much more time to be young nowadays, why not revel in this?