how old is catherine zeta jonesTuesday was Catherine Zeta-Jones’s birthday. How old do you think she is? Go ahead, guess!

According to the internet she is now 43. When I saw that number I confess that I did chuckle. Because, seriously. REALLY? I have no fact base reason to have this reaction but every fiber-optic line in my cranium is yelling, “no fucking way.”

Earlier in the week I watched the newest episode of Sesame Street with W. Halle Berry was in a segment illustrating what the word “nibble” means. I giggled along with her and Elmo and was struck by how great she looked. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to look up her age. How old do you think Halle is?

She is 46. My reaction to that number was, “no fucking way.”

Without getting into a Hollywood conversation, because, yes, I do know that age is more than a number when image is everything, but I was amused that I had reactions to learning these women’s ages. I realized that in my walking around, day-to-day, life I also have these reactions about age.

{To be clear: I assumed Catherine was older and Halle was younger.}

If you ask me to quickly tell you how old I am I would say I am 33. Then I would pause, do a bit of math, and say, “wait. 36!” Once I hit age 33 I just stopped paying attention. Oddly I also have this weird assumption that every other woman who I know is the same age as me. This means that I pretty much think every woman is 33.

When I find out that a friend is younger than I assumed I am blown away. But nothing compares to my jaw drop when I discover a friend is older.

Having been on the receiving end of people thinking I am younger (hurrah for adult acne!) I can tell you that I cringe a bit when someone says, “Oh! I thought you were younger.” In my head I take that to mean “you think I am immature.” This is silly as when I tell someone I thought they were younger it has everything to do with looks and not a lick to do with behavior.

I wonder how it feels to have someone think you are older.

How old are you? How old do people think you are? How do you FEEL about that?

Image of Catherine Zeta Jones is by David Shankbone. The image of Halle Berry is by Alexander Horn.

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