Dear Abby: I wish boyfriend hadn’t told me stranger’s slam

Dear Abby: 8 great retorts for rude people who ask your age

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DEAR ABBY: In response to “Ageless Lady in Washington” (Oct. 8), who sought a retort to people who ask her age, I had an aunt who refused to divulge her age. She would say to anyone inquiring, “I’ll excuse you for asking, if you’ll excuse me for not ANSWERING.” — JANE M. IN FLORIDA

DEAR JANE: That was a classic Dear Abby retort from many years ago, and one I have also recommended. Readers had fun suggesting answers to the delicate question “How old are you?” Read on:

  • My grandmother lived to 103. She always answered, “I’m old enough to have a past and young enough to have a future.” She was still saying this past her 100th birthday. — MRS. F. IN CALIFORNIA
  • “Ageless Lady’s” letter reminded me of the response my great aunt would use when asked her age. She would say, “Can you keep a secret?” When the person would reply with “Yes, I can,” she would then say, “So can I!” That was usually the end of the conversation. — RITA W. IN NORTH CAROLINA
  • Something I heard in a TV commercial would be a perfect response to what “Ageless” considers a rude question: “Age is just a number. Mine is unlisted.” — CAROLE R. IN ARIZONA
  • As a child I heard — and still remember — my mom’s answer to that question. I enjoy sharing it when the opportunity arises: “I’m the same age as my tongue, and a little older than my teeth.” I enjoy the look of puzzlement it creates. — DIANNE H. IN THE SOUTH
  • I think it’s time we stopped behaving as if getting to be a certain age, particularly as women, is something to hide. I hope we will quit giving kids the message that older women are “less than.” I know the beauty industry would like to perpetuate that myth for economic benefit, but we don’t have to aid and abet them. — LISA A. IN CONNECTICUT
  • When I’m asked how old I am, I answer, “When I was born, the rainbow was black and white.” — NOT YOUR BUSINESS IN KANSAS
  • I once received a birthday card that dealt with the issue perfectly. It had a picture of a falcon on it and it read, “If someone asks your age, tell them what Farquart the Talking Falcon says: None of your falcon business!” — DAVID S. IN GEORGIA

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)





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