It was a balmy Saturday on August 29, 2020, when I set out to celebrate my 80th birthday. My thoughtful daughter Heather had a surprise for me: the arrangements she made would allow me to experience the top item on my Bucket List. A luxury car was about to take the two of us and my executive assistant Layla from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to a Dairy Queen in Union, New Jersey. I was so excited!
The friendly, talkative driver, hearing us chatting away about the outing from the back seat, was confused. Looking at us through his rearview mirror as we crossed the George Washington Bridge, he questioned: “Excuse me asking, but are you seriously going to a Dairy Queen to celebrate your 80th birthday? Before I could answer, he hastily added: “Not that you look 80. I’d have guessed years younger! But there’s got to be more exciting things you could be doing to celebrate such a big milestone.”
First, I look 80, or at least my version of it. I’ve observed that there’s no one catch-all way to “look one’s age.” How we “look” varies across a broad spectrum. For example, my late lamented 99-year-old boyfriend was long, lean, still sexy to me, and sharp as a tack. Jerry lit up any room he was in till his last day on earth—at age 99—in his villa in Casa de Campo while we were enjoying cocktails. That’s what we want to aim for, to light up the world, or at least our corner of it—and go out (preferably fast, as he did), with a smile on your lips and love in your heart. So, considering this, I don’t put too much worry into whether any of us “look our age” or not because there is no one standard—or certainly shouldn’t be.