One of the perks of turning 65 in New York is you become eligible for a Senior Metro card that allows you to use public transportation for half fare, so I was surprised to see a 67-year-old friend whip out a regular card as we were heading into the subway. Responding to the puzzled look on my face, she explained, "Oh, this is the one I use when I'm with a guy I've met online, where I claim to be 62."
She doesn't look 62 and she certainly doesn't look 67, but even shaving off five years hasn't been productive because most men our age are looking for women who are much younger. Another friend who's also posted her profile on dating sites refuses to misrepresent her age, which created a conversation about when it's okay to lie about your age.
I lied about age when I was using fake I.D. to get served before I was of legal age and again, this time about my son's age, to take advantage of a photography package being offered to children under the age of two, scheduling the session at nap time so he'd be tired and not articulate enough to raise suspicions, stuffing his mouth with Gummi Bears to keep him from talking. But recently, after repeatedly getting rejected by online surveys and imagining it was because of my age, I took to claiming I'm ten years younger than I am. Even so, I'm rarely accepted and unlikely to answer enough questions to get the $10 Amazon.com gift certificate I crave.