How to Guess a Woman’s Age

The first person to ever correctly guess my age didn’t have any eyeballs. They were removed after he took a phosphorous mortar shell to the face, but that’s not my story to tell.

You’re either 30 or 31, he said. I’m actually 32, but my birthday was only a month ago, so I say we count it. I asked him how he knew without being able to see me.

By the sound of your laugh, he said.

My laugh?

Women get more baritone with age, he said. People can control the pitch of their voice, but not the pitch of their laugh. I can tell from a woman’s laugh if she ain’t no spring chicken no more.

All these years I’ve spent warding off sun damage, counting the days til I have to turn to fillers and lifts and tucks, when in fact the real tell was one over which I had no control.

Superficial upkeep is a campaign against the inevitable. Through laughter or skin elasticity, we eventually show our age.

While fighting this losing battle, we neglect the things that truly need attention. Sunrises need supervision, mountains need to be kept in check. I’m pretty sure the tide will fail to roll at Shoreline without my strict observation.

I understand the evolutionary instinct behind attraction to youthful-looking mates. But who do we really want to impress here? The people who see what we look like, or the people who hear us laugh?

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