How to Compliment “Mature” Women

If you are reading this, thank you for your interest. (I assume you are not that weirdo with a camera that followed me in Walmart and took a picture of my butt when I bent down to get a carton of diet soda off the bottom shelf.)

You might think older ladies would just be happy to receive any compliments on their appearance. And yet here I am critiquing compliments received.

Please stop adding the words “for your age” or “ for her age” after the compliment. You look great for your age. She looks pretty good for her age. Not good. Would you say that to a twenty year old? No you would not. I know because I launched a confusing and unsuccessful campaign for it.

Do continue to “grade on the curve”. I like that. Eventually, at ninety or so, we are all beautiful, just for still being alive, as it should be. Former weatherman, Willard Scott, was a master at this. He would announce birthdays for one hundred year old people and say, “What a pretty lady!” or “What a handsome man!” He never added “for her age”.

Least you think me shallow, it also applies to mental acuity, too. Don’t say, “She’s pretty sharp for her age”. It’s patronizing.

Don’t say you haven’t done it. I admit I have.

I also admit I’ve been tempted to lie about my age. Yes, and I’d say I was older. So someone would think, “Wow. She looks good for her age. And she’s sharp as a tack.”

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