The XX Factor

A Surefire Way to Feel Very, Very Old

Pamela Redmond Satran thinks I’m old. According to her blog, How Not To Act Old , and her bestselling book of the same title (which got a shout out today on Fox’s Good Day New York ), even older people who manage to look young, betray their real age by acting old.

Some of Satran’s tell-tale signs that I’m long in the tooth : Do I like burgers and beers? Yes. Do I want to keep some things to myself? Yup. Did I cry for Susan Boyle? Teared up. Do I hate the stars of High School Musical 3 on principle? Certainly. Am I afraid of dying? Um, who isn’t? Am I afraid of Twitter? Terrified. Do I prefer direct confrontation? Sure do. Do I like to make plans? Love to. I also listen to Bruce Springsteen, live in Greenwich Village, and I’m a bossy, cynical, chicken who enjoys dinner parties (where I will sometimes discuss things as embarrassing as digestion). I even, on occasion, bash men.

My real age, as measured in things more concrete than Satran’s index: 25. (OK, almost 26.) But, by Satran’s standards, is anyone over the age of 15 not already over the hill? And are her rules actually a reflection of societal standards of youth, or just a good way to get on TV?

Photograph by Getty Images.