Unconventional Friendships: Age is But a Number


Photo b L. Benvenuti

In the world of theatre, directors say, “Age is but a number.” With stage make-up and sound acting skills, a thespian can portray any age on-stage.

When it comes to friendships, age should be but a number. For many, it isn’t. For me, it is.


I have fewer friends who are actually my age compared to those who are 5+ years older. Some of my nearest and dearest are 60 years old. I’ve even lived with a 75-year-old and 90-year-old roommate.


I have friends much younger than me, too. My pre-teen mini-me and little boyfriend from the Keys have my phone number, and when I lived in Florida, we went for bike rides, ice cream dates and shopping trips together.

When I lived in the Bahamas, I was the youngest independent ex-pat on the island, so I was quickly blinded to ageism, which would explain my snorkeling adventures with a 70-year-old German.

Photo by K. Teague.

Having friendships  with ages all across the board keeps me grounded. It can be so limiting in perspective to only have heart-to-hearts with people who agree with me or who grew up in the same generation as me.


And, truly, I don’t act my age anyway. I live with the energy of a five-year-old bottled in the mind of a 40-year-old with the life appreciation and sleep schedule of an 80-year-old.

Photo by V. Collins.

I love my friends. They are my rock in good times and bad. They are tried and true no matter the distance. They remind me what it means to be human, to nurture meaningful relationships and attack each day with a fervor and tenacity to be wholly me, no matter the year on my birth certificate.


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