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Tuesday, June 11, 2013



“You’re good for your age!”

Growing up with two older brothers I heard this a lot.  Whatever I did, in order to keep me happy, I was told I was good for my age.  Older brothers are like that.  Shoot some hoops, clang the ball off the rim and you hear, “Not bad, you’re good for your age.”  Go bowling and manage to hit a pin, “Wow Joe, that’s good for your age.”  Race your brothers,  lose by a mile and still, “Yeah, but you’re fast for your age.”

I played golf very good for my age; I mowed the lawn good…considering my age. I rode a bike, swam, lifted weights, played football or baseball; I did all these things very good for my age.

And yet.

As I grew older I never excelled at any of these things.  I was OK.  I was pretty good, but within my age I was not much better than average.  I was not good for my age, I was average for my age.

When you are young and told you’re “Good for your age,” you have high expectations.  It is very disappointing to find you are only at best a little above average. 

Eventually you accept reality.  

There is nothing wrong with being average or maybe even a little better than average.  You grow older and you learn to adjust your expectations.  You realize that maybe instead of your brothers telling you that you sucked at something; they were just being nice when they diplomatically told you, “You’re good…for your age.

Last year I was playing golf with my grown son.  I hit several drives onto the fairway almost 200 yards long.  I was a little discouraged as a few years before I could hit the ball 225 to 250. 

My spirits were lifted when my son told me, “You know dad, you’re pretty good…I mean…for your age!”


  1. It's a bizarre inverse Bell Curve based on age. When you're young or old, then you're good "for your age". In between, you just suck at doing things.

  2. "Good for your age" is a littler harder to take as a compliment in our 60s than it was when we were kids, but I guess we have to take what we can get. :)

  3. OK then...."You suck." See, those little white lies aren't so bad after all, huh? ;)


  4. HA! Boy, that sure sounds familiar. The doctor tells me that quite frequently. Somehow, being told I'm in "good shape for my age" isn't nearly as alarming as when she prefaces something by saying, "You're of the age when..." usually followed by something I don't want to hear.

  5. Joeh, I say you were/are good at any age!;-)

  6. these days, i'm thinking i look pretty good for my age.... *sigh*

  7. TexWis beat me to it.

    "You look good for your age."

    Ack. I think what they MEANT to say was just "you look good!"



  8. Reading this fun and poignant post I was struck by how wonderful it must have been having brothers willing to say anything nice to you at all. My only sibling, an older brother, treated me like bacteria and never had anything kind to say.

  9. You might say the same to your son. With no further explanations.

  10. I try not to use the 'for your age' addition to any comment. It brings things down, rather than boosting a person up when you think about it. I want to be good at certain things at ANY age. BTW- what the hell has age got to do with anything anyhow? I'm only as old/young as I want to be.

  11. You know what I always hear? I hear,
    "You look good ... for someone who has ten kids."

    What am I supposed to make of that?
    Do I look good...or not? What's the kids have to do with anything? Why even mention them?!!

  12. The Broad beat me to it, but I will add that I am sure you are wiser, more profound and funnier than you were even a year ago..
    Hell, old age has its perks.

  13. You are very lucky. My youngest son would explode with pride if his older brother ever tossed such a scrap his way.

  14. I was the last customer in this little deli somewhere ... the 'help' came out and ate ... one little girl said her friend liked to go to the garden, get a tomato off the vine, put a straw in and drink it!

    I turned around and said... well, I'm 112 years old and I have NEVER known anyone to do such a thing.

    The little girl's eyes got verrrry large... I said... I look good don't I? ...

    she said... oh, yes m'am you sure do...

    the owner lady said ... 'whatever her name '... SHE WAS KIDDING then looked at me and said she's 15...

    ... little girl turned red, apologized ~ pointed to her hair and said blonde! I'm blonde....

    HAHAaa I was on the floor! but dang! this kid actually thought I could be 112??? hells freaking damn ass bells.

    Soooo I've upped my kidding age to 127... so far so good

  15. Could be worse. Could have said 'You're not bad for an old fart.'

    Not calling you an old fart. Just saying. :)

  16. It is all relative, ain't it, me old mucker :)

    I also wanted to say thanks very much for stopping by and commenting on my recent D-Day post. (I'm still working through all the comments!)

    CSM Ryan's story has received an incredible amount of support and a HUGE *Thank you* goes to DL Hammons - and all the Blitzers :)

    PS: Bill said to let everyone know he really appreciated all the personal comments directed his way :)


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