Yesterday at work, I was visiting with three other gals, one a co-worker and two customers. And I had an insight.

The four of us spanned two decades, the youngest was 33, the oldest 53. In between were my co-worker at 36 and myself at 46.

We weren’t talking about anything particularly heavy, just chit chat about fashion, trends, makeup, and the like. But as we talked, something dawned on me — the one doing most of the talking, in fact talking over the rest, was the 33-year-old. She seemed to think she knew it all, cutting the rest of us off mid sentence without a thought.

Of the four of us she was the least physically fit, and not to be mean, but the least attractive. Frumpy would be how I would describe her. What a shame, I thought, as I noticed despite her being the youngest chronolically, she was likely the oldest in “real age.” She was unmarried, but sadly already matronly.

The 53-year-old was sporty and athletic, with that naturally muscular and lean look of a runner. A mother of three boys, she was active and it showed. She was well put together, tasteful and age appropriate, but not at all over the hill. For her age, I’d say she’s likely in the top 20 percent. She revealed that every year since she was young, she takes a photo on her birthday in a bikini to document for herself her life. Interesting!

I could work on building muscle, and know I need to do so if I want to be healthy in my golden years, and I could eat better too, but thanks to my own labor intense work and inability to be still for long, I am more fit than most my age, and at most 5-8 pounds from ideal. I am naturally curvy and feminine, hourglass, and I try to dress in a way to accent that. I am a tomboy, not afraid to dig in the dirt, but I can also spiff it up and carry off pearls and lace.

The 36-year-old is fit and is always well put together and professional. Despite three children she shows no signs of hitting the wall. She recently remarried to a very attractive man — aged 24! And they seem very happy. I can already see them with grey hair, holding hands, still in love.

And then the 33-year-old. Soft, but in a not good way. Probably 15-20 pounds overweight. She wore her hair long, but it was unstyled and hung unattractively around her face. Her clothes were ill fitting, not flattering to her pear shape. She bragged about almost never wearing makeup.

She reminded me of myself at her age even, downplaying her looks and dressing androgenously in order to, “not be a sex object, but to be taken seriously.” Like her, I too used to believe I knew it all, only to discover with age I knew a lot less than I thought. I talked a lot more than I listened.

It’s the folly of many a young woman today, dressing down in youth and talking over those she could be learning from. What a shame.

One by one we all stopped trying to add to the conversation, and soon she had the floor, yapping about fashion and style as if she were the authority.

Young ladies, if I could give you some advice? It’s no crime to be pretty, and look your best. It’s much easier in youth than it will ever be, so why wait? Take care of yourself and your body. It will pay off for decades. And listen more than you talk. Consider that others with more experience might be happy to help you avoid the many pitfalls in life, if you will only listen.

Let those who have ears hear!