It isn't true just in America. It is a truth known worldwide. In cultures that have a foundation in western civilization, the male gender of the species learns, early on, that women are sensitive about their age. Nothing manifests the truth of that statement more then the annual expenditure for botox injections and breast enhancements.

And although revenues during the Great Recession for so called "boob jobs" didn't meet the expectations for growth (that seems an appropriate phrase -- snicker, snicker) revenues for pharmaceuticals that help maintain a youthful facial appearance --what some critics call the "frozen smile" look -- remained about where analyst projected.

All this came to mind this week as my family prepared for my niece's 50th birthday celebration. She wanted no mention of her birthday or her age. "It's my Dad's 75th birthday on April 5," she said, "let's just get together to celebrate that."

You can well understand my niece's concern. She works in the highly competitive pharmaceutical sales industry which is peopled by young, attractive women and handsome, muscular men. You know the type.

Pharmaceutical sales personnel stand out in every doctor's office. There is no trick to spotting them. They are perfectly coiffured and dressed. They never complain that they must wait. They smile. Others, the patients, moan or seem anxious or arrive with messed up hair or baby dribble on their clothes.

I don't mean to imply that pharmaceutical sales people are not well versed in their products and the benefits their products bring to waiting room populations. No, they are indeed part of the on-going education of the medical practitioner. It is simply a quirk of how the trade developed. Pharmaceutical sales is not an profession for old, pot-bellied men or women with age lines on their faces or brown spots on their hands. You have got to look good to sell drugs.

So this coming weekend we are headed to my hometown of Reading, Pa., to celebrate my brother-in-law's 75th birthday and to ignore his daughter's 50th birthday. Easily done. My dear, lovely, actually quite beautiful 50-year-old niece is just another member of the family at the party. No mention of her age equals peace in our family household.

Not so in the David Campbell household. What was Darien's First Selectman thinking? And despite how we men might reach out to him in sympathy, every male in town knows how badly he blundered.

Now the downfall of many a politician has been the handling of unexpected blizzards or hurricanes or anything that creates an on going inconvenience for their constituents. Former President Jimmy Carter lost his job because of long lines at the gas pump. Former President George W. Bush lost his standing when he failed to manage the destruction of Hurricane Katrina.

But when the story broke about the missing Darien First Selectman during the recent hurricane-like force that brought Darien to its knees, only a few Egyptians called for the First Selectman's head. Darien men read the reports of his absence and snickered.

"He must be a very unhappy man right now," I overheard at Nielsen's Florist the other day. Then I heard the snicker. That same day I heard, "We were blessed on our street because we weren't hit at all," from two Bryar Brae Road residents and then, "But what was Campbell thinking? Poor guy."

What was he thinking? But there it was. Smack on the front page of last Thursday's Darien News and Stamford Advocate, "As Darien recovers, first selectman takes a vacation ... in Utah celebrating his wife's 50th birthday ..." It just isn't done. Western men know never to mention it about any woman. Western men know it is disaster to mention it about the wife. It is doom to announce it to the press.

Dave, what a political blunder! You just don't say that. Even privately, you never mention a woman's age. You especially never mention your wife's age -- even if she's not in pharmaceutical sales. And you never say it to the press. Just never to the press. What a political blunder -- a major political blunder.