“Hi. I have a meeting with Lindsay,” I said.
The teen at the counter smiled at me. “Okay. She just stepped out, but I’ll give her a call.”
I smiled back. “Thanks.” I wandered around the store, mentally preparing for my interview. The teen’s voice floated through the greeting cards to me.
“There’s a girl here to see you,” she said into the phone.
Did a teen really just call me a girl?
Don’t get me wrong–I don’t mind being called a girl. (By other women, anyway. If a man referred to me as a girl, well, let’s just say he’d regret it.) But it did make me wonder… how old did that teen think I was?
Suddenly I was questioning my clothes and makeup choices.
I’ve always had age issues. When I was a kid, people thought I was older than I was. Most of my friends were older than me. But any time we put on plays, I was cast as the adult. I guess I always acted like the oldest.
When I was 13, someone asked me if my mom’s car was my car. And could I move it please. Hello. 13 here. Can’t drive.
When I was a senior in high school, about to give my senior presentation, the judges thought I worked at the school. In the library. (So apparently I looked old and dorky.)
Then, somewhere in there, I must have started aging more slowly. Because now, no one seems to come close to guessing that I’m almost 27. People ask about my parents like I live with them. During my internship last summer, a new, upper-level director came by to say hello to the staff. He asked about my degree program and I told him I was pushing through it so I could graduate in a year and a half instead of two.
He asked what my parents thought of that.
I stared at him for a moment. What did my parents have to do with my master’s degree? “They’re not paying for my degree…” I told him. “And I haven’t lived with them in years. I live with my husband.”
Even when people hear I’m married, they assume I’m a newlywed. They can’t shake the assumption that I’m barely 20. It would be funny if it weren’t so annoying. It’s interesting how people treat you when they think you’re a kid.
On the positive side, I could always go undercover as a high school student… Or I could become a corporate spy. People always tell me things. I suppose looking like I’m 20 helps. No one thinks I’m anyone important. I might have to look into that…
Until then, maybe I’ll start drawing in a few wrinkles. That oughta help, right?