For some reason (Crone’s Disease), I look older than I am. There were the plus sides when I was a teen like I was never carded and I could always see R rated movies. The downside was that in 8th grade the staff tried to help me find the class I was substituting for and in high school I had to constantly battle the lunch room people about whether I should pay the teacher’s rate for their plate lunches. I found in that case it was just easier to bring my lunch. I also remember problems at the public pools where there was a below 18 rate. I think the people finally just gave in because they couldn’t shake me out of my story of “no really, I’m 15”.
Back then, some adult thought they’d console me by repeating some trite phrase that likely rhymed which basically said if you look old as a child then you’ll look young as an adult. So, I’m here to report back on my findings now that I’m an adult. That person was on crack.
This week Kendra and I went to Arby’s, at a location I plan to never visit again. The checkout gal, someone who would have looked more comfortable at a truck stop dive, started babbling… incessantly… nattered on for days, in fact. The hole she was digging with her few remaining teeth was about how she liked to tell mothers and daughters that they looked like sisters – case in point, Kendra and me. I smiled my big Texas smile, the one where I’m barely keeping my lips over my teeth and let her carry on. She talked about how mothers and daughters found it flattering and she personally LOVED to be called her daughter’s sister. My eyes went wild as my face tried to hold the smile. Thankfully, she blathered on while heading away from me to process my card and then put in our order.
That’s cute. She thinks I look like I’m about 52. I’m sure it’s the wrinkles around my eyes… no, the deep lines around my lips… no, the crystal meth… well, something. Although, she’s not alone in thinking that so I shouldn’t be so harsh. About 8 years ago I received an AARP membership packet in the mail. I came to work squawking about it and one of the guys was baffled. “Why is that a problem? How old are you?” The guy is about 2-5 years older than me and had almost reached the end of his life in a few short breaths.
Now some of you are going to be tempted to send me a little word of encouragement and try to say that I don’t look like I’m 52. That’s sweet. It’s right up there with my Mom saying, “you’re pretty.” Hmph.