I’m an adult. Geeeeeeez.
I’m in my late 20s.
I don’t think I can really deny it anymore, or hide behind the vague mid-20s category. And despite the fact that sometimes I relish going to bed at 10 p.m. and waking up at 5 a.m., before the sun comes up, and the thought of a Friday night spent with a beer and Netflix at home gets me inappropriately excited, I still feel like a 21-year-old college kid. I can still drink like one (though not as often, oof); I’m still as awkward as one (maybe more so now); and I once answered the door last year and a salesman asked if my parents were home. I told him, “No.” Then I shut the door and made this face.
I don’t have a problem with my age or getting older, but sometimes the contradiction of how old I feel and how old I am just puts me in awkward places. I have a big girl job. And I do big girl things at said big girl job. So obviously I’d like to be taken seriously, as an adult (and calling it a “big girl job” probably doesn’t help my case, but whatever). But I often find myself in situations where I’m clearly the youngest person in the room, and when you’re 20-something and everyone else is 50-something, all of a sudden, you might as well be 5. It doesn’t matter how sharply you’re dressed, or how well you present yourself.
I was covering a gala event that put me in this type of setting not too long ago, and was asked my thoughts on a museum exhibition. I gave my opinion, and the response was, “That’s great. As long as the kids like it.” Pause. I actually, in a rare instance, smiled with dead eyes. One of those smiles where you just kind of show your teeth without moving the corners of your lips in an upward curve. I wasn’t expecting that. I wasn’t wearing a Yo Gabba Gabba shirt or holding a Bratz doll. I’m sure the guy didn’t mean to offend, but I was shocked to be referred to as a kid in that setting.
In a similar situation, I had just met a woman at a work-related function, and she immediately asked me if this was my first job out of college.
And today, which is what I suppose triggered this post, someone commented on my outfit: “You look so cute.” I said, “Oh, thanks!” Then she added, “You look like my daughter. She’s 5.” Uh say wha?
Ah man. Don’t get me wrong. Looking young is awesome. But it also can make me feel like that little girl that used to stomp around in her mom’s pumps when she wasn’t around and sneak into her makeup stash and paint her own face all kinds of crazy colors before she knew that lipstick and eyeshadow weren’t interchangeable. I mean, in a lot of ways, maybe I’m still that girl. But I try to hide it the best I can.
On the flip side, I once bought an oversized bottle of vodka for a party at Costco, AKA the haus of oversized sh-t. The cashier rung me up and didn’t hesitate to NOT ask for my ID. I stood there for a second, with “Aren’t you forgetting something?” eyes. Nope. Nothin’. It was one of the worst days of my life.
So I guess I shouldn’t be complaining. I’m going to go play with makeup now.