Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Haha! Tricked you!

Ever since high school I have appeared to be younger than I am. I’ve made numerous people uncomfortable when they realized they just told a visiting 20 something year old woman walking the hallways of the church building to go to young womens (a church program for girls 12-17 years old), or were told by their JoAnn’s cashier on a Thursday morning, “No I don’t have classes today…No it isn’t a school holiday…what? No I’m not in highschool anymore.” When I was about 22 or so we had sister missionaries over for dinner and they thought my younger brother by 4 years was older than I was. I love seeing people’s reactions when they find out. Always surprise followed by awkward words to try to make up for their mistake as if trying to make me feel better about looking so young such as: “Oh! Don’t worry, you’re going to LOVE that when you’re older!” or, “Well, you’re lucky. You’re going to be carded well into your thirties” or whatnot. It’s really funny. I don’t need reassurance that I will love looking young when I’m old, because I loved looking young when I was young. To others I still appear to be younger than I am, but upon closer scrutiny you can see the fine lines and crinkles around my eyes and white hair growing in, but I seem to be the only one that sees it. The really fun awkward moments (like the above instances rather than someone just thinking I’m a few years younger than I am- which is a regular occurrence) are happening much less often, but I find they still occasionally pop up.

I must have a young sounding voice too, because I was making an appointment with a piano tuner over the phone yesterday and he didn’t ask me about when I’d be free, or home, or what my work schedule was, he asked if I had school in the mornings. Whenever stuff like that happens I kind of want to laugh and say, “haha! Tricked you!”

I went to a dinner and a church broadcast for women 18 and older last weekend and was sitting at a table with a few friends and a couple other women whom I didn’t know, but seemed to be maybe in their early 30’s (I’m a horrible judge of age myself) and young moms (one was pregnant). The pregnant lady was asking everybody’s names at our table and there were a couple younger girls sitting next to me and she asked if we were all freshmen. The first girl said no, she just graduated with a BA. They talked for a bit. She went on to the next girl who WAS a freshman. They talked for a bit. Then she looked at me and asked if I was a freshman too. I just smiled shook my head and said no. She said, “Oh, what…(slight pause here while she tried to figure out the rest of her question and finished with-) are you?” I told her I was nurse. That took her by surprise, and it took her a minute to recover and process what I said. My response probably wasn’t anywhere along the lines of what she was thinking because she seemed confused and was saying stuff like, “oh…so…you’re…” not really completing any sentence. Haha! Tricked you!

I could tell she wanted to ask how old I was, but she was too polite to do it. She finally got her next question out “But you go to the YSA ward right?” She seemed relieved when I told her I did. She was a very nice lady. I never hold it against anyone when they mistake my age, mostly because I think it’s funny, they already seem to be uncomfortable enough when they find out, and even though they wrongfully assumed something it’s not like it was an offensive assumption. They didn’t call me Mister, or ask when my baby was due. I’m not sure how much longer I can pull it off, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the discrepancy between my appearance and my age. I feel like my age is a secret to the world and it’s been fun messing with people without even doing anything.