Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And I'll Be a Year Older in Two Weeks

As one grows older, there are reminders along the way that one is, in fact, growing older. Some are subtle, like changes in the face and body. Although, I dare you to ask any woman if she thinks those changes are 'subtle.' I don't think any of us really and truly appreciate what we have when we have it. Then it's gone, and we're left wondering where it went!

All my life, it seems, I've been told by different people that I look younger than my age. Don't worry, I've also had enough remarks made to me to keep me humble. For example, when I was about 17 years old and selling tickets at a movie theater, this gorgeous woman and her gorgeous daughter were buying tickets and the mother asked me, "Have you ever considered jaw surgery?" I was caught so off-guard that I had no idea what to say. Kind of wish I could go back and defend my teenage self and say, "Lady -- she is only a kid!" Turns out she worked for some plastic surgeon, and thankfully her daughter was appropriately shocked and embarrassed. Had she snickered or agreed with her mother, that might have raised the insecurity levels just a bit.

Another time, I was working at a summer temp job when I was 19 years old. I came to work one morning with part of my hair pulled back. Keep in mind that this was the summer my skin decided to go insane and break out all over so yeah...I was self-conscious about being out in public on most days. I sat down at my desk, and the woman next to me turned and said, "You shouldn't wear your hair like that because you've got a big forehead." That was 14 years ago, and Casey is still trying to convince me that it is not the freak-show forehead I imagine it to be.

There are a couple of other examples but I'll spare you for now. I have definitely laughed over these stories, years later, and I've shared them with others many times. I think I used to share them because I was hoping for reassurance: "Jaw surgery? She's crazy!" "Your forehead's not big, look at my forehead!" Nowadays it's just for laughs.

I think all of those moments have prepared me for what happened a couple of weeks ago. Casey and Miles and I went to a big pep rally at the university's football field and met up with a few of our freshmen students. We hadn't been there long when the guy who was with us was approached by a Facebook friend, also a freshman, who he hadn't met in person until that moment. After some greetings and laughter, the Facebook friend glanced at me and asked, "Is this your mom?"

WHOA. What?!?

I made my best efforts not to embarrass the guy, who left shortly afterward. And of course there were plenty of jokes made during the pep rally ("Aw, c'mon Mom!"), and they'll probably continue on for a while. I certainly laughed at the moment and had to admit it was possible because I am, after all, 15 years older than the current college freshmen. But it's not normally assumed that most women give birth to a child when they're 15 years old. Which means...the guy thought I looked older than my age.

This was one of those not-so-subtle reminders that I am growing older. I guess something like that has to happen at some point, right? Still, it's no help to the ego. But now I have a much better insight into the lucrative business of face creams and botox.

6 comments:

jmberrygirl said...

Maybe he was just pleased that somebody older had taken such interest in college activities, and WANTED it to be a "cool mom" thing. =) I totally get you on the insensitivity. My ears aren't huge, but people have more than once commented on their size, and I am very self-concious about them.

tracey said...

Yes, a cool mom! Maybe that's it. :)

Shellie said...

I have a similar story. A few years ago several of us were working at the church building on a project. We were ordering pizza for lunch, so Brett D. wanted to go with Sam and me. The lady at the counter said something about "you might want to ask your mom about that" referring to me. He wouldn't pass for my kid now because he's grown at least a foot since then, but he played it up quite a bit.

tracey said...

Shell ~ That's hilarious! Glad I'm not alone in this! : )

Sally-Anne said...

Fortunately I too seem to have balance between the assumptions I'm younger and the assumptions I'm older. I grr because I almost never get carded anymore if buying alcohol, but I preen because someone visited our office and passed my desk and later told the coworker who had been showing her around, referring to me, "she looks too young to be a lawyer!"

tracey said...

S-A...you've always seemed younger than your age to me. You have that porcelain skin that I don't see ever wrinkling! Also, I love you using the word 'preen'. So cool. : )

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