I know I've talked a lot about this, but seriously guys. This is an issue in my life. I look younger than I actually am, and not only does this lead to me being treated differently and less respectfully by my peers and leaders, but it also leads to a whole lot of awkward conversations for everyone involved.
These past couple months, I have had a lot of conversations regarding my age, and I decided to combine them all into one glorious tidbit.
Coworker: So, is this your first year at BYU?
Me: Technically, yes. But I just transferred here after receiving my associates degree.
Coworker: Oh, cool! How long did that take? A year? A year-and-a-half?
Me: Oh, ummmm I don't know. Like three years? This is my fourth year of college.
Coworker: . . . Wait. Did you start when you were like, 14? How old are you?
Coworker: Oh! Okay that makes so much more sense! You didn't look old enough to have that many years of college behind you, but that makes sense! Sorry.
Me: No, no. It happens frequently.
Airline stewardess: Miss are you old enough to sit in an exit row?
Stewardess: How old are you?
Me: . . . 22.
Stewardess: (A light of understanding came to her eyes) Ah! Good genes. Very good genes.
Boy hitting on me: So, how old are you?
Boy: OH. I'm 18.
Conversation suddenly ends.
This has happened to me many times.
Waiter: Whose birthday is it?
Waiter: How old are you turning?
I played a flute solo. Afterwards, the judges docked me points because everyone under 18 was supposed to have their piece memorized. Since I was 22, I didn't memorize it.
My flute teacher went in and talked to them.
"Wait, her? She's 22? WOW. We thought she was barely 16! Are you sure? No, she can't be 22! She looks so young!"
"She just came home from her mission. She's 22." clarified my teacher.
"No! Oh, we would've never guessed."
I sat down in class and started a conversation with a girl sitting next to me.
Girl: So is this your first year of college?
Me: Oh. Um. No. Fourth.
Girl: Oh . . .
Me: Yeah. It happens.
Me: How old did you think I was when you first met me?
Friend: Well, you looked 17, but I gave you the benefit of the doubt and guessed you were barely 19.
Me: Huh. That's pretty close.
I was 20 at the time. Not my worst.
Me: HEY! COME HERE! How old do you think I am in this picture?
Friend: Hmm. You look about 14.
Me: SERIOUSLY?! I'm 19 in this picture!
Me: HAHAHAHAHA! HEY COME CHECK OUT THIS PICTURE! Look at this couple! Look how young this person looks that they're dating!
My friend walked over to see the picture I was talking about.
Subconscious: But . . . Carmen . . . YOU look super young.
Me: I mean . . . not that I can judge . . . I'm just saying . . . they look . . . twelve . . . and I look . . . never mind. Forget it. It's fine. It's fine!
News Anchor: They had me go by my full name, Nadine, instead of my nickname, Deanie, because it made me sound older. I looked really young for my age. I also had to wear a lot more make-up to make myself look older.
Me: Yeah . . . yeah, that'll be me.
She just nodded in response.
I went to the temple to attend a wedding. Before I got to the front area, a worker stepped in front of me and said kindly, "Those younger than 18 come through this hallway."
"Oh. I'm here for a wedding. I'm 22."
Didn't even phase me until two hours AFTER the wedding ceremony what had just occurred.
This isn't just a personal issue. It's a family problem. Members of my family just don't look the age they actually are.
I was 14, my sister was 20.
Man: Which one's older?
Man: Oh wow!
He pointed to me.
Man: I thought you were older!
Me: No. I'm just taller.
Woman: So is that your grandpa?
Me: No, that's my dad.
Man talking behind me to his wife: Where do you think she got her red hair from?
Wife: Could've been her mom.
Man: Or her dad . . . do you think that's her grandpa or her father?
Wife: I was assuming grandpa, but it could be her dad. I can't tell. Do you think he used to have red hair? It's gray now.
Man: . . . I just REALLY can't tell if it's her dad or her grandpa!
Woman: Are you two sisters?
Me: . . . She's my mother.
Woman to my dad: Are these two of your daughters?
Dad: That's my wife. And my daughter.
And, possibly my favorite moment:
I stood holding my baby nephew, talking to my dad and my sister. I don't remember why, but a woman approached us and began talking to us.
The woman turned to me and said, "Is this your grandpa?"
Confused, I looked from her, to my dad, back to her.
"No . . . that's my dad."
"Oh . . . So is she. . .your mother?" she looked at my sister.
"We're sisters," my sister clarified, "And this is our dad."
"AND THIS IS MY NEPHEW." I said, holding the baby out straight in front of me as if it was about to catch on fire.
I know, guys. I know. I will be grateful for this one day.
When I'm 40 and my children are getting mistaken as my siblings.
Enjoy your awkward day, everyone.