About a year ago, my job had me working in different communities with volunteers nearly every day of the week. From stopping by businesses, presenting at local chamber events, to working with schools, I was meeting tons of new and diverse people. In one of my communities, I was spending a fair amount of time working with my lead volunteer on an event with a local middle school. On this day in particular we had set up a meeting with the Principal and Superintendent.
So I walked in to the school office like any other day with my volunteer and she told them we were here for our meeting. It's required for all visitors to sign in at the office so that they know who's in the school, so that's what I did. I got halfway through signing my name when the secretary stopped me. And here's what she said:
Rude Secretary: "Oh sweetie, you don't have to sign in, you can just got straight to class, that's only for visitors"
My Volunteer: "No no Linda (I can't remember her name), she's not a student, she's our staff partner"
Rude Secretary: "Sorry, you just look so young"
I couldn't even believe it. How do you respond to that? A woman, who works with 11-13 year olds on a daily basis thought I was in that age range. This isn't someone who never see's kids so she doesn't have anything to compare it to. She sees them EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It made me want to run out of the school right then and there, at 10am on a Tuesday morning, head straight to a bar and order a drink, just to prove a point. I was silent, and just fuming. I tried to laugh it off and calm myself down, but it took everything I had not to just slap her!
Maybe I need to wear more makeup or figure out different style techniques to make myself look older. How about I cake on the make up and apply it with a paint brush so it's so thick I look like I should be on stage, would that work? If anyone has any tips or tricks as to how I can look even a few years older, please pass them my way! I have this fear that I will get pregnant and people will stare at me thinking I'm too young to have a child, like I should be on a new show 13 and Pregnant. Seems pretty irrational, but that's a real fear that goes through my head!
So when I get frustrated because people think I'm younger than I am, or when I get carded every single time I order a drink, it's because I am constantly told I look way younger than I am. Everyone's response is always that, I'll love it when I'm older, but right now it's annoying, and honestly a little insulting. Since starting my new job, I get asked if I'm a college student pretty often, which is a huge step up from thinking I'm in middle school! Are you 25?, no actually I'm 26 - I'll totally take that guess!
Please tell me I'm not alone and that some of you out there get the same sort of reactions and feelings! What do you do to make yourself look older? How do you respond when people think you're 12 instead of 26? I'll take anything I can get at this point!