I’ve been on vacation for the week (yay!) and had an experience with a hotel clerk that left me feeling the need to start ranting on the internet. Here’s the short version. The hotel clerk tells me and my mother the happy hour times and then looks and me and say “not for you, you’re too young.” Then when my mother states I’m 23, he proceeds to exclaim how I look like a baby. Cue my *smiling while thinking snarky, sarcastic comments face.* Example: You look too old to be a hotel clerk, or you look like you need the drink more than I do anyways. My inner voice is mean sometimes. This is why I don’t say everything that pops into my head out loud.
For the record, I’m aware I look young (I understand when people card me!), but I certainly don’t look like a baby. If I looked like a baby then I would probably be much more successful at trying to convince someone to make me food and pay my bills and buy me fun toys. Being a baby is easy. The only easier life is that of a cat because you get more naps and are less helpless.
Anyways, I’ve decided the next person to tell me I look too/really young is going to get back a nasty, blank stare of disdain. It’ll be terrifying. I’ve made grown men cry. Not with that stare, but it’s still an impressive credential.
For the betterment of human society, I’m going to provide a handy guide on how to avoid pissing off a young looking person.
Here’s the proper way to ask someone’s age (if you really must know):
Questioner: How old are you?
Respondent: I’m ____.
I mean this. Stop talking about it. Comment on the weather or the state of affairs in the middle east or how upset you get when Meredith and Derek fight on Grey’s Anatomy.
What usually happens:
Questioner: How old are you?
Me: I’m 23.
Questioner: Holy shit, that’s amazing, I thought you looked really young, wow, people might fly to Mars but this is a way more fascinating and hard to believe fact. Are you sure? Like, really? Well I bet you’ll love looking young when your older. I just can’t believe it. Did you go to school? Do you have a job? How do you function in this abnormal state?
IF you ask my age and then refuse to believe me, you suck! I wish bad happenings upon you. I hope you step on a Lego. I hope you accidentally put your contacts in inside out so they bother you all day. I hope you go home and your pets don’t want to cuddle with you and then sit on your face when you’re asleep.
Why would I possibly lie about being 2?. Nobody likes you at 23. Blink 182 wrote a whole song about it. You’ve got two years of legally being able to do everything under your belt and now you’re just sad about having loans and acquiring more adult responsibility than you’re prepared to manage. I’ve got a retirement account that for all of my depth of understanding regarding its function could be a mythical unicorn and make more sense plus the other day I got this strange urge to coordinate my furniture. Gross. I’m not pretending to be 23.
When the wrath of my righteous anger cooled down, I was trying to understand why people questioning my age bothered me so much. In the grand scheme of life, it is an insignificant inconvenience. After reflection and meditation (okay so I just slept on it), I realized people aren’t very nice to youth. Society is ageist. I’d guess this happens to young people and old people, but I haven’t been an old person yet so I can’t really speak for them. As a young adult who apparently looks like a teenager, people have very low and condescending expectations for young people. My age is not relevant for many of the jobs I’ve done, but somehow becomes a qualification that needs to be established. Everyone has different life experiences. Age is such a useless benchmark of ability or maturity. I know old young people and young old people. Plus my experience in the full-time workforce is that everyone appreciates how young I am when they can’t work their internet or smart phone. You will need me one day! Don’t piss me off.
Cue the end of my rant. I don’t really want anyone to step on a Lego. I’m not a monster! I’m merely asking we all think before we speak sometimes. I’m going to work on not telling tall people they’re tall, please work on not telling people who look young how young they look. The world will be a happier place and we’ll have more time to discuss important matters like the color of dresses and runaway llamas.