The age thing
03.17.02 // 11:25 p.m.

On Friday night as Pato and I waited for our order at In-n-out a tall, dark and handsome (ooh, I love clichés) man sat down at the table next to us. Prior to him inviting himself into our conversation we had been discussing the causes of pe-do-phi-lia [damn google searches!] (genetic, environmental, result of sexual repression?).

I held American Pie 2 in my hand. He looked over and asked, “What movie did you get?”

I looked to my left, then down at the box as if I forgot which movie I had rented. “Uh, American Pie 2.”

“Really? What is it rated?”

“I think its R.”

“Are you old enough to watch that?”

Who was this guy, I thought? Did my parents hire him to spy on me or something? I hesitated, then answered affirmatively and a bit perturbed that once again my age was questioned.

“How old are you?” Mr. Inquisitive continued.

“21.”

“Wow, you look young.” If only I had a penny… I hear that at least once a week it seems. The comments about my youthful appearance used to bother me, but by now I don’t think twice about it. I’ve been told I look younger than both Adrian and Lori. At the time Adrian was 14, and I was 18, so the woman thought I was about 13 years old. When I was 17 I sat with my family at Claim Jumper’s and the waitress had the nerve to ask my mother if I was older than 12.

My mom got a kick out of it since me being 5 years younger would have made her younger too. When Lori had her quinceañera three years ago people who just knew my parents but were invited to the party thought that I was the quinceañera, or they would ask when I was having my party to present me as an eligible señorita to society. When I used to tutor students at a local high school students asked what grade I was in. When I would respond that I was a second year they’d look a little embarrassed and reply with the familiar phrase, “oh wow, you look young!”

Sometimes its kind of fun to pretend I’m younger. If I wanted to, I could pass as a high school student. I also would have no trouble convincing someone who just met me that I skipped a couple of grades. And I guess sometime down the line this youthful look will pay off when I really do want to look like I’m in my early ‘20s. For now I’ll continue to collect my pennies when I hear that familiar phrase and just politely respond with an, “I know, I get that a lot” (though that’s an understatement).

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