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I Am Grown, Dammit!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Just last month I turned 29 years old. To be honest, I feel pretty damn good to say that aloud. I feel saying that I'm one year away from 30 details my maturity and progression in life. But of course I still get the, "Oh you're still a baby."

First off...I'm an adult. I am a grown woman and I want to be respected as such.

I am often mistaken by my age at first appearance. When people first meet me they automatically think "Oh poor young thing." I see it in their demeanor. I hear it in their tone. Especially when they learn that I am married, and have a one year old son. I would think detailing that I have a family would indicate that I am well within age, but instead it makes them pity me more. In their minds they feel I'm too young to have a family.

At first I saw it as a compliment. Not looking your true age means you're aging well. My family doesn't really wrinkle or show signs of aging early. I'm sure it's a trait that most people would love to have. But, it becomes aanoying when I feel I'm being judged for my actions because I don't look my age.

Sometimes I spark up random conversations to suggest that I am much older than I appear. I'd say something along the lines of "Oh, I remember when that old Krispy Kreme was on the corner of Rivers Avenue". It would click that I have to be in my late 20s to remember that. It makes me feel that I have to justify my age and prove that I am not a little girl.

I hate running errands at times or going to get my oil changed because just about every time the associate assumes this is my first rodeo. They'd say, "Well you know you're supposed to do this" or "You're supposed to do that." And in my mind I'm thinking thanks, I'm well aware.

I went to a work outing once and a few coworkers drew concern when they saw me reach for a beer. Like seriously? You cannot think that I am younger than 21. They asked if I was old enough to be drinking. I laughed it off assuming it was joke, until I looked back and noticed their faces showed concern.

My Lord! I had them thinking they were about to condone underage drinking.

I have heard "Oh my gosh, you're how old? You went to college and graduated? Oh, you look like a baby yourself and you have a baby?" I try not to be rude in my response because I want to believe that they really do not mean any harm. In a way, they're probably thinking it's funny and just a way to spark up some conversation. So I simply reply with a cheesy smile and say something along the lines of "I'm probably much older than you think I am."

I guess I get it. It's not like I'm walking around in dress clothes or high heels outside of work. I'm 5'4". I wear nerdy glasses, and I prefer to stick to my wedding ring and earrings for jewelry. I hardly wear makeup and I do come across as mousy to those who do not know me well. So OK, I can understand some mix-up.

But I just hate those judging looks that makes it extremely uncomfortable to relax and sip on my iced cold beer after a long day at work. I deserve it dammit. Why? Because I'm an adult.
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