Monday, March 31, 2008

What Should I Look Like?

The inevitable question is always going to arise: How old are you? For a little while I felt strange telling people my age because I was always older than the person asking the question, it seemed. But soon I became comfortable in my own age and now answer with confidence. I have earned each year of my life. I have had amazing opportunities and experiences. I have even had not so great experiences that have made me who I am. So, when people ask, I answer, "I'm 29." At this point, people seem to think they need to comment on my age, and the usual response is some form of, "You don't look like you are 29." [Although I did have one guy tell me, "No, you're not." I replied that yes, I was and he told me I wasn't. It seemed fruitless to argue with him so I let him win. He was sure I wasn't 29, but I have the birth certificate to back me up. Sometimes it is fun to let people be adamant about something when you know for certain that they are wrong.] So, here's my question: What should a 29 year old look like? Seriously. I have always just thought, oh good, I don't look old. But I'm beginning to wonder about this. 30 isn't old. 30 year olds don't look old. And heaven knows I don't want to look like I'm 22. Don't get me wrong, 22 was great. I loved it. But I want to be where I am now.

So, I posed this question to a friend, and her response was that people might say that because I still have energy. Still? What does that even mean? I have yet to meet a 30 year old that has the energy level of my grandparents. At 30, people are still fun and they still have energy--thus, I don't really think her theory is valid. For awhile, I thought maybe it was a Utah/Mormon thing and was grounded in some weird theory revolving around marriage. But no, I even got the "You don't look 29" response in New York where there wasn't a Mormon within miles. Ultimately my theory is this: people will guess your age based on their own and assume you are near their age.

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