1. You’re constantly panicked that you’ve forgotten your i.d. at home.
You’ve found yourself in the situation more than once where you’re all ready to go get some drinks with your friends, and then you’re shit out of luck because you don’t have your i.d. on you and the waiter clearly doesn’t believe there’s a chance in hell that you’re 26. Thus you are always worried that you’re going to get turned down by a bouncer or a bartender because you ALWAYS get carded. Nothing ruins a night faster than being escorted from an establishment you’ve been legally allowed to be in for five years because you left you identification on the counter while your friends yell, “We’ll text you!!” as you leave.
2. And you’ve been refused service more than once because someone decided it was fake.
But sometimes it doesn’t even matter that you’re prepared with your license, your old school ID, and your insurance card as backup. They say there isn’t a chance in hell that you were born in 1990 and you’ll be sticking to Diet Coke all night. And it always seems like after that (even though they know there’s a solid chance that you’re not lying and are actually of age) they watch you like a hawk to make sure you’re on your best behavior. You’re basically always afraid that waiters/bouncers/bartenders are going to ground you.
3. Complete strangers tell you, “You don’t seem that old!” when they hear your actual age.
It could be the teller at the bank, or a flight attendant on your plane, or even the sales girl at Nordstrom when you’re waiting to see if you’ll be approved for a Nordstrom Card. Everyone seems to feel that they have the right to comment in shock and aw about your age. And you never know how to respond. “Thank you?”, “I know, right?”, “You either?” Never know what to say…
4. People always assume you know don’t what you’re talking about.
There’s clearly NO WAY you’ve graduated with two degrees and can spell ‘definitely’ on the first try. You’re too young! You are a youthful soul and naïve and the probability that you’re an informed individual and actually do know about Google Analytics, or Alexander Hamilton, or even how to brine a turkey, is next to zero.
But really the fact that you don’t have wrinkles doesn’t mean you’re not smart. And the fact that people give you the “oh honey” look when you speak up is just annoying AF.
5. And at work co-workers ask for second opinions because they wrongly assume you’re an intern or a newbie.
“Oh Kaitlyn that was GREAT. But Jolene what do you think about…”
Or some variation of that is heard almost every time you speak up at your job. You hope it’s unintentional, but you can’t help but feel like the validity of your employment and the value of your ideas are always being questioned. You constantly feel like the kid who’s being “allowed” to sit with the grown ups and you’re being reminded to be seen and not heard.
6. You’re always “adorable” or “cute” but never “smoking hot” or “sexy.”
It doesn’t matter if you have lingerie, a smokey eye, five inch heels, or even all of the above. You’re still not going to be looked at like a Giselle or an Angelina. Nope. You’re going to be greeted with an, “Awwww! Babe!” because you have a baby face. And there’s really no way to be a sexy baby.
7. But you’ve been hit on someone who couldn’t even legally buy alcohol before.
Yeeeeahhhhh. You left them with a head-shake and a “Call me when your voice changes.”
And then you went home and stared in the mirror for an hour and wondered whether you really DO look like a senior in high school or if he was just a cocky little SOB.
8. Dressing “your age” is really effing complicated.
It’s a really weird balance. If you wear things like blazers and blouses and pearls (oh my) you kind of look like you’re playing dress up with the contents of your Aunt Jean’s closet. You don’t look like a professional lady; you look like a shutterstock model for the keyword “pretend.”
But, on the flip, if you wear something with too much yellow or with a screenprint or GOD FORBID a cartoon you’ll come across as more of a teeny bopper than you already do. You don’t look like you’re in your 20s, you look like you’re waiting for your mom to come pick you up from the mall.
Not to mention what happens to you when you wear pigtails. You will be called Dorothy all damn day.
9. You’ve been carded to go to an R rated movie.
Or, even worse, to buy one.
10. People make cradle robbing jokes no matter what the age difference is between you and your S.O.
Not creepy at all. NOPE.
11. Traveling by yourself can get weird.
Once I went to check in at a hotel and the lady literally up-downed me after I said, “Hi, I’m checking in,” and she responded with, “We’ll see about that.”
People always assume that you’re waiting for your parents in the Hilton, that you’ll want to switch seats on the plane to sit next to your family, and that you’re lost in the parking lot of the gas station. You’re an independent lady, god dammit! You don’t need supervision just to leave your house!
12. All of the stupid head pats and “kiddo” jokes.
Being called “kid” or “pumpkin” or any of those derivatives while also scruffing up the top of your head to say hi isn’t cute. It’s just weird, and uncomfortable. You probably just roll your eyes and give a half-hearted “haha” each time when, in reality, you just want to scream.
13. People constantly tell you how lucky you are to look so young.
Like…you get that they’re trying to be nice and all but also…what are you supposed to say to this? One day you’re NOT going to look like a youngin’ and then what? You’re just screwed and going to be depressed? It’s just a really weird compliment that basically says, “Enjoy it before you look gross,” and you’ll never be totally okay with hearing it.