Saturday, July 20, 2013

Look Your Age

I've always looked about three years younger than I actually am. When I was ten, people said I looked seven. I went to a 7-9 middle school. As a ninth grader, the only thing I looked forward to for high school was no longer being mistaken for a seventh grader.
When I actually got there, it seemed that people didn't care as much. Nobody asked what grade was in. Half of my classes were entirely made up of sophomores. The other half had an even enough mix that nobody cared.
But when they did ask, they thought I was a junior. I still don't know why. I'm five foot one, 110 lbs., and I don't overdo makeup. Even my physics teacher believed it until I told her I wasn't taking the ACT. That's toward the end of the year. Doesn't she have a list of our grade levels somewhere?
I didn't care when people mistook me for a junior. I took it as a compliment, even though that normally goes against what I believe in. Maybe they just assume SOPHOMORE=IDIOT. Sitting next to someone in class for a quarter tells you more about someone than their age.
Erica Smith
I don't usually post pictures of myself, but you're probably wondering how I look now.  I took it about a year ago and I'm wearing more makeup than I usually do. It's from my facebook profile. I'm too lazy to go find a camera right now. Still, it's a pretty good indicator of how I look.
Then I realized it doesn't work during the summer. One night I went to a party where everyone was my age, give or take a year, and a boy thought I was the host's little sister.
A few weeks later, I went to a church youth activity and saw a tall guy wearing boots and a cowboy hat. I would've thought he was older than me if he weren't standing next to my friend Hanna. I started talking to them. I learned that his name is Ryan, he'll be a sophomore like Hanna, he might start at my school in the fall, and he once pretended to be eighteen when a cop pulled him over.
Sophomore usually means fifteen, but not always. Hanna's still fourteen thanks to a September birthday. So I thought I'd ask him.
Me: "Are you fifteen?"
Ryan: "Yeah. How old are you?"
Me: "Sixteen."
Ryan: "No you're not."
Me: (turns away) "Hey, Lily! How old am I?"
Lily: "Uh...sixteen?"
Then today I went shopping with my mom. The saleswoman asked if I was school shopping and what grade I was going to. She looked like a college student, or maybe a college graduate working in retail for a summer while she figured out what to do with her life.
Me: "I'll be a junior."
Her: "A junior? Like in high school?"
Me: (Is there any other kind?) "Yes."
Her: "No way! I'm a senior. You look way younger. Trust me, that's a good thing. People were always telling me I look older. Now people walk up to me and ask if I'm thirteen."
You know what? I've decided I'll stop caring. Age doesn't even matter once you hit twenty five. Most adults just round it off to a decade: "He's in his fifties." That's why my stock answer with adults is usually, "Younger than you think I am but older than I look." They don't tell me their age to the year. They don't need to know mine.
At school, I'm seventeen. Outside, I'm thirteen. Online, I'm usually a generic adult. Apparently it doesn't occur to people that there are teenagers on the Internet.
Think whatever you want.

1 comment:

  1. Aw, you're so pretty! You look like one of the girls from Despicable Me (that's a compliment although I know it's weird.) I love your blog by the way!
    PS: Thanks for being such a faithful follower of mine :).