Sunday, October 07, 2007

I - 30: The Road to Maturity

Remember being 21 and getting put out and offended when the waiter no older than you at TGIFridays demanded to see your I.D? Well fast forward ten years: You are picking up a nice wine for the weekend and your favorite wine and spirits store. There are half a dozen signs posted around the register that inform you they will require identification on all patrons who don’t appear to be at least 30. It's fine. You heard about the sting that went down in your sleepy little town a few weeks ago and kids these days? Yeah, 15 year olds look 20 and 20 year olds looked 25 before they hit 18. So you wait for this ridiculously young fellow ringing your wine to ask you for your I.D.; your hand hovering expectantly over the plastic window shielding your driver’s license, itching with anticipation. But he doesn’t ask. He double bag wraps your bottle of wine, smiles as he reads your Gap graphic-T - some university that doesn't really exist that is home of the Cougars.

“Cougar. Heh, heh,” he winks. “Cool.”

You turn to leave, confused. Nobody guesses your age correctly. They always put you at 5-7 years younger so he should have asked to see your I.D. By the time your hand reaches the door to push out it is shaking. You are indignant, angrier today that this kid didn’t ask for your I.D. than you had been ten years ago when some kid had.

So aggrieved in fact, that you almost want to turn around and let him know exactly what you think about his blatant disregard for the store’s policy? Almost…? But you are! You are walking back to the counter. This is not you. You don’t confront people when they have actually wronged you much less when they are completely innocent victims of your random and unexpected age fury. Still, he needs to know that you could have been a secret shopper sent in by his boss…or an undercover cop…or even worse -- a specially hired and groomed agent/prodigy with the ATF who only looks like she might be 30 but is really 20 and…


It could happen.

As you walk back to the counter there is a spot where you are concealed by a big state mascot and beer display: your saving grace. You can hear them but they can’t see you.

“You’re gonna get your ass fired, Michael if you don’t start asking for I.Ds.”

“I asked everybody!” Michael defends.

“You didn’t ask that girl in the Cougar t-shirt. She wasn’t 30.”

Yeah, Michael. Take that!

“I helped her pick out that same wine two weeks ago. It woulda been rude if I asked her for her I.D. She woulda thought I forgot her. Besides she is over 30. She’s just hot.”

Oops…erm…umm…big sigh.

In my early twenties, I couldn’t wait to be thirty something. Because the women on Sex in the City were thirty (or pretending to be anyway) and being thirty meant being a savvy, successful, sexy, city woman. Now in my early thirties, I wish I could go back to be twenty something. Because the girls on Gossip Girl are twenty something (but pretending not to be) and they aren’t accountable for their behavior because, after all, they’re so young, what do you expect? Sometimes, just sometimes, I want to say something catty or roll my eyes or spread a little gossip and if I was twenty something, I’d have an excuse for such silly behavior right?

But I don’t…because I’m all grown up.


Estella said...

Don't give up Bethany. I was carded when I was 36.

Bethany True said...

Salt in my wound, Estella!

Anonymous said...

I'm LOL here, Bethany. I remember the first time it happened to me. With "it" being when I didn't get carded buying booze.'s the worst part...he called me ma'am.

Faye, who still isn't prepared to admit to the location of that poor, dead store clerk's body

Angie Fox said...

Do what I do and blame your kids.

"Well, he would have thought I was 20 if it weren't for the toddlers." Repeat as necessary.

Gemma Halliday said...

I love anyone who cards me. Love. Them.

On the flip side, only a couple years ago I was at a restaurant with my mom and two brothers and the waitress grabbed a kid's menu for me. :O No joke. Probably a little younger than I'd like to be mistaken for.


Bethany True said...

On "too" young: One of my son's friends asked me if I was 10 or 12 (the age of his sisters). When I explained that I was a grown up and a mommy, he laughed. Literally rolling on the floor laughing his butt off.

I asked him what he found so funny.

He responded "Come on. You can't be a mommy. You act just like a little kid."


Christie Craig said...


I remember when I went to see my daughter at school and the teachers would come behind me and tell me to get in line or ask for my class pass. Oh...those days have long past.

Sigh...gulp. But hey...I've earned the wrinkles.

Crime Scene Christie

catslady said...

So glad you heard them talking before laying into the poor guy roflmao. I used to get carded up until 33 when I had my first kid - that just ages you lol.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

That is too funny!

Last summer, I was ID-ed and so pleased. The young cashier couldn't believe I was in my thirties. My head was so big it practically couldn't fit out of the door.

(Nevermind that the young seem to be pretty bad at estimating ages of anyone over twenty)

Fast forward to this summer. The sign at the register said they would card people who didn't look at least FORTY. I was confident I would get carded and DIDN'T!! I was there with my own mother and two kids but still. It took supreme willpower not to show her my ID at very close range...

Lily said...

Bethany your reply is hilarious... they thouhgt you were a kid!!!!!

How humiliating!

Nathalie said...

I get always carded... I am just over 21... and never wear makeup, so I look more of a teen... but it doesn't really bother me, becuase when I will be an oldish person - in my 60s, people will think I am in my late 40s... great advantage!

Lily said...
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Nathalie said...
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Lily said...
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Lily said...

It has been two times that my computer freezes...

Nathalie, you are right... if someone looks young... we hope this is going to last even when we get older :)

I am 21, and everyone thinks I am 15... the problem, I treat people in the hospital and sometimes, they don't take me seriously or worse they ask me if it is my career-day at school... and that is humiliating! especially now when I was doing my Ob-Gyn clerkship!

ChristyJan said...

It's been a long time since I was even close to being carded. I do love it though when I have my 5 year old granddaughter with me and people always think she is my daughter. My husband's best friend is the same age as him and and our granddaugher is the same age as his friends son. It makes it interesting when we go out together with the kids.

ruth said...

Great story which I love. Looking young is such an asset. My daughter-in-law looks 13 and is 28 because she is small. So am I. But looking young for me was a good while ago. enjoy it while you can.