When I say I get mistaken to be someone much younger for my age, I’m not, in the least, exaggerating. A true testament to that is this story that happened last year – which sounds a long time ago but is probably just a few months from now – in a mall, inside a bookstore.
I was browsing the classics section and I was approached by a group of boys. Boys because they are clearly in High School: Ironic T-Shirts and ironic glasses. They’re probably there buying themselves a John Green novel to learn how to talk to girls their age.
Let me tell you something about adolescent boys. They terrify me. Most of them are NOT afraid of adults, much less authority. Their brain is pumped by so many pubescent hormones and they’ve been masturbating too much or too less. I don’t know why, but this knowledge terrifies me. If you don’t have this fear then you’ve probably not seen a John Hughes movie or read Sweet Valley High.
So anyway, this group of 4 or 5 boys maybe, are approaching me. My immediate reaction was to avoid them but I was too paralyzed in fear to make a move.
One boy nudged the other, probably their leader, as they come closer and closer. I knew then that these boys are trying to talk to me.
“Hi! Do you go to (some name of a) High School?”
I then relaxed. An adolescent boy’s Achilles heel is rejection. I knew that this boy likes me and I have the upper hand because I can reject him. But I don’t because I’m nice and also I’m 27.
“No. I’m not High School.” Went back to checking out books because I want to look cool and uninterested.
“Oh. But do you like Starbucks?”
I’m having the best day ever. Some kid thought I look young enough to be in High School and he’s asking me on a date. High School me never got this treatment. But to be fair, High School me never left the house.
I said, “No thank you. Also, I’m 27.”
Have you ever yelled at someone’s back because you thought they’re your friend only to be surprised that they’re a complete stranger? That’s the reaction those group of boys gave me. Maybe with a hint of disgust. They slowly backed away and left me in the classics section.
That’s the most action I got in two years. So no, I don’t feel any good about being mistaken as a 16 year old.