Chronologically Challenged

How old are you? What a question. When you’re a woman and you’re over 20, it seems, you’re not supposed to ask anymore. I see girls on Twitter despairing about turning 25 and going on about how old they are now. Yeah, no. But, I get it. When I turned 25 I still hadn’t accomplished all the things I thought for sure I would have at that age, and I thought my life was as good as over. OVER. 25. Done like dinner.

People ask me how old I am, and they don’t believe me anyway. Always, they think I’m younger. Just a fact.

And it has always been thus. Always.

I was mad with envy at the girls who were 14 and could pass for 18. Flat-as-a-board Veronica with the boy hips who wasn’t allowed to wear makeup and whose mom didn’t allow her to grow up too fast, was never mistaken for older. “Uh, no, I’m not TWELVE, I am a TEENAGER.” Sure, whatever kid. Want a lollipop? This turned into a serious bummer later. I was never chosen as the one to go buy beer for parties when I was underage. This ceased to be a problem, however, when I moved to Chile. Because there, no one cares how old you are when you’re getting into the club. Got money? Come on in! I was never I.D.ed again. I mean, until I moved back to Canada. And I was TWENTY FIVE. And then, it was just embarrassing.

My friend asked me last week how I managed not to look like I’d been awake all night (which I had, long story), and not look, well, my age. I tried to laugh it off by saying, “oily skin!” which was the only thing I could come up with. I didn’t happen to think I was looking all that great, come on, my mirror doesn’t lie to me. She wasn’t satisfied so I went on to say, “what do you mean? I look horrible. I’m not even wearing makeup!” (which I never do anyway, it makes my face feel awful, and plus I wash my face all day long) – and she said, “you’re not wearing makeup? You can shut up NOW.”

One reason I know for sure I’m not a wrinkled-up old raisin is because I don’t sunbathe. Ladies, come on, pale is the new tan, did you miss the memo 10 years ago? Never a sun-worshipper. Solely because I can think of nothing MORE BORING than just lying in the sun all day. This posed a problem when I lived in Chile, because let’s face it, the entire country is a beach, and summer lasts six months. That’s what all the girls did, they went to the beach – all day, every day. Boring, boring, oh so boring! I did try it, like, twice. It’s where all my friends were! But nope, the lying there all day and applying & reapplying oil was not for me. Way funner (it’s a word) to play volleyball, or ‘paletas’ on the beach. So, it was not a conscious effort to not get tan – which was always something of a competition, just how brown you could get – it was just that I couldn’t bother being that bored for beauty. I could get tanned on other parts of my body, but with a hat and sunglasses on, the face is pretty protected. And I must admit, I’m glad my fear of boredom didn’t reward me with oh-so-unsexy brown blotches all over my chest and a wrinkly face. Just a bonus.

Another reason I’m sure I’m not mistaken for my actual age is attitude. I’ve always behaved the same way. Always, exactly the same. I am in absolutely no way suave or sophisticated, or ‘grown up’. It’s important to mention here that I am not under the notion that I am actually younger than I am, I’ve just never behaved any other way.

A couple of years ago I learned that a coworker of mine, whom I’d known for about a year, was actually just one day older than I. I could not BELIEVE it. I mean, she was so grown-up. Pearls and everything, and the composure! I always just took for granted she was at least 5 years older, but it’s all because of her attitude. I don’t think I’m immature. I know I’m not, I’ve got boatloads of issues and crap that if I were immature, I would have curled up into a little ball in the corner years ago, but I deal and deal just fine. Nope, I’m just a dork. Clumsy, loud (I’ve heard two “it’s so quiet“s since I’ve been on holidays from the office for all of 2 days), and always in the quest for laughter above all, or more to the point, silliness.

Yesterday, my daughter and I were getting ready in front of the mirror to go out and about. My daughter said, can I just be your little sister? You’re more like my big sister. Which is cute, but come discipline time, there’s no mistaking who’s the mommy of this operation.

A week or so ago, my friend and I, who are about the same age, met a father and a son. For the sake of discretion, I’m not going to tell you in exactly what situation, but it was very innocent and corporate, and wasn’t a why-don’t-we troll-fathers-and-sons deal. Anyway, the father was old, like old-old, and the son was about my age, I guess, but probably younger (another thing, I often think people are my age, or more specifically, that I am their age, and then, noooo I am not). Anyhow, we walked away from them, after the son responded very appreciatively to me and my anecdotes, and my friend enjoyed the gentlemanly attention of the dad. She said (of the dad), “he looooves me”, while I thought, huh. He didn’t even seem to know I was there! Seriously. For the dad, I did not exist.

That’s another thing. I only seem to turn the heads of younger guys these days. And that’s just how I like it! I never liked younger guys, ever, until my ex-husband and I split up. He is only 5 or so years older, but since then, I have only dated younger men, and don’t know why I didn’t sooner. Hello, FUN! Recommend.

I don’t know what this post is about, really. I’m not going to end it by telling you my age although a lot of you know what it is. All I have to say is, it doesn’t matter anyway, trust me. And I won’t end with a moral either, because however extremely unintentional, it’s apparently very annoying. What could the moral be, anyway?



  1. I read somewhere that it’s also genetic to a large extent. I have an aunt in her 70’s for instance, who looks a good 10 years younger. Not so long ago (before she had health issues), she was regularly mistaken for a woman a good 20 years younger. My Mom is the same thing, looking much younger than her friends, and the last time I got carded I was 31. I suspect you got the same kind of great genetics as well.

    I love this story, BTW, cause I’m not a fan of stories with morals. That’s way too grown up for me. πŸ˜‰


  2. I’m going to forgive a glaring grammar fail in this passage, but only because you’re obviously too young to have learned it.


    • Crap! Actually I’m sure there’s more than 1. This one is more like I was telling out loud than writing it; I never said I was a writer, hahaha. Forgive me!


  3. Age isn’t important, because everyone ages, at the same rate. What are we supposed to do, change our behavior or attitude because the Earth went around the sun a few more times? Huh. I’d like to think that we control who we are, how we act, and how we treat people. IMO, that’s how we should be judged. Anyone who judges you by your age alone is really just prejudiced. (Sorry, you can have the soapbox back!) πŸ˜€


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