Author Topic: Should I have said something? WAS this an interesting assumption?  (Read 17628 times)

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rashea

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Re: Should I have said something? WAS this an interesting assumption?
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2011, 10:16:21 AM »
Your Mom should have corrected her. Maybe with a little laugh about how it's a common assumption. And then the woman should have apologized with a little bit of embarrassment and moved on.

I too look younger than my age. Since I work in a college I always dress up for work despite the fact that it's not really the culture here. But, it reduces the number of times I get taken for a student. I'm 29, and just now starting to convince people I'm not at least 10 years younger. I think some of it is that I started to let my grey hair show (I've been going grey slowly since I was 18).
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

Vermont

Sunbeem

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Re: Should I have said something? WAS this an interesting assumption?
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2011, 11:11:36 AM »
I'm so glad I'm not the only one bothered by this. :D Even when I do "dress up"/dress my age, I only look about 18, if that. If I try too hard, I look like I'm trying to dress up in my mum's clothes or something. :-[

To some extent, I don't mind looking younger. I really don't. But I hate the way you're treated if you look younger. I do not appreciate being treated like I'm 15. I'm 23 years old and have a college degree, thanks. People mistake me for a freshman in college, sometimes a freshman in high school [-wince-]. I have no doubt that if I told strangers I'd just graduated a few months ago, they would assume from high school. It gets old. The platitude doesn't help. Great, wonderful, lovely. I'm glad I'll appreciate it later. I don't now. People are patronizing. It isn't a compliment.

What's even creepier is when old men hit on me and check me out and I look 14. :-\ There was a man in the library several months ago sitting in the children's section who gave me an extremely blatant up-and-down with his eyes. My outfit that day, according to my mother, made me look 15. Hello, probable creeper.

Teenage boys check me out, too. I swear, I am SO tempted to pat them on the head and tell them I'm too old for them sometimes. And that besides, I prefer older men. :P
Eisa, I feel your pain.  I'm 23, graduated at 21.  I've been mistaken for much younger my entire life. 
-As a HS senior, at a youth event hosted by college freshmen & sophomores, one college student found out I was about to graduate and said in a patronizing tone, "Wow!!!!!!!  You must be really smart!" (i.e. to graduate SO early)
-Age 21, a lady working for my mom said she thought I was 13.
-Age 18, after saving a woman from drowning (I was a lifeguard), I was mistaken for a 12-year-old by her boyfriend.
-Age 22- mistaken for a 12-year old at church
-college sophomore- fellow students mistook me for my boyfriend's daughter (he was less than a year older than me, and we look nothing alike)
-hit on by highschoolers ALL THE TIME (and probably only because I don't see many middle schoolers, since they can't drive to get to the places I'm usually found)
-age 22- took my car in for an oil change and they wanted to know my dad's name (???)

Thyisa

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Re: Should I have said something? WAS this an interesting assumption?
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2011, 08:01:15 PM »
I believe she should have made a gentle reminder. And yes, being told 'You'll love it when you're older' is not going to be taken well in all cases, even if it is meant well. I rather be respected for my real age, and be attractive as I age, rather then be attractive only because I look ten years younger. I might just be bitter, as I am 25 and STILL mistaken for a high schooler! I think I make people confused when I say I have been growing out my hair for 11 years...And then add I started when I was in high school.

I used to try to get rid of creeps by pretending to be underage, then I quickly found out that it doesn't work.

My mother had the same problem, and got carded when she was out with my father and their friends in a rather rude manner. And she was well into her thirties!

AmyBird85

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Re: Should I have said something? WAS this an interesting assumption?
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2011, 03:42:32 PM »
I'm 26 and have been mistaken for being much younger than my age too! Sometimes I find it flattering, i.e. when I get asked for ID and they say I look 18/19 and it's an over 21s bar, but one person I used to work with once very nicely said to me "Oh I'm not surprised you get IDed a lot, you look about 12!"
I was like, thanks a bunch! I know full well I do not look 12, for one thing, I am much too busty to be 12!  ::)

One example really sticks in my mind though. My dad and I went to a pub to watch a band (my friend is a bassist), and it was during the interval I went up to the bar to get a drink. A woman I had never met before came up to me and looked at me. She said "you look too young to be here". I replied, "What are you talking about? I'm 25, if you don't mind."
She replied, "well, you don't look it." (in a snappy tone)
I said, "well I am, and I'm sure that if the bar staff thought I was underage, they'd ask to see ID."
She rolled her eyes and walked off.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Should I have said something? WAS this an interesting assumption?
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2011, 05:55:25 PM »
I'm 26 and have been mistaken for being much younger than my age too! Sometimes I find it flattering, i.e. when I get asked for ID and they say I look 18/19 and it's an over 21s bar, but one person I used to work with once very nicely said to me "Oh I'm not surprised you get IDed a lot, you look about 12!"
I was like, thanks a bunch! I know full well I do not look 12, for one thing, I am much too busty to be 12!  ::)

One example really sticks in my mind though. My dad and I went to a pub to watch a band (my friend is a bassist), and it was during the interval I went up to the bar to get a drink. A woman I had never met before came up to me and looked at me. She said "you look too young to be here". I replied, "What are you talking about? I'm 25, if you don't mind."
She replied, "well, you don't look it." (in a snappy tone)
I said, "well I am, and I'm sure that if the bar staff thought I was underage, they'd ask to see ID."
She rolled her eyes and walked off.

Don't be surprised about how busty a 12 year old is...I was 5'7" with a 36D when I was 12...I still am at 23 :)
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

AmyBird85

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Re: Should I have said something? WAS this an interesting assumption?
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2011, 09:02:45 PM »
Oops! Maybe I just made an interesting assumption!!!!  :o

But nevertheless, I still don't believe I look quite as young as 12.... not even without makeup on!  :-\

violinp

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Re: Should I have said something? WAS this an interesting assumption?
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2011, 09:30:10 PM »
Well, my sister and I are twins. I'm often mistaken for older than I am, and she younger than she is.

When 16, I was mistaken for 21. When I was in college, several friends were under the delusion that I was a year older than I actually was, and one asked me when I was a sophomore, "Why haven't you graduated yet?" And then there was the woman who thought I was an alumna by a couple years when I was a sophomore. *headdesk*

By contrast, Sis has been mistaken for a middle schooler for years. Even when wearing her fraternity letters, talking about her university classes.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


Mental Magpie

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Re: Should I have said something? WAS this an interesting assumption?
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2011, 12:58:56 AM »
Oops! Maybe I just made an interesting assumption!!!!  :o

But nevertheless, I still don't believe I look quite as young as 12.... not even without makeup on!  :-\

LOL, no biggy, some of us are just freaks  ;D
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Texas Mom

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Re: Should I have said something? WAS this an interesting assumption?
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2011, 02:42:23 PM »
In my experience, when a stranger you will never see again makes an incorrect assumption, it's best to not say anything.

Correcting them will make them feel foolish, they will possibly get defensive and they will feel bad afterwards.


mockingbird7

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Re: Should I have said something? WAS this an interesting assumption?
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2012, 12:00:16 AM »
I am pretty short, and also petite. I used to get this all the time, but around when I graduated college it's mainly been restrained to airports (not sure why people are extra-nosy in airports) and when I am with my parents because they are both very tall.

In your case, I probably wouldn't have said anything. I'd probably take the information and find a way to excuse myself ("I'll have to look at my calendar", "I've got to go but thank you for the information", etc.). My mom would probably correct her but I wouldn't really care either way. In a situation like that I think the person could become embarrassed if they were corrected and it would just draw the subject out longer than needed because they would have to express how sorry they were and "YOU LOOK SO YOUNG!!!1!" If I wasn't going to see the person again, I'd probably decide it wasn't worth the aftermath to correct her and just try to leave ASAP and then laugh about it with my mom, who also witnessed the situation.

When people ask my age, I usually respond with "I'm an adult" or "I'm in college." I don't like giving out my age unless it's required, like at a doctor's appointment. I know for many people it's not a big deal, but I got asked that so much as a kid that it became an intrusive question for me. And, people are usually satisfied by this and it also helps change the topic. I don't mind talking about college with acquaintances, so saying "I'm in college" usually prompts them to ask me a question about that, instead of my age/appearance. Depending on the person/situation, I might also say this in a firm tone of voice, so that they know the discussion about my age is over.

I usually respond to "But you are so short!" and "But you look so young!" with "Yes." And then people look surprised that I'm not surprised - apparently I just woke up with this body today! I might start saying "how good of you to notice!" because I think that might point out that they are being kind-of obvious... and rude by repeating that to me three times in a row. (My brother is 5 years younger than me but we were about the same height for years growing up; he is tall. Once, we were in a parking lot and a woman asked if we were twins. My mom said no. She repeated, VERY loudly, all the way to her car, "I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY'RE NOT TWINS!!!!!!" We still find this story hilarious. It was so over the top.)

I rarely have people go over the top; it usually ends with one of those two responses. I can only think of one situation in which I would have needed to pull out the "this topic is not up for discussion" line if we had not been separated (I was volunteering and this person's group moved to another station). I got questions a lot when I was a camp counselor, and my director told me to frame my answers within a frame of "everyone is different". I found bean-dipping and "I am the adult and we are not going to talk about that anymore" to be more effective though because the kids would become VERY curious about my height and would NOT respond to anything but repeated diversion. I didn't mind their questions but when it got to be the only thing they would talk about with me and led to them questioning my authority it was really annoying.

However, I have gotten the baby voice a few times. I have to admit, I kind-of love when this happens, because the people who use it are just so downright... set on using the baby voice that they just don't get it and it's so amusing. I probably look at youngest maybe 12? So I'm not sure why people talk like this to me anyway, but whatever. Anyway, if this happens, I either ignore them (which drives them crazy because they are being SO NICE and I should appreciate it) or answer their questions with my real answers in a bored tone (again, drives them nuts, because it's not what they expect). Recent example: I had an MRI last week and as I was leaving (with my mom who drove me to the appointment) a nurse who was waiting with another patient started talking to me. At first I was confused whether she was talking to me or not, but then I decided to keep acting bored/confused because she was visibly baffled by my reaction.
Nurse: Oh, did you do that MRI ALL BY YOURSELF?!?!?!?!
Me: Yeah...
Nurse (looks really confused): But wasn't it LOUD?!?!?!?!
Me: No...
She still looked confused and kind-of looked to my mom for help. My mom said something about how I had had them before and she just went "oh" and then we left. Her expression was PRICELESS. We should have honestly just left after I said "No" and not given her any explanation whatsoever. I don't think I was being rude - I was answering her questions. I just took on a bored tone. She didn't ask anything else, so I didn't need to say anything further. (It was loud. But I wasn't going to admit that to her and give her that satisfaction!)

I am going to echo someone else - the way I look makes a big difference, in my experience. My mom asked my hairstylist to give me an "edgy" haircut in 4th grade to compensate for my height, and I have asked my hairstylist's opinion on whether my hair looks "young" since then (for example, straight/full bangs would look young on me). I own jeans/t-shirts/etc. but I have also been dressing slightly "dressier" for everyday clothes since high school. I'm more likely to pair a tank and cardigan with jeans, for example, than a t-shirt. I fit in well when I lived in Europe. I just think it provides an extra edge, and though I like dressing that way I make an extra effort to do so when I am doing something like volunteering with kids or on the first day of class, because it sends an "older" message. I did an "experiment" recently because I was flying a lot and I got a lot fewer comments/questions about my appearance when I was wearing something business-like (turtleneck sweater and skirt) or something showing a bit of cleavage, than I did wearing shorts and a t-shirt. In my experience, wearing make-up also helps. I have had someone at a department store counter help me with finding the right make-up and she was very helpful so if that's something you're interested in but don't know much about, I would recommend that - I think I even told her I wanted to make myself look older than I appeared, to balance my appearance out.

I also think I have a normal facial expression that sends a "don't bother me" message, and I learned how to speak in an assertive, firm voice. Those help as well, especially when damage has already been done.

Animala

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Re: Should I have said something? WAS this an interesting assumption?
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2012, 01:11:47 AM »
I have a gf who is mistaken frequently for much younger than her real age.  Typically she's mistaken for around 16.  She's 31.  Since she also has four young children people tend to be ... not nice sometimes.  However she is a very sweet person and always laughs and informs them of her real age.  She doesn't care a bit what they think and just goes on about her business.

BeeGee01

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Re: Should I have said something? WAS this an interesting assumption?
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2012, 10:13:14 AM »
I have a gf who is mistaken frequently for much younger than her real age.  Typically she's mistaken for around 16.  She's 31.  Since she also has four young children people tend to be ... not nice sometimes.  However she is a very sweet person and always laughs and informs them of her real age.  She doesn't care a bit what they think and just goes on about her business.

HAHA - This is me.  I will turn 50 next month, and most people think I'm in my 30's. I don't mean that in a bragging way.  It's nice to look a few years younger - but when you have kids, then people get judgmental.

I had DS when I was 23, and looked 12.  When I was in labor, I had to remove my ring and my ex-DH ( and that "D" is not for "dear") had left the room (turns out he had left the hospital - to go score some prescription drugs).  Anyway, the nurse came in and asked if my "parents" were going to be there soon.  I asked why, and she assumed I was a teen pregnancy and no way I could be married.  She wasn't really rude, and we both laughed about it when I told her my age and that I was married.

But I think it is also genetic.  I look at photos of my mother with all her kids and she looked like she was 12 when she got married at age 21.  My own children are always told they look younger.  My two youngest DD's always make sure they have their ID's with them when we go to Costco so they don't have to stay right by my side.  They love to go get samples and get tired of the workers telling them they need a parent's permission.  I walked up to them just yesterday as they were talking with one of the sample workers and the woman said to me "When your daughter told me she was 17, I couldn't believe it, I didn't even think she was 14!"  I laughed and said, "It's genetic!"  So then I asked her how old she thought I was and the woman said "Early 30's".  My DD turned to me and said "Wow mom, she thinks you had a teen pregnancy!"  We all laughed, it was all in good fun and spirit. 

Once when we were getting gas at a gas station the attendant made a comment to myself and DS asking how long we had been dating ;D.  I laughed and DS just said "Lady....you are giving me issues."

I kinda like people thinking I am younger than I am, unless they are rude to me, and that did actually happen quite a bit when my kids were younger.  Now that they are older, I think people wonder, but they see that the kids are good kids so they don't give it a second thought.