A few months ago I remarked to my husband that I felt like women were staring at me with some sort of indignation. "What have I done? Do they feel like I've stolen a Turk who should rightfully belong to a Turk woman? Do I look like a gold digger because dude, you look OLD! Oh is THAT why you are always trying to buy jeans with rips and snags in them so you look YOUNG???"
Recently, I started getting a few hints as to why the people were staring. Starting at my new gig as English teacher to a bunch of students between the ages of 21 and 45 as I lead my students into the class for the first time, the teacher previously occupying the room asked me if I knew when my teacher was coming. "I am the teacher," I told her. The San Francisco native whooped with laughter, knocked me on my back and told me "Good LUCK!"
How did she know I'd need it? I spent the first hour trying to convince the students that I was indeed old enough to teach. By the next hour, I lost two students.
Today, I got lucky and met a women who, cornered in the bus had to answer my question. At the mall today even Wizard caught a number of women staring at us...some even with a touch of sneer and disdain. With that in my mind we got on the bus to take us home. I sat down next to another lady. I was carrying Falafal and was he in a happy mood! He was laughing and eventually caught our neighbor's attention who started asking me about him. Somehow, she came around to saying "Sen baya genc gorunuyorsun, kac yasindasin?" (you look quite young yourself, how old are you?)
I told her my age but of course the I got curious and asked her how old do I look. "Boyle bir 21-22 yasinda gibi gorunuyorsun" (you look like you might be around 21 or 22)
"Ah, bu yuzden mi bazen kadinlar bana tuhaf bakiyorlar?" (could this be the reason some women look at me weird?)
"Kesinlikle, buyuk kizin da 5-6 yasinda gibi gorunuyor. Ne zaman evlenmis dusunyorlar olabilir" (Definitely, your older daughter also looks like she's 5 or 6 years old. They might be wondering what age you might have gotten married.)
At this point I started thinking aloud "How do I look old enough to show my age?" This sent her into laughter. Yes lady, I know you thought I'm lucky and maybe in about another 10 years I'll be glad I look younger but at this moment in time this is a big disadvantage.
I'm even beginning to doubt that I didn't get the few jobs that I applied for because of this reason. Who would give an administrative position to a person who looks like she was born in 1990!
I know I thanked that woman for solving this mystery for us but I think I needed to kill her...and anyone else who thinks I should be happy I look like a 90s child. This shall be talked about once and then promptly forgotten.
I need a tattoo that says "I was not a child bride" "But I Will bribe your own child to strangle you if you stare at me any longer."
FYI readers, I was born in 1983. It took my dad a year to get the official English birth certificate and when that happened, the office made a mistake and put my year of birth down as 1984. So technically, I'm even older than my OWN official age. Which sucks monkey balls because at one point I'd rather be 50 but I'll still look like I'm in my 40s and the papers will prove the lies! With any luck, by the time I'm 50 I'll WANT to look like I'm 49 and then this will not be such a problem. Hopefully.
UPDATE: From Associated Press "Many adults who have baby faces encounter opposition particularly in their professional lives. Common negative reactions from colleagues that young-looking employees experience involve views of the employee as inexperienced, not relatable, or a threat."
You can read the article HERE