21. 29. 30.

me

Tap on my shoulder.

“HOW OLD ARE YOU?”

“How old do you think I am?”

“21, maybe.”

“I’m 29. How old are you?”

“40.”

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

“I’m MARRIED.” Take ring, shove in face.

He shakes head.

“Oh, that sucks, being married. No fun for you.”

“Actually, it’s great, keeps me away from people like you.”

Australian friend: “You’re mean.”

“No one said I had to be nice.”

*

Standing at bathroom with drink in hand waiting for friend.

Security guard. “Ma’am I need to see your ID.”

“I was IDed before I entered the casino floor, Sir.”

“Ma’am, I’ll ask you again, I need to see your ID.”

Give ID. (I was so close to saying, you didn’t ask, you demanded, but I bit my tongue.)

“Oh wow, pretty unbelievable, have a great night.”

*

Enter through security at concert.

“Did they ID you over there?”

“Yes, they did.”

“Well, I’m going to need to see it again.”

Give ID.

“NO. No WAY. I was WRONG about you. 29? Really?” Takes ID, puts near face.

How old do I look?

“Younger than 21, We all IDed you!”

*

My ID was handy in my cross body bag the entire night, and I could feel my friend’s eyes look over at me because I looked under 21 and that made everyone else get IDed. One of my friends pulled a, “Do you need my ID too?” when she didn’t get carded. She probably did it so I wouldn’t feel bad. The guy barely glanced at their ID, but everyone seemed to study and scan mine. “No time for fakes”, I would say, and they would look at me like I was lying and had two heads. Maybe it was the vodka talking, but I was happy and feeling vibrant.

I overheard some idiot said women age like milk, men age like wine which made me sad and angry, simultaneously. Before my friends and I went out for the night, I was talking about injections and fillers and how I would consider them in the future. I mentioned how I try to eat right, exercise, treat myself to an occasional facial, and have no problem slathering on the latest lotions and potions to prevent fine lines and wrinkles from sneaking up on my face. I am still waiting for my first gray hair, (I check every day) and when I see one, I have my hair stylist on speed dial and she will be dying that little gray hair quicker than I can blink my blue-green eyes.

My girl’s night out certainly validated that I look significantly younger than my age, and some lovely 40-year-old gentleman tried his best to grab my attention with that amazing pick-up line and shoulder tap, (insert sarcasm here), but the truth is that in April, I will turn 30, and it scares the living daylights out of me. No matter how young I look, I will enter a new decade. There is no lotion, potion, or time reversal serum to slather on my face. There is no time transportation vessel to bring me back to my beloved college years or wedding day.

My 20s were all about finding myself, finishing graduate school, starting my career and getting married. I had huge life changes and transitions. My 30s, I think, will be more of the same, but with a more developed, don’t-really-care-what-you-think, I’m-really-adulting-now, attitude.

I always ask my patients what their secrets are to looking young. I’ve heard “everything in moderation,” to slather olive oil on your face, to have lots of sex, to drink lots of red wine. Whatever it is, I’m actively looking for the fountain of youth. In the meantime, I am happy to look significantly younger than my age, never cringe or get defensive when I get carded, and remind myself that age is just a number. We live in a world with so many innovations to slow the aging process (that I am willing to try). So, I say, bring it on. My baby face will be fine.

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