In Roman mythology the Sibyl was granted a wish by a god. She wished for immortality, but did not choose for eternal youth to go with it. Over time she withered away but her spirit lived on, as whispers on the coast. I feel like her sister, only in reverse. I do not have immortality but I do have eternal youth, so it seems.
Today I went rollerskating, and besides the parents I was the eldest person there. It was scary, and I felt young. Even more so when a kid of around ten years old asked me if I was okay. Every child there had much for talent with skating, and one boy could even do fancy turns and tricks.
“show off” I said to E, but I think inside I was jealous.
The problem is that I am nineteen years old, yet I have a very innocent face, and am a very naive and quiet person which makes me seem younger than I am. A couple of spots on my forehead and chin doesn’t help, nor does my lack of make-up. I don’t officially have a problem with the kid asking me if I was alright, especially because I screamed when he cut in front me and I didn’t know how to stop. But I do sometimes get fed up with being mistaken for a fourteen year old.
After roller skating we went to get coffee from Nero’s. I chose a Mocha Frappe Latte, and handed it to the person working behind the till.
“You do know there’s coffee in this, don’t you?” He said to me in a patronising tone. I said yes, that’s why I chose it.
“Are you able to have it?” He asked. I said yes, he said “are you sure?” it was as if he was asking me if my parent had given me permission to have coffee. He looked at Jem, E’s mum, thinking she was mine.
“She’s nineteen!” She cried. “She can have coffee.” again, the cashier asked “are you sure?”. Not only did I find it incredibly condescending and patronising. I was also offended that he didn’t believe me.
I wouldn’t mind that, I’d probably be flattered, if it didn’t happen on an almost regular basis. I only just managed to pass as a fifteen year old in the eyes of one of the Youth Theatre last week. A few months ago someone (I can’t remember who) thought I was still in school, doing GCSE’s and two years ago an eight year old kid thought I was only thirteen years of age! I always knew I looked young, but I was seventeen at the time. This age problem makes it very difficult buying things in shops.
I can barely walk down the alcohol aisle in supermarkets without getting a suspicious eye from staff, and buying DVD’s is near impossible. Last year I had just turned eighteen years old and I fancied watching this film that was rated as a fifteen according to the bbfc. I thought I could buy it. When I went to purchase it I was served by a man and I handed the film over to him.
“How old are you?” He asked.
“Eighteen.” I stammered, since I had forgotten it was my birthday less than two weeks ago and I thought I was still seventeen. I’ve done that before at the cinema too. I probably wold have gotten away if it wasn’t for the stammer. He didn’t believe me and thought I was younger.
“I can’t sell you this DVD. You aren’t old enough.” he told me sternly. “If you come back with proof of your age i’ll give it to you.” it was absurd. I stomped home, and tried to find my passport because I felt like proving him wrong. But I couldn’t find it. Since then I haven’t bought that film, or any movie rated above a 15 for fear of seeming like a liar. Wouldn’t it be funny if that man who wouldn’t sell me that DVD now works in Nero’s?
I may seem a bit irritated at the moment, but I suppose if Emma Watson (an extremely famous actress) can be mistaken for a child at the age of 23 then I can survive with this “blessing” as well. I know that at some point my mortality will catch up with my looks and I’ll get wrinkly and old and people will patronise me then too, so I shan’t complain too much.
Besides, frowning can give you wrinkles, and I’d rather I looked young.