Today is my 29th birthday, and I'm definitely starting to feel it. I actually look forward to a night in on the weekends. The wedding craze has started, with two of my best friends getting married next summer. I can't drink like I used to (even after two drinks, I feel completely useless the next day). And I've generally just started caring less about what people think, and I do what I want to do.
But even though I feel like I'm getting closer to my 30s, I often get mistaken for an 18-year-old. Such is the dilemma of a woman who looks younger than she is.
Here are 11 things that happen when you're in your late 20s but look like you're in high school.
1. You've gotten carded for an R-rated movie.
Yes, this actually happened. I bought a ticket for an R-rated movie, and the usher asked where my guardian was.
2. You have to show your ID at weddings.
The usual wedding scenario: My boyfriend and I walk up to the bar. I notice no one has been carded all night. My boyfriend, who's two years younger than I am, is served a drink with no problem. Then the bartender eyes me up and down: "I'm going to need to see your ID, sweetheart."
3. People often think your ID is fake.
When I am carded, the person looks at my birth year and does a double take. They ask me to spell my last name. And first name. And then they ask me to recite my address. And weight. And height.
4. Your hairstylist asks if you're going to prom.
When I requested to get my hair styled after a haircut, she assumed I was going to prom. I think I'll pass on the glittery updo and just go with a regular blowout.
5. The hairstylist's jaw drops when she sees you have a few gray hairs.
Hey, it's normal for a 20-something-year-old to start growing a few grays.
6. People apologize when they curse around you.
Believe it or not, this is not the first time I've heard that word. In fact, now that I'm almost 30, I give zero f***s.
7. You get hit on by high school boys.
There are times when I think, "Why is that young boy staring at me?" Then he winks or smiles. And then I realize what's going on.
8. When you go to happy hour, the bartender assumes you know nothing about drinks.
Thank you for the clarification, but I actually do know the difference between vodka, rum and tequila.
9. You easily qualify for student discounts.
Cheaper public transportation, movie tickets, museum admissions, food, shopping. So. Many. Perks.
10. People talk down to you because they assume you are inexperienced.
Whether it's in my career or relationships, people don't realize that I am 10 years ahead of where they think I am. They seem baffled when I start mentioning previous jobs or dating experiences, like how could she possibly have fit all this in to her 18 years of life?
11. People tell you how great it is to look younger.
OK, sometimes it's annoying not being taken seriously. But then I look at my mom and realize how lucky I am. She's in her 60s but looks like she's in her 40s. Most importantly, she's still got that young, fun-spirited outlook on life that I hope to have no matter what age I am.
Also on HuffPost: