I am 28 years old and lately I have been feeling kind of old. Not necessarily “I am scared to lift my wrinkly buns off this rocking chair because I am fearful of crapping in my Depends because my colon doesn’t work properly” old. I feel “all these dudes wearing these straight-billed hats propped to the side of their heads look like total morons” old. I feel less hip, ya know?
Along with feeling older, I think I appear older as well. In the past 5 years or so, my weight has been relatively stabilized, but my hair has been thinning a bit. And the hairs that are not falling out of my head are changing colors, from dark brown to grey. Grey hairs are sneaky. I have like 2 or 3 of them on each side of my head. A new one seems to pop up every time I get a haircut, which is roughly once a month. Unlike zits, these grey hairs are here to stay. I have always heard people say that common, over-played joke. You know, that having kids will make your hair turn grey. Well shit, that cliché couldn’t be any more true for me. My daughter is 9 months old and I found my first grey hair when she reached the whopping age of 2 months. And they slowly, but surely continue to pop out and say, “hello” to me when I look in the mirror.
I don’t think I am the only person who has noticed my recent aging spurts. For the past year or so, bouncers and bartenders haven’t been as much of sticklers in terms of checking my ID to make sure I am at least 21 years old. Lately, bouncers have been giving me that “you don’t have to show me your ID because I can tell by looking at you that you are over age 21” hand motion when I am standing in line. Sometimes, when I offer to show bartenders my ID, they simply shake their head at me, indicating that they don’t want to see it and jump straight into asking me what I want to drink. It is kind of disheartening, considering most places have rules, like if the person doesn’t appear 35-40 years old, you are required to ask to see their ID. I don’t look 35-40 years old already do I?!?! Usually I make myself feel better by lying to myself. I’ll tell myself, “oh that bartender is probably just swarmed with customers (although there are only 2 or 3 other customers there).” Or, “that bouncer probably just waved me in without checking my ID because they know me somehow because I am a pretty big deal (although in most cases, I am not a big deal).”
Recently, these insecurities of mine were brought to a new level.
A couple weeks ago, I traveled with my fiance Krystal, mom and dad to watch a band my brother plays guitar for called Ben Garrett and the American Youth open for an up and coming singer from the Quad Cities named Lissie. They were scheduled to open for her at a bar called the Blue Moose in Iowa City. Krystal and I saw part of Lissie’s show the day before at Lollapalooza.
When we arrived at the Blue Moose, there was a small line of people waiting for the bouncer to check their ID so they could enter the bar. The bouncer checked the IDs of everyone who was standing in front of me. When it was my turn, I reached into my pocket to grab my ID and the bouncer looked at me with a stone cold, straight face and said, “you’re good, no offense” and proceeded to place an “of age” band on my wrist. I replied by laughing while saying, “none taken, man.” There was no disputing the fact that this guy thought I appeared to be well over the age of 21. By saying, “no offense,” he pretty much clarified that. I (who had a severe case of red-face from being sunburned at Lollapalooza) lied to myself and thought, “oh I probably just look older because I am sunburned.” Pretty absurd self-talk, but whatever works I guess.
I felt worse when Krystal attempted to enter the bar. After the bouncer dude indirectly informed me of how old I look, I sheepishly stood to the side and waited for Krystal and my parents to enter the building. Krystal was standing right behind me. Without checking her ID, he wrote an “M” on her hand for “minor.” Krystal immediately became confrontational and said, “I am 28 years old, look at my ID!!!” He looked confused and examined Krystal’s ID further. He looked at her ID, then at her, then back at the ID and back at her. He finally shook his head with a “wow, this woman doesn’t appear to be 21 years old, let alone 28” expression on his face and gave her a bracelet.
But what the hell? Did this guy think Krystal and I were father and daughter? I don’t appear to be 35-40 years old, do I? I know Krystal is generally known as being freaking beautiful, but I always thought we appeared to be around the same age. After all, I am only 25 days older than her.
Speaking of fathers, at least my own parents were not required to show their IDs.
Nice sunburn, Rico.
I can’t help, but wonder how many people have seen us together and thought I was a 35-40 year old dude dating an 18 year old girl. They probably wondered what in the hell she was chasing after they saw that we didn’t hop into a BMW, but a 2002 Taurus. By the way, that Taurus has been running like a champ so far.