Looking younger that you really are has its benefits and disadvantages – okay, a lot more benefits and some disadvantages. 🙂 People tend to show disbelief when you tell them your real age and start praising you for the youthful look. On the other hand, some folks tend to discredit your knowledge and experience because they think that you’re still wet behind the ears when in fact, you have clocked up more mileage compared to them.
On Friday when we had our chats and nibbles at work, the conversation turned to the 80’s and 90’s – we have our casual day on alternate Fridays and we thought we should all get dressed in 80’s gears. Then one of the research consultant revealed that he was 33, after one staff from administration said that she was 32. Afterwards I went to the city with a fellow research analyst and her husband – they had kindly offered to give me a lift. The conversation then turned to age, when she commented about the administration staff being 32. “I thought that she was only around 26! She looks so young!”. Then came the pregnant pause – I knew she was curious how old I was but I didn’t want to offer that to her. She couldn’t resist any longer and asked, “So, how old are you, Arry?” I was quiet for a while – then she became a bit impatient and said, “Oh come on, you’re not a lady – so your age shouldn’t be a secret!”. So I said, “Weelll … let’s just say that I was born in 1972”. She looked at me in disbelief and said, “What? I thought we were of the same age! I thought you were 27!” I just laughed. She then did a double-take and exclaimed again, “You look so young! No wrinkles!!!”. I just joked and said, “Oh yeah, all those botox injections are now paying dividends”. In case she thought that I was being serious, I told her that I was only joking. On the last few hundreds of meters until I reached my destination, she kept on doing a take and retake, just trying to align my age and my supposedly youthful look. Haha. 😀
It’s good that I look younger – thanks to the genes that I inherited from my mum and Dad. Dad looked much younger than he was, until he had a stroke twelve years ago – age has caught up with him. My age fluctuates with how long my hair is – after I have my haircut, I lose five to ten years of my age, and if I’m due to have one, then I probably look five years younger than I really am. I had a haircut yesterday so I’m back to being a yuppie now – I can claim to be a Generation Y even though I am the overburdened and stressed Generation X through and through *grin*.
I also had an amusing incident yesterday after the prayer meeting at my pastor’s house. There are two exchange students from Thailand staying at their house for five weeks or so. So yesterday I said the only phrase that I knew in Thai, “Sawatdee khrab” and had a brief exchange of information and confirmed the differentiation between “Sawatdee khrab” and “Sawatdee kaa” (male greetings as compared to female greetings, if you are unaware). Then suddenly one of the boys left to his room and came out with a present and said, “Here – this is for you!”. I was really flabbergasted as I didn’t expect a gift from a perfect stranger! He said that I should have it because it fit with my big frame … haha, so in other words, he thought that I was fat. *laugh*. He gave me a traditional long shirt from the northern part of Thailand. It looks very similar to the Indian kurta or the long shirts that I bought from British India. I was very happy of course! Seeing that, the other Indonesian youth then tried to be extra nice with them with the hope of scoring a gift from them as well. One of the girls got a purse at the end. Hehehe.
So, I’m happy with my bigger frame and with my youthful look. Looking back at my highschool pictures, I was shocked at how thin I was. No wonder my mum always scolded me for looking so skinny. I was still thin when I started my uni in Adelaide in 1992. I remember one incident when I ordered a fish and chips in a shop close to my shared accommodation in Blair Athol. When it was my turn to pay, the shop-owner just looked at me and said, “Don’t worry about it – just eat, just eat!”. I walked home feeling bemused – he must’ve thought that I was a refugee or something because I was very thin. Hahahaha. 😆
I have gained a lot more kilos since then. I’m no longer skinny – I don’t think I’m fat. I’m just cuddly – and young – and very much blessed. 🙂