A brief story.
Last night I was at a local department store shopping for shoes (none of which I bought). As I was bent over, defeatedly scanning the boxes for a pair in my size, a foreign hand layed its claim on the small of my back and snaked up my shirt.
I shot up, and defensively reached to my lower-back; of all the things to think, I thought someone was going to give me a wedgie (deep adolescent fears rearing their ugly head, I guess). Prepared to punch the lights out of the perp, I whipped around, and made eye-contact with a 40-ish woman.
"Oh my God!" she yelped. "You're not my daughter!"
She apologized profusely, her hand clenched to her mouth in mortification. Her 14 y/o daughter rounded the corner at the sound of her mother's pleas for forgiveness.
"It's ok," I told her (repeatedly). "Don't worry. Stuff happens."
In all, no harm, no foul. It had me chuckling to myself for a good 15 minutes afterwards. But because I was mistaken for 14 y/o, does this mean I still have yet to leap that bound from looking like a child to looking like an adult? I thought those days were behind me when the clerks at the stores stopped carding me for smokes. Curse this supple skin! Damn this nubile body! I am condemned to a lifetime of looking like I am ten years younger than my actual age.
Haha, who am I kidding? At only 5 foot 4 inches tall with the posture of a pile of laundry, it's no wonder I get mistaken for a child. I'm lucky people don't mistake me for a hobbit.