The Date Almost Ended Early When I Told Him My Age

It got awkward

I turned 25 on the 14th of October.

The morning of, I got carded for two bottles of wine and was told:
You do not look 25. You look like you are still in high school.
I’m flattered by the compliments and the disbelief that I’m halfway to 30, really. People still ask my parents how their babies are doing. But I find it amazing how I look younger now than I did when I was the age everyone mistakes me to be. I’m not saying that I have a little Benjamin Button case. But teenage Bambzi looks significantly older than 20 something Bambzi.

People used to tell me all the time that I looked older than my older sister. And this was as early as sixth grade.

I used to think it was just because of my height. As I look at old pictures now, I notice that my features appeared more mature than they do now.
And now my cheekbones fill in a little more and my body still appears like a child. No hips, no ass or boobs. Flat, like a plank.
Yesterday, I went with my sister to go vote early, and people were asking me questions like
Is this your mother? And we are only two years apart.

Back to the point of this story. You want to know the nature of this title. The time a date got awkward because of my age.

I was asked on a coffee date by a guy that was in my morning art class. He had been asking me for weeks after class and I had been too busy to meet. Until a day I wasn’t to busy to meet and he asks, “ So are you busy in the next hour, I owe you a coffee.”

I was, but hell, it was a harmless hang out time. I mean, it was just coffee. What could go wrong on a coffee date?

We went to the coffee shop located on campus since I was on a crunch of time. I always adored the atmosphere in there anyway and I also didn’t have a car, so we weren’t going to go too far for this date. The only issue was that it was the campus coffee shop and so people I had class with and friends were prone to walk through and see me on said date with this guy. I wasn’t ashamed to be there with him. But I didn’t want people in my business later, texting me and asking me who he was and what we were doing there. And again, it was just coffee, but it’s not always that simple with college students.

As we talked more, I could tell his interest was growing into more than a friendship. I was not interested in such a commitment in our last five months of school.

The conversations ranged from school work to hometowns, where we live on campus etc.

Then the subjects transitioned to music and video games. I was geeked. I love talking about music. I love talking about video games even more.
The guy mentioned he was apart of a band that covered theme songs for popular video games like Zelda and Super Mario brothers. But he got me; as I was talking about things I did in the early 2000s.
He looked at me with a confused face and says, “Wait…how old are you?”
I stopped in mid-sentence, surprised at the question, and said naturally,
“ I’m 21? How old are you?”
His expression changed quickly. As if I had killed his sister right in front of him.
“I’m 27,” he replied, I could tell he was genuinely surprised by my answer.
“Oh!” Is all I could say. It’s the only thing I can say anytime I’m in an awkward situation.
He says, “I’m sorry. The way you carry yourself and hold conversations, it seemed like you were much older than you are! I thought you were at least 26!” Which, I’ll admit I did. It was just the way I talk to people.
I’m a complete goofball around my best friends. However, when it comes to people I am meeting for the first time, I always try to give a good first impression. In college, I encountered those classmates that were older and thought I was as well because of the way I presented myself to them.
I had a classmate that was 25 and thought I was the same age as him, all because of the way I helped carry a presentation we had for a group project. I wanted to be the one person in the group that sounded like she knew what she was doing. He was just as shocked as this guy when I told him I was only 19.

Anyway, back to the awkward pause.

So here we are, me and my coffee date having an awkward pause until I break the silence with, “Can we still be friends? I’m cool with that …most of my friends are older than me anyway.”
He agreed, was a little disappointed, but he was cool with it. And he walked me to my internship. And we still talked to each other in class up until the point we graduated. My friends still love to bring up that day because he was someone they all used to swoon over our freshmen year, and I had no idea he was the same guy they would talk about until that day. Three years later.

Now it’s a complete turnaround, and everyone thinks I’m in high school.

I can’t catch a break.
Now it’s, “What grade are you in?
Grade? I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to avoid my next high school reunion.
“Oh, When do you finish college?”
I’ve heard it all. I have answered all lined up like a backlog.
No, I’m not a college student.
I graduated from college in 2017.

High school was seven years ago for me.
I guess it is a blessing, being told that I look so young and that I’m going to get carded until you are 60 something.
It could be worse. I could be a 25-year old that had skin like a dry, crackled brownie. And for that, I appreciate that I have a baby face.

If you’ve made it this far, this is a real story and I cannot wait to share more silly college tales with you all!

As always, Thanks for reading!

-B. Ellis

Reader. Writer.Student of life. Dreamer. Storyteller. Creating a safe space for my fellow weirdos.

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