“40? There is no way you can be 40!”
This is usually what happens when people find out my age. Throughout my life, I have always looked much younger than what I am. It has been an advantage at times and other times not so much.
I moved to North Carolina from New York ten years ago. Right after we had moved here, the state fair was going on and we happily went to check it out. I heard fried twinkie and I was there!
It is your typical fair; food, games, contests, rides, and all of that.
Throughout the fairgrounds, there are stations where the person will guess your age and you can win a prize if he doesn’t come within 3 years of the actual age. It was perfect because no one ever guesses my age anywhere near what it actually is.
That first time he guessed 23. Prize for me since I was 30!
I went the next year and the year after that. Still in my twenties!
A few years later after that, the person guessed me to be 30. At this point, I was 35. I still won the prize but changing the decade made me feel like my youth had somehow been robbed.
It got more serious after that. I had to have a strategy.
When we got to the next state fair, I made my husband stay back and hold my wedding ring while I approached the guessing area. I didn’t want to look old enough to be married. I also wore a jacket so you couldn’t make out my body shape and spoke very softly. Not only that, I even had a way of awkwardly getting the money to pay out of my pocket.
Later when I had kids, they had to hide with my husband. At this fair, the person guessed 35 when I was 39. The guesses were getting closer. This was not a good sign.
I actually told everyone that knows I do this that I would need therapy the day the person got it right.
So this year when the fair came back, I knew I had to really look the part.
Hair in ponytail…Check.
Very little makeup…Check.
Hide the family…Check.
Approaching the guesser, I pulled my usual strategy. There was no way he was going to guess 40. No way. I had looked in the mirror that morning and knew I looked so much younger.
He called out to people walking by that he was guessing my age. This guy made a big show of thinking about it. I stared him down with a smug look on my face. THIS was going to be my moment.
He wrote down his guess on a piece of paper and asked my age.
“40!”, I replied loudly with confidence.
He got a big smile on his face. I smiled back and eyed the prize I was going to pick. He showed me the paper…
On it was the number 47.
If you can’t find me, I am busy searching for the fountain of youth and planning new strategies for next year’s fair.
I am also scheduling that therapy session.