Well I never thought it was actually possible, but I managed to find a place even more humid than Washington, D.C. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you: Atlanta.
While actually cooler than DC last week (by about 8 degrees), Atlanta had more humidity than my humble home, and managed to transform what should have been a quick and easy walk to the Kroger into a steam bath. I'm not usually a big sweating person, but darn if I wasn't dripping before I had gotten to the first stoplight.
For some reason, for the past few weeks, I have been mistaken several times for a student of some kind, usually high school. It all began with the exchange I blogged about earlier (at the gas station) where some dude asked me how school was (WTF), and then continued with my business trip to Atlanta.
There I was eating breakfast, in my work clothes, when the chaperon of some school group comes up to me to tell me where I needed to meet up with everyone. Lady, I am almost 30 years old! Come on now.
The second incident occurred when I was being driven to the airport. Instead of a regular cab I was in a town car (he happened to be first in line at the hotel taxi stand) and I was chit chatting with the driver. When he asked why I was in town and told him I was here for work, I'm an attorney with the government, blah blah blah, he (very vocally) expressed surprise that I was a lawyer since "I looked way way too young!" I laughed a little uncomfortably, and then told him I was actually 29. His response was to hand me his card and tell me that if I was ever in Atlanta again and "needed anything or wanted to hang out" to give him a call. Thanks?
Now when I relate these cases of mistaken age, most people say how awesome it is, how I should be flattered. But here's the thing. It kind of pisses me off. I know it's good that I look young, and I'm going to be loving that shit in like 10 years, but right now I'm at a place in my life and career when I want to be taken seriously. I want people to see me as someone they can relate to as an equal, and not think I'm an 18 year old punk (because all 18 year olds are punks in some way. Talk to one, you'll see).
It's not the same thing as being carded at the bar, or called "miss" instead of "ma'am." That's something I can appreciate. But when I am carrying a briefcase and wearing a suit and someone still thinks I am of college-age, it's kind of a problem.
My solution: more make-up? But then all those high school girls look like whores now anyway so I'm not sure that's going to help.