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Feb '08

Young Whippersnapper

I was happy to read a couple different posts by friends who have been mistaken for being younger than they actually are. It’s nice to realize I’m not the only person who gets mistaken for a teenager.

Actual experiences of mine:


Sitting in lobby of building where I worked at BYU during lunch break. Was reading book, probably looked quite scholarly. Was approached by fellow college-aged guy who apparently was taking a break from coaching the youth sports camp just outside. Was asked by said coach in friendly, hey-look-at-me-I’m-such-a-cool-coach-connecting-with-my-kids manner, “So, you coming to the dance tonight?”

Me, grudgingly looking up from book: “What?”

Coach: “The dance, you coming?”

Me, realizing he’s referring to the dance for his 14-year-old junior jocks: “No. Um, I just work here.”

Coach, looking confused, then awkward: “Oh. Right. Heh heh.”

I wanted to add that I was married, a college graduate, and working on my PhD in comparative literature and was tons smarter than him, Mr. Jock Pants. But I didn’t.


On honeymoon, checking into romantic bed and breakfast. Maternal-type innkeeper as she ushered us to our room: “My, you don’t look old enough to be married. I thought you [looking at me] were just a schoolgirl.”

Not exactly what you want to hear on your wedding night.


In orthodontics office, sitting on chair, waiting for the assistants–who, I might add, were younger than me–to start the exam.

In semi-hushed tone, Young Assistant standing two feet behind me to another Young Assistant: “Are her parents here?”

Second YA to first: “What?”

First YA, a little more loudly: “Her parents, are they here?”

Me, turning around in chair: “Hi. I’m an adult.”

Both YA, looking surprised that I could not only hear but talk: “Oops, heh heh.”


In hallway at church last month after blessing our baby in sacrament meeting. Very nice elderly lady stopped me to say, “I had no idea you were old enough to have a baby! I thought you were a Young Woman!”

I was about to point out that even Young Women technically are old enough to have a baby, but decided the church hallway wasn’t an ideal place to detail the birds and the bees to her.


At front door of my house, countless times, talking with salesperson.

Salesperson: “Hi, is your mom home?”

Me: “I assume so.”

[close door]

That’s what I should do, anyway. I mean, how am I supposed to know if my mom’s home? She lives in Iowa for Pete’s sake.


6 Responses to “Young Whippersnapper”

  1. Brinestone Says:

    Wow. Those are even better than the time when a woman asked me if I was getting school off to attend the Olympics (we were at an event). I told her they’d given us the previous week off, but I felt it was important to attend even if I was missing class. “So, what, are you in middle school, then?” she asked.

    “No,” I replied. “I’m a junior in college.”

  2. Administrator's Wife Says:

    Young Whippersnappers unite! I love your comment and am so glad you shared.

    I thought of one thing to add: The only time my youthful looks came in handy was when I was about eleven and at the county fair. There was a guy who would try to guess your age if you paid him a dollar. If he was off by more than two years you won a prize. He guessed I was eight (eight!) and I won a stuffed animal. Best dollar I ever invested.

  3. Titania Says:

    LOL! That is hilarious! I can definitely feel you on this one, I get it all the time also. The worst is when they act like it’s a compliment to say a college student looks like they should be in middle school! I bet I’ll be asked whether my baby is my little sister!

  4. Administrator's Wife Says:

    Titania, so true. And wait till your wedding ring doesn’t fit on your finger anymore near the end of your pregnancy (at least, mine wouldn’t fit). During my last month I looked like a pregnant fourteen-year-old. I wanted to wear a sign on my forehead that said, “Stop staring! I’m legally married to the baby’s father! AND I have a college degree. Heh!”

  5. alicia Says:

    Ha ha, love it! People always thought I was much older than I was growing up (probably because I was tall) but then I hit about 18 and stopped- now people think I am younger than I am. Most people think I am quite younger than Koby (people usually thinks he is older than he is too) when I am actually older than him! Kinda crazy. I just hate the not being taken seriously thing- like I am too young to know what I am talking about or doing. I don’t have great funny stories like you though.

  6. erin Says:

    i need to read your blog more often. it is hilarious! :) when i show people pictures of ryan’s wedding, they sometimes ask how old you have to be to get married in michigan, commenting on the fact that my sister-in-law looks about 16 in the pictures. but she was 22.

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