Perceptions, Perceptions, Perceptions!

20 Aug

Ugh, you guys, I am the worst at blogging on a schedule!  In my defense, the Olympics happened and I was gone on an RV vacation (“vacation?”) for a week, so I’ve been busy, y’all.  Super busy.  Or something.  Whatever, either way, I’m back on the horse, this will be the last post I will start with an apology because I am going to start posting more often!  Like, at least once a week.  If I don’t, feel free to send me abusive emails or texts, dear followers.

That nonsense/hopefully not empty promise out of the way, I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for awhile, because I need some help understanding something: what do I look like to the casual passerby?

I ask this not simply out of vanity, but because I’ve noticed something changes when there are kids with me.  First, I get flirted with a lot more often.  By old dudes and young dudes, dudes trying to sell me stuff, dudes we stand next to in line, dudes of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and dispositions, and it is weird!  This seems to happen most often when I am with just Verena.  For example, when at the farmer’s market instead of just trying to push product on me or seduce Verena with offers of juicy strawberries, I got asked about my smile.  Or I have been told I’m the best part of a soccer coach’s day as I haggardly kick a ball accross a field in an attempt to be on time to her practice, coffee in one hand, smelling no doubt of a mixture of my and Verena’s sweat after spending at least ten minutes putting on her soccer shoes (cleats?  I literally know nothing about soccer)  in the car.  Or I got howled at on my way to Target (by some punk teenager in his mom’s car, while she was driving.  In retrospect, this might not have been flirting, but it was certainly something which I still do not understand), or told I “dropped my smile” on my way in to buy gummy vitamins.  While I was on the phone with my mom.  At first I thought perhaps it was that I am not constantly wearing headphones or walking intently when I’m with kids, but this would not expain these last two incidents.  Then I thought it was because Californians are in some way strange, but I have known Californians before and they have been no more strange than people from any other state.  Currently, I am flummoxed.  Flattered?  But flummoxed.

Furthermore, no one seems to have any idea of how old I am.  Two days ago I ordered a margarita at a Mexican restaurant with the whole family and not only did I get carded, but when the waiter saw I was 22 he looked at me, startled, and said “you look much younger than that!”  What does that mean?  Do I look sixteen?  That much younger?  Do you think I’m in high school?  Early college?  Elemantary school?  I just pretty confidently ordered a mixed drink at a table with adults, how young do you think I am?  Also, I have never looked young for my age.  I was a super tall baby, I was a super tall elementary schooler, I was a super tall and responble/arrogant high school student, I am a super tall somewhat-mature-looking twentysomething.  I get carded, but not that intensely, and no one ever doubts the validity of my license.  Additionally, a few days before the margarita comment, someone though Katrina was my daughter and I was married to John, who is my parents’ age.  Now, I could be Verena’s mom, if I’d made some different decisions with my life, she is five, I am twenty-two, I would have been seventeen when I had her.  Not that weird, pretty believable.  Katrina, however, is eleven years younger than me.  If you’re doing the math there, that means I would have been eleven when I had her.  If you assume I could look maybe twenty-five (the waiter, I’m sure, would object to this), I would still have only been fourteen.  And Katrina looks thirteen herself, she too is of the super tall ilk.  Does that mean I look thirty?  Older?  And this was said by an adult woman, not a five-year-old who thinks everyone is the same age as their parents if they’re old enough to be in charge!

I don’t know anymore.  I don’t know anything.  Before, I thought I looked my age and sent out some pretty intense “don’t chat me up, for I am not interested” vibes.  What is this strange world I’m living in?  Can anyone help me?  What are the children doing to me!

Confusedly, Bemusedly, Bad at Coming Up with a Third Thingily,


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