I Still Look Like I’m 16

The aging Asian woman, depending on who you to talk to, will tell you the slow road to facial maturity is either a blessing or a curse. I’m on the latter side.

When you think about it, I guess it makes sense. We always want what we can’t have, and I want to actually appear my age and not younger. And I’d put my next Celine Dion concert tickets on the fact that in 20 years, I’ll want the opposite.

Why, you ask? As a 25 year-old Chinese American woman, being mistaken for a high schooler is just frustrating. That’s like someone going up to me and not being surprised that I still partake in homecoming parades, freak about pop quizzes, and devote a month to finding the most gorgeous prom dress and date (note: I did none of the above in high school. But it’s what I hear to be the common experience.)

I’m 25 dammit, not 16. I’ve been away from home for 7 years, have worked a million jobs including being a substitute teacher for high schoolers, and have a pretty regular menstrual cycle. My last concern is Ms. Soriano’s vocabulary test.

The funny thing is, when I was 12, I had the displeasure of being asked what college I attended. I figure early puberty has caused me to simply plateau in what age I appear to be. I guess it’s seventeen or something. I wonder how long it will last.

I bring up this topic due to the countless times people will approach me and assume I’m my 40 year-old boss’s daughter. But then again, they also assume I’m his wife. People are just not as bright as I hope.

And just today, I was at an outreach event for church to clean up a local middle school. After we were done, the coordinator patted me on the back and yelled “Go teens! You guys did such a great job!” While she stared at me smiling, I looked at the crowd of high schoolers covered in silly bands and multi-colored shoes across the room. Really? Come. On. I’m standing next to my new 30 year-old friend.

The only solution to this slight dilemma is to use big words and authoritative hand gestures. Then people will take me seriously, or find me to be mature for a sixteen year-old.

Dangit, so close.

This is Amy Hu signing off for May 26, 2012.

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