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20? 22?

by Meghann on June 15, 2011

I had an interesting encounter with an older gentlemen this morning at the gym.

I was stretching at the stretch machine and he was doing reverse crunches on the ab bench (or what ever it’s called) when he stops, looks at me, and goes “20? 22?”

“umm…. what?”

“What are you? 20? 22?”

“Actually, I’m 26.”

“I would have guessed younger. 26 is still a youngin’ but you definitely have that youthful look.”

“umm… thanks?”

The guy must have been in his late 60s, early 70s (funny how I didn’t ask his age – only would have been fair, right?), but I found the whole conversation amusing. It must have really been bugging him trying to figure my age out for him to just flat out start up a conversation about it.

It’s something I do all the time! (except for the whole actually asking them part) I often find myself people watching wondering how old someone is. Like the kid who’s bagging my groceries that couldn’t be more then 15, but has to be at least 16 to work there. Or the lady next to me at the gym who was talking about her kid who was in high school, but doesn’t look any older than I am.

It’s funny how age is something we’re all so curious about, but it’s so taboo to ask about. I often wonder how close my age guesstimator truly is. Obviously the guy at the gym’s meter was about 4 years off, but if he wants to believe I’m 20 or 22, I’ll let him have it. πŸ˜‰

Are you secretly guessing people’s ages too? Have you ever had the guts to ask?

I was at the gym early this morning because as soon as I push publish on this post I’m on my way to Orlando to venue shop with my sister and have lunch with friends. I was in and out – 20 minutes on the elliptical, NROLFW 1B, stretch, and done.

Breakfast was quick.


Cantaloupe topped with plain Chobani (mixed with chocolate protein powder), peanut butter, and 1/2 cup of Kashi Golden Goddess Cereal.


The bowl was unexpectedly a little bland – I blame the over ripe cantaloupe.


Time to hit the road!

1 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 15, 2011 at 8:02 am

I find that I’m terrrrrible guessing peoples’ ages. I’m 22 but all throughout my childhood and teenage years, people have guessed that I’m at least 2 or 3 years older than I really am. Let’s hope that’s not the case as I get older!!! Have fun venue shopping!
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2 Fit Chick Britt June 15, 2011 at 8:08 am

I’ll play the guessing game if the person looks too young to be doing what they’re doing like working at a grocery store, drinking, driving etc.. People always think I’m younger than I am! I’m 25 and I usually get carded. At my last triathlon the lady doing the body marking asked how old I’d be at the end of the year and I said 26 and shes was like “OMG you look no where near that age.” Hopefully it works well for me in the future!
Fit Chick Britt recently posted..We are what we eat

3 Hilary June 15, 2011 at 8:10 am

Mmm…your bowl doesn’t look bland at all! I sometimes wonder about people’s age…but would never have the guts to ask a stranger!
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4 Hillary June 15, 2011 at 8:14 am

Ever since I went to college, I have no concept of people’s ages any more! I am usually way, way off when I try to guess, too.

Funny age story: I’m a middle school teacher (so our kids range from 11-14 years old), and my first year of teaching (I was 22), a substitute at my school asked me for a pass when she saw me in the hallway. I know I look young, but I don’t think I can pass for 13!!

5 Jess June 15, 2011 at 8:15 am

I was getting a pedicure and the manicurist guessed I was 15. I’m 26….. I get a little irritated bc I’m about to get my PhD and I don’t want to look like a high school student when I am teaching graduate school this coming year. I’m afraid no one will take me seriously!

(We ran the 10K in Charlottesville with Kath together, remember me?)

6 Shae June 15, 2011 at 8:15 am

I’m 23, but no one I meet believes I am older than 16/17. Hah.

7 Katie June 15, 2011 at 8:18 am

I’m 21 I’ve got as low as 15 lately :/ Never good when you are 21 I’m told I’ll love it someday! Hard to look professional and knowledgable though when you look like a high schooler! Exercise keeps us young though. I always wonder ages especially with guys since I’m single!

8 Hope June 15, 2011 at 8:19 am

I always try to guess people’s ages but I am usually really off. I cannot stand when people say to me, “you look so young!” I usually get that I look like I’m in my teens and I’m 27! So frustrating!

Have fun today!! πŸ™‚
Hope recently posted..Anything Goes…

9 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday June 15, 2011 at 8:20 am

Older people have a tough time guessing ages. When you’re 20 it’s a lot easier to guess who is 28 and who is 17 because you can sort of judge them based on how you and your friends look.

I went to Reno when I was 16 and had no problem gambling there because it seemed like all the casino attendants were in there 50s and 60s. When I went to Vegas a few days later, no dice.

10 Sam @ Mom At The Barre June 15, 2011 at 8:27 am

I often try to guess how old a person is. I have never asked a random stranger though. Even if I meet someone for the first time I think age is something a little personal-not everyone likes to be asked. But I have been on the receiving end a LOT and I’m always amused by it!
Sam @ Mom At The Barre recently posted..Music and Motivation- Michael Jackson Vs Prince Duel at Flywheel Sports!

11 michelle June 15, 2011 at 8:27 am

I play the guessing game sometimes too. Sometimes I am really surprised if I actually ask the person (whic I normally don’t…. seems a bit rude at times)
michelle recently posted..New Start

12 Christine June 15, 2011 at 8:30 am

I’ve had 3 people in the past 12 months guess I am 25-26, when I was actually 22-23…. But it’s always been in conversation, and when I mention my two previous jobs and my major career shift (from Chemical Engineer to winemaker). I guess they assume that I have to be older to have had two careers already!

There is this woman I know that I always thought was in her early 30s. I found out a few weeks ago she has a 19 year old daughter. I guess she could have had her young, but its definitely too awkward for me to ask now!

13 Courtney June 15, 2011 at 8:33 am

I wonder about people’s ages sometimes. I can usually ballpark accurately, but I never try to guess an actual number.

I actually workout at a gym with a lot of older people and they constantly ask me my age and what I think about different things. I actually enjoy it though. πŸ™‚ It’s fun to talk to others who’ve been there, done that.
Courtney recently posted..Crash and Burn

14 Hayley @ Hayley Daily June 15, 2011 at 8:40 am

I find myself doing the same thing guessing people’s ages, sometimes. It’s never something that I did before when I was a little younger (I’m 23 now).

Another thing that I find myself doing now that I’m older is whenever I start talking to a guy, wherever it may be, and I’m semi-interested (I’m a single gal, after all), I immediately look at his ring finger to see if he’s married. I know not all guys wear rings, but it’s still a pretty good indicator. I NEVER used to do that when I was 18, 19, 20…but now I feel like it’s so common for people my age to be married so now my eyes just automatically go there. I think it’s kinda funny.
Hayley @ Hayley Daily recently posted..Today’s Treat!

15 Katherine June 15, 2011 at 8:53 am

This is exactly why I insist on my fiance wearing a wedding ring after we are married even though he said it’s going to be “hard to get used to”. Too bad! πŸ™‚

I also suggested that he wear some sort of man engagement ring since I have to, but he declined haha. Just another way for men to mark their territory…lol

16 Hayley @ Hayley Daily June 15, 2011 at 8:55 am

Hahaha, “man engagement ring” — I totally would too! I swear, when I look for the ring, it’s not a…hey, let’s see if he’s married, and even if he is, still go for it kind of thing. haha. I think it just naturally started happening after so many of my friends got married, and I realized that it wasn’t like when I was an undergrad in college and could go out and expect everyone to be single (in the not-married sense).
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17 Miranda June 15, 2011 at 8:43 am

I’m horrible at guessing ages. Especially with younger people/kids. I always think they look 12.

18 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes June 15, 2011 at 8:47 am

Just found this blog and love it πŸ™‚ hmm i am quite good at guessing ages but most people think I am younger than I really am. Especially the old folkies haha. And no way (about asking ages) I let them tell me on their own time hee hee πŸ™‚
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19 Melissa @ Running with Needles June 15, 2011 at 8:49 am

I am always trying to guess people’s age – especially younger kids who don’t look old enough to be doing whatever it is they’re doing. Although I must be good, because I won an age guessing game at my cousin’s bridal shower last weekend!
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20 Katherine June 15, 2011 at 8:51 am

I’m constantly trying to guess people’s age. I am often shocked when I see a kid who looks 14 driving!! It makes me feel so old. Did I really look that young when I started driving?

I am 28 and the other day a coworker told me that she assumed I was 23 or 24. That made me happy! She said it must be the way I eat which was a really nice compliment in my eyes. I never ever talk about food/diet/nutrition at work unless I am prompted, but it’s nice to see that people are observing my healthy habits- lead by example!

21 Holly @ The Runny Egg June 15, 2011 at 8:54 am

I’m terrible at guessing ages — and I think most people are not very good either. I have 3 sisters and whenever we’d get together with family (who we don’t see often) they’d guess who is who. They always thought I was the youngest, even though I’m the second oldest!
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22 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 15, 2011 at 8:57 am

I constantly wonder people’s age too. I swear half the kids working look like they’re 13. But, obviously that wouldn’t be legal so it’s starting to make me feel old if that’s what I think they look like.
I used to have people tell me all the time I looked older than I was (in middle school & high school) now it’s the opposite and they say I look younger. I’ll take it though being 1 year away from 30!

23 Tracy June 15, 2011 at 8:58 am

As I get older… I’m 29… I find it much harder to tell how old people are. I guess I still perceive myself in my early 20’s since people often think I look younger than I am. I find myself trying to guess people’s age’s often… Most time with women and children, since my clock is ticking real fast these days. I’m usually dead wrong once we get chatting…

24 Ali @ Ali Runs June 15, 2011 at 8:58 am

I am 23 and people ALWAYS think I am in high school. In fact, my sister is 21 and everyone always asks if she is the older sister. Sometimes it can get annoying, but I’m sure I’ll be glad when I’m older and people are still guessing younger ages. Good luck finding venues today! πŸ™‚

25 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food June 15, 2011 at 9:03 am

haha! it is so weird how forward some people are!

Everyone always guesses that I’m 18 and I’m 28! πŸ˜› sigh yes I got married when I was 15 πŸ˜›

Have fun venue shopping! πŸ™‚

26 Becky June 15, 2011 at 9:04 am

I’m 21 but people either think I’m 15 or 25, depending on what I’m wearing! I guess I’m apparently a master of disguise haha πŸ™‚

27 maria @ Chasing the Now June 15, 2011 at 9:09 am

This is a funny topic. I always try to guess the ages of Japanese people because they NEVER look their age. I think it’s because they are so darn active as a culture. They always look so much younger than their true age. Pretty cool.

28 Samantha June 15, 2011 at 9:10 am

Have fun shopping for venues today! It’s going to be so much fun!

I don’t really play the age game too much myself, only every once in awhile. I love when people try to guess my age though — they almost always think I’m at least a year or two older than I actually am. Although I don’t think this bodes well for my future…
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29 Ally June 15, 2011 at 9:11 am

Someone I worked with a long time ago asked me if I was 28 when I was actually 22, and then a few months ago (probably due to me losing weight since then) another guy at my newer job found out I was an English major and then said to me “So are you going into your freshman or sophomore year?” The look on his face when I said I was going into graduate school was hysterical!
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30 Mac June 15, 2011 at 9:12 am

Like kids, I love older people, they say the funniest things sometimes. I guess we might all feel a little better if we just spoke what was on our minds πŸ™‚

31 Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet June 15, 2011 at 9:20 am

I’m still in college, so maybe it’s the fact that I’m not even in my twenties yet that I don’t wonder about people’s age. And when I do guess, I’m totally off! All I know is when I see someone older than me or younger than me πŸ˜‰
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32 Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep June 15, 2011 at 9:21 am

I’m terrible at guessing the ages of kids. The man at the gym sounds a lot like my grandfather. Striking up conversations with anyone he sees.

People always think I’m 24 or 25, but I’m 29. I’ll take it!
Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep recently posted..Tuesday Tips- How to Improve Your Credit Score

33 Mary June 15, 2011 at 9:47 am

At least you’ll look 30 when you’re 40! I have patients all the time at work that try and guess my age. They usually range anywhere from 19-30. I’m 24 haha!
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34 Hannah @ Alimental June 15, 2011 at 9:49 am

I’m 22, and people regularly guess that I am 16-18 and are shocked when I mention my husband. If I refer to my graduation last year, EVERYONE thinks it was my high school graduation. It annoys me right now, but hopefully I’ll always look 5 years younger than I am?

35 Jordan P @ food, sweat, and beers June 15, 2011 at 9:53 am

My best friend from college was Indian, and she got carded long after her 21st (people still think she’s in high school!)

As I am a giant Amazon princess, though, I rarely have people ask me any questions about my age. My height, though, is totally fair game, as is (apparently) my fondness for playing basketball or volleyball. Assumptions assumptions…
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36 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey June 15, 2011 at 9:57 am

I guess peoples’ ages from time to time as well!
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37 Monika @ Powered by Paprika June 15, 2011 at 9:58 am

My sister and I both have young faces.. (I’m 23 and she’s 21) and we’re frequently mistaken for being YOUNGER than our half-niece in public (who is 16). It definitely makes for a good laugh!

38 Courtney June 15, 2011 at 10:04 am

Haha, I’m a waitress and I look really young. People always freak out when I serve them wine, saying I’m no older than 14!! πŸ˜› It will come in handy someday πŸ™‚
Courtney recently posted..June Beauty Review

39 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy June 15, 2011 at 10:07 am

I’m almost 23, but people assume that I’m still a teenager. When I voted in the 2008 election, the lady didn’t believe that I was old enough to be there. And when on vacation last year, I got “pulled over” while driving a golf cart because the “island police” didn’t think I was old enough to drive. My parents tell me I’ll appreciate it one day, haha.
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40 Courtney June 15, 2011 at 10:21 am

I was at work the other day when an old man asked me if I was new to the store. I told him no, that I had been working there since the beginning of September, but usually only worked weekends because I’m in school. He said, “Oh, well that’s good. It’a always good to put your school first. What grade are you in? You can’t be more than sixteen?” I then had to spend fifteen minutes convincing him that I am actually 23, have one four-year degree and am halfway through my BEd, and that I’ve been married for almost a year. He couldn’t believe it! But that’s alright, I’ll take 16!
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41 Shanna, Like Banana June 15, 2011 at 10:35 am

I recently asked a coworker since I thought she was about 34 — she’s 40!

42 Heather June 15, 2011 at 10:35 am

too funny! When i was about 12, I looked 17-18. I was 5’9″ and whenever I would try to order from a kids menu the waitress would say “12 and under only” and I would say i was 12…no one ever believed me! this went on for years, people thinking I was way older than I was, and I loved it. now that I am almost 26, I want people to think I am younger! funny how that happens!

43 Jessica June 15, 2011 at 10:43 am

I get that all the time! I’m 24, and without fail , everyone puts me at 18 or 19! It’s kind of annoying now getting carded for EVERYTHING, but I think it will be something we will appreciate when we’re in our 30’s and 40’s!

44 Sarah June 15, 2011 at 10:49 am

Bland cantaloup is the worst! I love the age conversation. I don’t understand why it is such a taboo topic. Whenever I”m older and somebody asks me my age I’m going to announce it proudly. I can’t wait till the day I can say: “I’m 70? Heck yes I’m 70! and still kickin!”
Sarah recently posted..Pretending to Plan

45 Karen June 15, 2011 at 11:05 am

Congrats on looking youthful!!! I am 29 and people think I’m 21 or 22. It feels fabulous:) Hopefully the trend continues for us for the rest of our lives. Keep up the good work with HIM training. I’m enjoying reading it, as I plan to attempt to complete a HIM myself in the somewhat near future!
Karen recently posted..Quinoa Creation

46 Lee @ in the pink of condition June 15, 2011 at 11:10 am

You should definitely take that as a compliment! When I was buying fruit at the fruit stand the other day, the vendor asked what high school I went to. I am 25. I wanted to give him a big bear hug.
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47 LeeAnn June 15, 2011 at 11:26 am

I work with teenagers and am constantly asked what grade I am in….I am 28.

48 Skinny Fat Kid June 15, 2011 at 11:38 am

I recently had someone ask me what grade I was in. He was an elderly gentleman so maybe he just didn’t no any better. I told him I was 27. He was appalled that I was an adult. He moved on to my sister sitting next to me, who’s 30 and asked the same question. Guess he didn’t learn!

49 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) June 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

That’s so weird, because some old guy on the ab bench struck up a conversation with me a few days ago- except he felt it necessary to tell me what machines are best for the pecs… no idea why. Kind of creepy!
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50 Julie (A Case of the Runs) June 15, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I’m 26 also, but I get 18 all the time. I feel lucky when people tell me 23. Then on the other end of the spectrum, I’ve been told I’m way too mature to be that young… don’t know what that means.
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51 Katie June 15, 2011 at 12:33 pm

When in law school, I lived in an undergrad apartment complex. While working out in the apartment complex gym, I was once asked what ‘year’ I was in. I had to explain that I was about 3-5 years older than they thought! πŸ˜›

52 Coach Brian June 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I dunno, I’ve found that a lot of the old people at the gym are just so bored that they’ll talk to anyone about anything (I don’t mean that as any offense to you…I’m sure you’re a great conversationalist :)). There are a few old guys in the locker room at my gym who just start talking to themselves about random topics, hoping it will strike a chord with someone and they’ll join in. One of them went on a big rant about how I stole his locker. He was a little embarrassed when I explained that I had the top locker and he had the bottom locker and that there was not, in fact, one locker running from floor to ceiling.
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53 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio June 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I love it when people think you’re younger than you are. Its like to feel great and horrible all at the same time. Always awkward.

54 Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups June 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I’m awful at guessing ages…so I just keep my mouth shut.
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55 Jessica @ The Process of Healing June 15, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Strange, but that’s a big compliment! People always think I’m younger than I am. I’m 23 but I’ve had people think I’m 16. It gets old.
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56 Michelle @ Crazy*Running*Legs June 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm

A) OK creepy to the old guy. I might have run for it.

B) I am really bad at figuring out someone’s age. I usually guess a good deal younger. The only person I flat out asked their age was Paula (Eat:Watch:Run) when we first met – I had her age all wrong.
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57 Jessica @ For the Fun of Fit June 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm

No one believes that I’m actually 23. I’ve had bar-tenders refuse to serve me alcohol because they’re convinced I can’t be over 18 and must have a fake ID. It’s pretty ridiculous. I guess it’s because I never wear any make-up? Who knows. Hopefully I get the same responses when I’m older!
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58 amyt @ Chicken Nugget Momma June 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I like to guess…..but I usually don’t ask. I usually get mistaken for my age – people think I’m younger – especially teens (at church) they will say they thought I was in my 20’s…I just tell them I love them!!
amyt @ Chicken Nugget Momma recently posted..twenty

59 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife June 15, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I don’t usually spend time trying to guess people’s ages…..or I just ask?! πŸ˜‰

60 erica June 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm

i think i wonder about age when i see people who look extremely young drinking. i see this boy that sits by us at college basketball games…him and his friend wear the bracelet…you know the, i’m-old-enough-to-order-beer paper bracelets you get? and i wonder because he looks 14, maybe 15. i wonder out of concern and curiosity….but then i feel hypocritical because, i’m constantly being mistaken for younger than i am. i feel like people don’t take me as seriously because they think i’m so young….people still ask me what i’m studying in school, or they think i just graduated college. i’m constantly getting carded everywhere i go—especially in vegas. i had a pit boss ask my friends and i what we drank in hawaii because there’s no way we were 30.

i know that should all be a compliment, but for some reason i don’t find it flattering…but ask me again in about 5-10 years.

61 Leigh June 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I always get told that I look younger than I am. On my bachelorette night, a few guys asked if I was even old enough to get married. Gee thanks!

62 River June 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Maybe that’s a sign you should keep your belly button piercing! haha πŸ™‚
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63 Lee June 15, 2011 at 4:47 pm

People always peg me for being around 26. I’m 33. I’ll take it!
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64 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health June 15, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I totally love to guess the ages of other people…and people often tell me I look like I’m still in high haha

65 Stephanie June 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm

this is tooo funny and i am totally guilty of playing this game all the time with my husband. we are always guessing how old teenage girls are…it is so deceiving, ok this sounds kind of weird and freaky but i promise we are not
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66 Kristen @ The Concrete Runner June 15, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Haha! I always wonder what people’s ages are – and how old people think I am! I am also 26, but I’m pretty sure I could pass for a high schooler. I wear my wedding rings constantly now since I’m pregnant and I don’t want someone to think I’m a Teen Mom. Ha! Stupid, I know, but I’m very self-conscious about it for some reason. My husband is 30 and he also looks like he’s about 19. I guess it’s a good thing right? So when we’re 35 we’ll still look like we’re in our 20s? ;o)
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67 Amy @ June 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm

My boyfriend and I get the age question all the time. He is older than me (and looks older too) and I actually look like a little kid – sooo people are always fascinated and have come right out and asked us before numerous times. In restaurants, I will get carded and then he will too… sometimes we think it is just the person being nosy haha (he looks good, but not that good lol he is 16 years my senior)
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68 Amy June 15, 2011 at 11:23 pm

People ask me how old I am all the time. All.the.time. I live in a city, and cab drivers especially love to ask. I went with my parents to visit a friend in a rehab center two months ago, and the security guard stopped me and said you have to be at least 16 to visit….I turned 27 last month!
Amy recently posted..I lie!

69 Katie June 16, 2011 at 11:00 am

Ok, so this isn’t about me being bad about guessing age, but someone else:
I’ll be 26 tomorrow, my husband turned 30 in May. On his birthday weekend, we went to go see The Hangover 2. We got up to the ticket counter and asked for 2 tickets; the lady asks for us both to show our ID. Say…what??? So…we both look like we’re under 17????!?! I don’t think that we do, but I guess it’s in the eye of the beholder? But, I’m not so good at guessing age, so I guess I can’t really talk…
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70 Alison @ The Peacock Diaries June 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I’m terrible about guessing people’s ages — somehow I feel like most people between 25-40 somehow all look the same! I think as I became an adult and started accumulating a group of friends from all different ages and stages of life (rather than high school and college friends who were all my age), the ages just started blending together. Also, age is no indication of maturity!

What gets me is thinking about my parents in their 30s. They seemed SO OLD when I was little, but now I think of 30-somethings as young and fun and generally awesome (we are, I swear!). I guess it is all about perspective!
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71 Charise June 17, 2011 at 10:56 am

I am AWFUL at guessing ages. I work at a place where it seems half the employees can be anywhere between 30 and 50, and I would never know. I find out someone has grandkids when I thought they were in their mid30s, or that they have very young children when I thought they were in their 50s.
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72 Doc (The Healthy PhD) June 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Me too!!! I teach college chemistry, and the students always assume I am like 20-22 and it only is a problem when they start sassing me or saying things they really shouldn’t say in front of their teacher. I dress up to avoid this problem.

Funny story – one summer we had a 16-year old student intern who was working in the lab, and the health and safety officers inspected us one day. They called my boss and accused him of hiring child laborers and sent a counselor to the lab to talk to the kid because they thought he looked 12! Jeeze-louise, they couldn’t just ask him how old he is before accusing us of these things!
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