All my life, I’ve had two constant physical characteristics—blonde hair and deceitful youth. Recently, I exchanged blonde for black, hoping to look older. Despite being twenty-two, married, and a mother, I am commonly mistaken for a teenager. The doctor’s office will ask my age before giving me unsigned paperwork, and I’ve been stopped at grocery stores by employees wanting to know if I’ve “lost my mother”.
The worst of these happened at the bank last year.
My husband, Matt, and I went after Christmas, to deposit some checks we had received as gifts. One of them was made out to our daughter, who was two months old at the time. My husband asked the teller if we could sign the check for her, since she clearly couldn’t. The woman smiled, and said yes.
When the transaction was finished, she gave me an odd grin and a long look. She then looked at Matt and said “Can she have a lollipop?” Matt was confused, wondering why she was offering a lollipop to a newborn. He stuttered out, ”Sure,” and the woman dug up her lollipops, holding them out to me. At this point, it was too late to object and embarrass her, so I decided to ride it out. I plucked a butterscotch, and thanked her.
Meanwhile, Matt realized her blunder, and he knew it would bother me later. He put on a offended face, leaned in and asked, “Can I have one too?”.
On the walk out, he put an arm around my shoulder for comfort. Inside the car, we shared a laugh, and enjoyed our spoils of mistaken age.