One of the more pleasant things that occurred on my rather disjointed journey to Toronto Friday happened as I was purchasing my bus ticket. I pleasantly relived it and recounted it several times over the course of the weekend. As I was taking out my wallet to pay the price that the agent had quoted to Chris, $36, the young man behind the desk said "That'll be $29. I mean - oh - are you a student?" He thought I was a student! I laughed and said "You're kidding, right?" "No, you look about that age to me." When I told him I was a student twenty years ago he laughed, too and said "Wow, I was way off!"
Ahhhhhh, what better compliment than mistaking a woman for half her age! I basked in the warmth of it for much of the weekend, my confidence bolstered enough to live on for a good three days. I bragged to my friends about it, never honestly believing that the young man thought I was really 21, but just happy that it could even be joked about. On my way home, however, when I was settling into a conversation with Sydney, the young lady I sat with on the train, I casually mentioned my children, as I usually do to anyone who will listen. She said "Oh, are your kids in high school?" And the balloon deflated. Now I know I'm more than old enough to have kids in high school. Many of my friends have kids in high school. But I was still floating around on my little cloud where I look like I'm 21! I told her that no, my kids are 10 and 7 (and I made sure NOT to follow it up by saying that I didn't have any kids until I was 30!)
I love being mistaken for being younger than I am. Forty-one still sounds so much older than I feel! But I think that old saying "You're only as old as you feel" really is true. I feel like a young mom, who isn't really older than most of my kids' friends' parents. I always said that my little brother, who was born when my parents were in their late 30s, kept Mom and Dad young. I think my kids do that for me. So if I really am only as old as I feel, I'm probably around 32 or 33, and I'm pretty happy with that.
And that student ticket is still quite a compliment!