When I was twenty-three and visiting Maine for our family reunion, several of us took a trip down to the local bar, which just happens to be owned by the long-time companion of one of the relatives. After several pitchers of beer (and some hilarious games of horseshoes), we closed the place and went to say goodbye to the owner. She chatted with us for a few minutes, then turned to me and said: “I wasn’t really sure I should serve you when you came up to the bar.”

Confused, I asked the obvious question, “Why?”

“Well, because you are only fifteen!”1

“No, I’m twenty-three.”

“No you’re not!”

“Yes, I am.

“No you’re not!”

“Yes, I am.

“No you’re not!”

“Yes, I am. Would you like to see my driver’s license to prove it?”

She accepted my story but I could tell she had her doubts regardless.

Flash forward almost three years to tonight. While at the wedding of friends from work, I was asked how old I was by one of the groomsmen, who vaguely remembered me from the Stag and Doe about a month ago for the same couple.



“No, twenty-six.”

“Oh, good. When we were serving you at the Stag, we were a little worried that maybe you weren’t old enough to drink”.


What it is about me that screams “underage teenager”? The groomsman tonight made a vague comment about me “dressing young” at the Stag and Doe. I can’t actually remember exactly what I was wearing other than jeans (I remember because the thread on the inside button unraveled and it fell off), but I presume it was probably a t-shirt, with a sweater on top. It was a stag and doe. You get drunk and dance. Was I suppose to be wearing a business suit?

Most women would probably be happy being told they look several years younger than their age. Perhaps in a few years I won’t mind it, but right now I’d like to look my age. Because I really don’t want to be picking up nineteen year old boys.

1Part of my really wants to know, if she really did think I was only fifteen, why on earth did she serve me? Even if I am family, the legal drinking age is twenty-one.