Friday, August 27, 2010

On Getting Carded and Turning 30

My 30th birthday may still be two months away, but I'm well aware of it. It's looming on the horizon, a significant milestone on the highway of life. The thing is, I'm not scared of it anymore. If you would have asked me a year ago, I would have denied that it would even happen. Last year I threw my "first annual 29th birthday party," with every intention of having the 2nd annual party this year. I'm still calling it that (or "29th Birthday 2: Electric Boogaloo"), but I have - without a doubt - come to terms with the fact that I'm going to be 30.

I'm actually kind of excited about it now. With age comes wisdom, right? And I'm finally starting to feel "grown up" in other aspects of my life, so why shouldn't I embrace the new decade of my life? I have no reason to resist and every reason to welcome my 30s with open arms.

As for now, I'm twenty-nine and I have a very low tolerance for any person under the age of 25. Even worse is when people think that I'm younger than I actually am, and then they refuse to believe that I'm rapidly approaching 30.

In particular, I hate being carded to buy alcohol. I'll admit that I do look young for my age, but if you look closely, some of those hairs on my head are silver. I am aging, just like everyone else.

They say I should be flattered. I never am. It's more of an annoyance to have to dig in my purse for my wallet and remove my driver's license. I'd rather you assumed I'm older.

I understand that there are laws in this country, and I accept that establishments have to abide by those laws. They err on the side of caution. Generally, the guideline is to card anyone who looks like they're under 30. Great. That means I'll be getting carded for at least the next 5 years, probably longer.

There's a reason this topic is on my mind. I went to a ballgame at Target Field on Sunday. Beer was consumed - it's a part of baseball, in my mind. At the concession stand, I ordered a $7 Bud Light (I didn't have a lot of options at that particular stand), and immediately the woman taking my order asked to see my ID. After inspecting it (front and back), she looked at me and said, "There's no way I would have guessed you were born in 1980." I think I rolled my eyes in response. She obviously thought I was younger. All Target Field vendors are told to card anyone 30 and under. If she thought I was born earlier than 1980, she would not have asked for my ID.

In the stands at the game, I was sitting on the aisle. A vendor selling Mike's Hard Lemonade came by, and I bought one from him. As he's opening the bottle for me, he says something along the lines of "I don't need to see your ID, do I?" To which I respond, "I'm 30." He chuckles and starts to count out my change. "Actually, I'm 29." I'm not a good liar, even when it's a little tiny lie.

"I'm supposed to card you if you're under 30," he responded with a smile.

"I mean I'm 31!" I corrected. The vendor laughed. It was a good exchange, and I think he understood my mentality on the subject.

Sure enough, when he came back around at last call at the end of the 7th inning, I bought another Mike's from him. He's a good salesman.

Really, getting carded isn't that bad - and it doesn't really happen to me all that often. But I think that's why I find it so annoying. But I doubt I'll ever long for my youthful days when I was carded all the time.

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