Why, God, WHY???

I never get carded to buy booze, but for some reason, they always card me when I buy cigarettes. I just don’t understand it . . . do I look old enough to be 21, but not 18?

In my state, drivers who are over 21 have a blue background in their driver’s liscense photo. Under 21 drivers have a red background.

The other day I was in a store buyng some smokes, and the lady asked to see my I.D. I took my wallet out of my purse, and opened it so she could see. She said that she couldn’t see the date, could I please take it out of the wallet? I explained the difference between blue and red backgrounds and she REFUSED TO BELIEVE ME! There was a younger customer in line who showed her ID to the cashier to try and help prove the red/blue difference, but she still wouldn’t believe it. I took the liscense out of the wallet and gave up in disgust. The woman, when I asked, said yes she had lived in this state all of her life, but had never been told or shown the difference between the backgrounds. Sheesh! The liscense bureau puts those on there for a reason, lady. To make it easier on booze and cigarette sales people.

Well, hang in ther whiterabbit. You might feel differently about the whole thing 10 years from now.

I myself have a multitude of reverse stories from this vein. I was 6’1" at age 13, so people always thought I was older. At 9 I was taken for 12, at 14 I was taken for 17. Right about 21 or so people started guessing my age dead on. But I still never get carded.

I forgot…my personal best story about age confusion came when I was 16. I was with my mother at a restaurant (I should add that until recently my Mom looked quite a bit younger than she was. She still looks younger, but not as much.) and her and I were talking about how I liked her apple pie. The hostess walked up and my mom turned to her and said “he was just telling me how much he likes his mother’s apple pie”. The hostess said “Well, you’ll just have to learn how to make it then.” She thought we were on a date!

My dad’s doctor recently told him he was in fabulous shape for a man of 54. Since my dad is 64, he was pleased. Both my parents look about ten years younger than their mid-60s. My sister looks young for 39; she was mistaken for a teenager throughout her 20s.

I didn’t get the eternal youth genes, though :frowning: . I was an old-looking teenager and never got carded after I was 16. Now I’m 38 and look about 38. Hang in, whiterabbit; it will likely even out over time.

The same thing happens to me all the time, but I kind of enjoy it. I’ll be 26 in a few months but I look more like 16. Everyone in our family looks young – not to long ago someone thought that my 54-year-old mother was in her late 30s, and no one believes that my dad is almost old enough to collect Social Security.

I guess I’ve gotten used to being carded so I really don’t mind, but you should see the embarrassed looks I get from people who ask where I go to school. They never expect me to say that I’m third-year law. :slight_smile:

That should be “not too long ago.” DOH! :o

Ugh, whiterabbit, where do I begin? I’m 26 and have been getting hassled about looking young since I can remember. I don’t mind if someone is being genuinely curious or just doing their job (at a bar, for example), but I’ve gotten some downright rude and ignorant responses to me just being me. Some favorites:

  • When I was 16, I was a cashier at a pharmacy. A woman came in and I asked if I could help her. She whispered that she was looking for tampons, but before I could direct her to the right aisle, she sputtered, “You don’t even look old enough to use them!” Ouch.
  • When I was 18 and a freshman in college, the father of my 20-year-old boyfriend (now husband) was in the hospital, very ill. He was making introductions to the on-call nurse: “This is…my son…and his…” And the nurse filled in “daughter?” When he said girlfriend, the look on her face was one of pure horror. She must have thought he was a cradle robber!
  • I was in the elevator at my gym about two years ago (when I was 24). An elderly woman got on and looked at me a little longer than necessary. I smiled and sort of raised my eyebrows, thinking maybe she wanted to ask directions or something. She said, “I was just wondering if you lost your mother.” Um, no…

Basically, whiterabbit, we need to realize that people who make these comments often do so out of jealousy, or they just don’t realize they’re being hurtful. So smile. And practice a few choice retorts for the really snotty ones.

Wow, thanks all of you!

Not that I drink much, BTW, but getting carded for alcohol doesn’t bother me. I’ve gotten a couple of interesting looks from people doing the carding. It was getting carded for a MOVIE that got to me. I normally have no objections; I rather enjoy it. And I’d card me too.

And yes, in ten years, this will be a good thing. I don’t look like my mom much, but she also looks younger than she is; people are always surprised to hear she has a daughter my age. Until then, I guess I’ll have to live with it.

However, for the record, I am NOT FIFTEEN DAMMIT!!! :slight_smile:

Last night I went out to dinner with my boyfriend and his parents at this fairly swanky restaurant. My boyfriend ordered a bottle of wine for the table. When the waiter (or maitre d’, or whoever he was) brought it, he came over to me and said, “Do you mind, how old are you?” I said, “I’m 24.” He said, “No! I don’t believe it. Do you have an ID?”

I took out my driver’s license and handed it over. He studied it for a full thirty seconds, then held it by the candle at the table for better light, then took it over to another waiter and showed it to him. He came back and said, “I would never have believed it. You have a baby face. Does anyone ever tell you this?”

It doesn’t usually bother me to be thought younger than I am, but the level of amazement and the length of time it took for him to verify my age was fairly annoying.

Of course, before Christmas I was asked for ID to see if I was old enough to get a members’ discount card at a local bookstore without parental signature :rolleyes:

My state’s system is better…it says “UNDER 21” in very large letters across the front at the top, just under the words “Driver’s License”.


Totally opposite problem here, although lately it’s evened out. At 12, I looked 18. At 20, I looked 22. Finally, at 27, I look…well, 27. I hope.

When I was 13, I went to a football game at my sister’s college. I was hit on by a (fairly geeky) freshman or sophomore…he probably thought things were going great until we got to this. “So what are you studying?” “Um…I’m not in college.” “Oh, so what high school do you go to?” “Um…I’m not in high school.” Pause. “Junior high?” Nod. “Eighth grade?!” “Yup.” The guy practically left skid marks.

When I was 12, I went to a movie theater with a friend. At the time, anyone 12 and under got in for $1.00. Clever box office boy said, “You, I need to see your driver’s license to check your age.” “Umm…I’m 12, I don’t have one.” "Sure you are!" He let us in with a (supposedly) knowing grin. Also around this age, my sisters and I had pastel drawing portraits done…the artist thought I was the middle child, much to the chagrin of the true middle sister–who is five years older than me! (At the time, I was around 12-13, and she was 17-18!)

When I turned 21, I went out for a celebratory round…and was disappointed not to be carded. In fact, I wasn’t carded at all until I was about 23…go figure. I’m carded nearly every other time, now…but unfortunately, that’s more likely because vendors are more careful now. sigh

Hi Anthracite…I wouldn’t have said 22 but I wouldn’t have said 32 either.

At least somebody in chat (who shall be nameless) didn’t look at your new photo & say “gee, you look like my mother”.

WhiteRabbit…I never got asked for proof of ID until I was 18 (& no longer carried any :wink: UK drinking laws BTW). They only let my friend into a pub when I was 21 & she was 24 because I went back & swore blind that she was a lawyer & needed to be that sort of age to have finished all the pre-reqs…then they carded me…I guess bouncers don’t trust people that are friends with lawyers :wink:

Carded for a movie?
I was carded for Cigarettes. I am 21 years old. you have to be 16 to buy cigarettes. The woman was quite embarassed when I took out my old passport, my drivers licence and 2 college cards.
Overkill, but I was pretty happy afterwards.

At 29, the proprietor of a 7-11 near our campus would not sell me beer despite my valid driver’s license because it was out-of-state. That was beyond annoying.

The last time I was carded was at a grocery store about 3 years ago. I stared at the cashier, who most likely had not been BORN when I bought my first legal drink, but she insisted.

I run the gamut on the age issue. I look approximately my age (20) but it fluctuates greatly. Ever since I was about 14, I was always mistook for being 4-6 years older than I really was. This has followed me even to today. My co-workers had been working with me for a few months when they find out I wasn’t over 21. They were shocked and didn’t believe me. I can look 16 at times, but have also never been carded for an alcoholic drink or to enter a bar or club. I think part of this is because my friends are all obviously pushing 30 and I think that the doorman usually assumes that a 20-yr-old would not be associating with a 30-yr-old, therefore, I must be older than I look.

For those of us on the borderline - not looking a lot older or a lot younger than our years - I think it falls on demeanor and carriage for others to make the age call. I rarely dress or act like the majority of my peers and never really have done so. Applying this to buying alcohol: At 19 I walked into a liquor store that is a heavy-id-checker and went up to the cashier, asked him to point me to where the Chambord was. I then bought it without ever being asked for ID. Again, it’s an age assumption. Not many under-21s even know what Chambord is, let alone would waltz into a store to buy it. Knowing your liquor and wines helps a lot. Stating with confidence that you want to order a glass of Georges duBoeuf Beaujolais can ensure that you aren’t carded. Ordering anything besides a beer or a standard rum & coke states that you must be older than 21 because you know your drinks.

I know it’s a lot more complicated than that. I’m grateful that people always assume I’m 25, not 20. I also look at my mom who is 45 and appears 30…I have her genes to a T…and I know that I won’t have to worry about aging “disgracefully”.

Looking younger is a gift later in life, but a handicap now. Just as looking older is a gift early in life, but catches up to you as the years pass by. Nice natural balance there, if you ask me.

My DAD occasionally gets carded for cigarettes. Mind you, he’s 61 and has a full head of gray hair, and on at least one of these occasions he also had a shaggy gray beard. Apparently some stores require clerks to card EVERYONE, regardless of how old they look.

Mr. Scarlett has always looked younger than his years, although he says it evened things out when he grew his beard (which he’s shaved off only twice in the 12+ years I’ve known him, and he grew it back immediately both times). It’s finally catching up to him, though – he’s 45 now, and when he hasn’t had enough sleep, he looks it. Also, his beard has a gray streak on the chin that gives him away.

Me, I’ve been mistaken for both younger and older – the latter especially when I was an 18-year-old college sophomore living in the dorm that traditionally housed grad students. I’m 33 now and getting a little gray here and there, but I still apparently SOUND young on the phone. Several times a year someone will call and ask to speak to my MOTHER! I tell them she doesn’t live here, but perhaps my husband could help them, if they don’t feel that I am able? I then suggest that they ask for the person by name, rather than making assumptions. :mad:

whiterabbit, here’s a solution: develop pattern baldness and keep three days of beard on your face. :smiley:

Seriously, since my hair began to go permanently AWOL back around age 19 I can count on one hand the times I’ve been carded.Funny story: one of the only times I WAS carded, I was at the grocery store buying a six-pack *** of IBC ROOT BEER!*** At that point, I couldn’t decide who was the bigger loser, me or the check-out girl.

Am I the only one who felt the bile rising after reading this?

I would have refused to serve you also, based only on your choice of drink.


You will learn to appreciate looking younger than your years, though it definitely is a pain in your teens and 20s. I’m 36 now and people usually think I’m about 25. I don’t mind that one bit.

I seem to look exactly my age cause the only people who ever got my age wrong where bus drivers…
when I was 15 they refused to sell me half a ticket (kid card goes up to 14 years of age here [half a card]) and now that I am 18 they will look at me strangely when I ask for a ticket and ask two or three times if I am really over 14… g. sus… they get on my nerves… :rolleyes: