Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Promotions and "Underage" Drinking

Well, folks. It's official. You may have already heard this if we're friends on Facebook or Twitter but in case you missed it... my suspicions are confirmed. I look 12. I just got back from a family vacation cruise and, boy, am I steamed. It was all fun and games until the last day of the trip. I had been working up quite a thirst, relaxing on the deck, when I decided it was strawberry daiquiri o'clock. I marched up to the pool bar and placed my order. Instead of my drink, I received scorn. Lucio the bartender was very skeptical of my age, despite the fact that I presented my seapass to pay. (The seapass is the official form of ID on the cruise, and minors get holes punched through theirs so they can't drink.)

Lucio looked me in the eye and said, "You have some ID?"

Confused because I just gave him my seapass, I said, "Um. I have my drivers license but it's all the way up in my room."

"I can't give you rum without an ID." SINCE WHEN, LUCIO? SINCE WHEN? I had been drinking all week on the damned boat. Oh, and here's the kicker. The drinking age in international waters is 18. Eighteen! I am nearly 27. There is a time when looking young is flattering and then there is a time when it keeps me from fruity rum drinks. And that, my friends, is a problem.

"HE WON'T SERVE ME ALCOHOL!" I cried as I sulked back to my beach chair. "I should have showed him my wedding ring!"

Woulda coulda shoulda. Lucio, you are dead to me.

Don't worry, the story has a happy ending. Approximately ten seconds after returning drinkless to my seat, a waiter came by asking if anyone needed a drink. Ding! Ding!

"She's 40," offered my father-in-law.

"I swear I am not 12!" I promised the kind soul.

He brought me a drink. And I cowered, sipping it in secret, afraid Lucio would spy my fruity beverage and assume I was trying to get away with something.

Anyhow, my loves. I received a promotion at work a few weeks ago and I am quite pleased. However, the fact that the word "senior" is in my new title does not mesh well with my girlish appearance. I need help looking my age. Now, pay no attention to the fact that I don't think I've ever looked my age. People always assumed I was many years younger than reality.

I remember one especially painful instance when I was home from college for the summer running errands. I believe I was 21. I walked in to the bank and the teller squealed, "SOMEONE'S GOING TO BE DRIVING SOON!"

I gave her the dirtiest look I could muster and sheepishly admitted that I had been driving for years and that I was in fact, in my 20s.

Okay. So, your mission, if you choose to accept it:

Send me suggestions for how I can look more polished and professional. I'm 26. Maybe with some help I can at least pass for an 18-year-old on some godforsaken ship where you are deprived of rum.

I made a friend

Formal night

Sassy senior pic pose

I know I could use a new haircut, so send me some inspiration. Makeup tricks. Links to hot business suits. Please. Anything. I'm begging you.

(Someone already suggested that I start smoking meth. This is an example of bad advice. Please and thank you.)


westcoastsoul said...

Do you have Smart Set stores where you are? I've gotten a few suits and other work clothes from there. I think I look older with shorter hair and bangs too. I feel you, a librarian once told me I didn't look a day over 12 (I was 22 at the time) !!

A Super Girl said...

I'm having a similar perception issue.

Things I'm trying include actually wearing make-up for a change, working on my posture, and investing in some new clothing. Not so much suits, but cute blazers that can be paired with slacks. I'm horrible at dressing and accessorizing myself, so this is an especially hard one for me!

Doniree said...

Nope. I say carry your ID with you at all times and EMBRACE it. I got carded tonight (I'm 27) buying wine at the exact same liquor store I'm in a couple of times a week and don't get carded at all. Lesson? Doni without makeup looks under 21.

smidge said...

My advice? Don't wear business suits. If you look young they will make you look like a child dressing up - worse than looking young - you won’t be taken seriously. Just keep your own style and let the experience not the age shine through.

Plus, thank your lucky stars you got the looking young gene. I'm 32 and get carded every time I buy alcohol (18) and cigarettes (16!). The assistant in my local offy (liquor store) calls me miss evergreen as I am 14 years older than him and he can't believe my age even after I took my passport in to show him!

Non Sequitur Chica said...

I had the same problem until a few years ago. Now I just show them my gray roots (if it is a week or two after getting my hair colored).

Congrats on your promotion!

Mermanda said...

Westcoastsoul, I never heard of Smart Set... so I'm guessing we don't have those here. One of the most frustrating challenges when shopping for new clothes is that I am very short. Things I like rarely come in petite sizes. I know this means I need to start buying things too long and have them tailored but it just seems like so much work!

A Super Girl, my posture is a wreck! I'm in physical therapy right now for some chronic pain and I know my awkward posture is contributing to--if not completely causing--the problem.

Doni, I so hear you. I was sans makeup most of the vacation and I'm sure that contributed greatly to the problem.

Smidge, I think you are right! I always feel so awkward and not quite myself in business suits. I need more separates. You are a smarty.

Non Sequitur Chica, Thank you! And I already have some gray in my hair. It's hard to tell unless I'm in the right light, but I really think I'll go from looking 12 one day to suddenly looking ... well... OLD! I am not saying I want to look like a senior citizen. I just want to look my age. Dang.

Sarah said...

I think you would look great with a blunt bob hairdo!

jessica maria said...

I say...dye your hair! Maybe a darker chocolate-y brown? Add a blunt cut into the mix? Sideswept bangs? I think you'd like AMAZING!

Hillary said...



I got pulled over a few days ago. Not for speeding (miraculously.) Not for having a kidnapped lady in my trunk (I didn't actually have a kidnapped lady in my trunk - the puppies were in their crate in the trunk. And it's not a trunk, I drive a hatchback. Anyway, they scream bloody murder that they have to ride in a crate instead of in my lap and I always worry that someone is going to call the cops on me for having a screaming kidnapped lady in my trunk/hatchback.) I got pulled over for looking too young. True story.

Though I should point out that I didn't look younger than 16 - I looked too young to have a full driver's licence (we have graduated licensing here.) But still. I've had my full licence for 6 years. And if I didn't fail my drivers' test the first time I would have had my full licence for 7 years. Sheesh.

Dysfunction Junction said...

As a fellow "young-looker" my two thoughts are:

A really good, structured hair cut. I think above the shoulders as well.

Tailored clothes. Nearly everything I own has been to the seamstress at least once, and it does a nice job.

Unknown said...

What about a darker shade of lipstick like MAC's Twig?

Denise @ Musician's Widow said...

First off, Lucio, he gets no tip and should be shot. Okay, that's a little drastic, but standing between a woman and her Rum. Well. That's a hangin' offense if I ever heard one. (In all honesty, I'm all about making sure you don't serve a minor, and as a bartender I know the consequences of such things, but seriously. You provided the appropriate ID. That was plenty of proof and he SHOULD have served you.)

That being said, as I get closer to 30 by the day, I appreciate being carded a little more. I'm still not a fan of it, but I see its compliments.


Personally, I've always had luck just going to a hair stylist and asking them. Go to a reputable place -- not MasterCuts or Super Cuts or any of those -- where you can sit down with the stylist before they start and just talk ideas. They're getting paid nicely already. They should be willing to take that time with you. If not, no one says you can't just walk out and take your hair and your money with you.

Clothing-wise, power suits are amazing. I know you're thinking, "Business suit." Not necessarily. What I mean is a great jacket that is TAYLORED to your body. Having a jacket snug your body without being too tight (never too loose) will seriously give you a boost and look amazing. (Plus, secret here, pair it with a super sexy cami and wear it out on a date with hubby. You WILL be the sexiest woman out there.) Dress pants, dress khakis and pencil skirts also rock the planet. Leave the jeans for weekends, along with the sundresses. Probably goes without saying, but, hey, you never know.

Heels. You don't even need them to be high heels. Just nice dress shoes can make a difference. In the winter, a nice pair of boots.

Believe it or not, one of the best purchases I've ever made was a trendy off-white trench coat. It was expensive, but its really served me well professionally (as well as functionally).

CONGRATS on the promotion!!!

Lauren said...

I need this advice as well. :)

Congrats on your promotion! And I think your hair looks cute!

Elizabeth said...

I don't have any tips, but congrats on the promotion--I think you're definitely old enough for it!

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate. I was at a conference a few weeks ago and at the opening reception (which was full of professionals) there were servers going around serving drinks.

The server approached our group of people all of whom took a beverage and as I reached for a beverage she gave me this knowing-smug look and said "are you of age?" I almost died! She almost made me show ID.

The worst part was that I was with a bunch of professionals I had just met from other companies. I was wearing a suit jacket for frick sakes!