Putting Your Foot In It

At work today it was a colleague’s birthday, she was safely off teaching somewhere so we seized the moment to write in her card and wrap her gifts. She is fiercely protective of the detail of her age, nobody has a clue how old she is and she isn’t telling and it’s something of a joke for us to try to guess. One of the younger teachers decided it would be fun for us all to write in the card “Happy ??th birthday” knowing she would take it in the good faith it was intended.

I was about to join in and put as the others had, what I really believed her age to be but at the last minute I declined to do this and wrote 21st. I think she’s around my age but I thought that about someone once before:

We had a temp working for us as a receptionist. I hired her via an agency. She was a pleasant lady, efficient, friendly, happy.

It was my fortieth birthday, I handed out invitations to my colleagues and included her, she’d been with us for a while.

The receptionist, as I was passing through on my way to my office called out to me the morning after the invitation distribution “Is it really your 40th? I was so shocked when I saw the invitation, I thought you were around my age.” she smiled.

“Oh thank you” I smiled (I really should have left it there but without thinking) I added “I thought you were around my age too, how old are you?”

“Oh, I’m 27” she replied down heartedly.

“Shit” I thought realising how I’d just totally destroyed the poor girl’s world and knew there was no way back and not even giving myself the chance to appreciate the huge confidence boost she had just given me.

If there is a hole for me to stick a foot in, I will find it.

 

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5 thoughts on “Putting Your Foot In It”

  1. I have done that enough times that I try so hard not to anymore! hahaha My brother, who will be 50 in June tells everyone he’s 25 (he doesn’t look it anymore, but that’s ok). So, I tell people that if he’s only 25, then I will always be younger! hahaha 😀

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    1. I don’t have a problem telling people my age. I might crop a few years off when I’m done converting myself into the new me, I’ll see what I can get away with 😀

      I had siblings who started counting backwards at a point and went from being 12 years older than me to 2 years older than me. It’s just a number.. an important one but all the same, just a number.

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  2. This is ancient, but I had to comment because it’s hilarious and I love it.
    I had a similar moment a couple months ago, a friend (24) and I were going to get a pack of smokes and she’s like, “I don’t have my ID and I’ll probably get carded, no offense but you look older than me, I’m just going to stay in the car.” I’m 26, but I definitely do NOT look older than this girl, she looks like late 30s in a bad way, not a nice looking older woman, but the one that’s smoked for 20 years, never uses face cream, and possibly did meth at some point in life. I replied, “Actually I think you look a lot older than I do.”
    I think it was a foot-in-mouth moment for her, hopefully. They don’t card anyways.
    Anyways, point of the story, it’s always better to avoid age assumption comments in general. 😛 I like that you rethought the birthday card and wrote 21, I’m a firm believer that the world is more peaceful if you never tell people what you think about certain things 😀 haha

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