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I Should Be Flattered that People Only Think I'm 26, Right?

My coworkers were totally blown away to find out that I’m actually 32.

To be honest, I don’t know what a “32 year old” should look like.

When I was younger (like 10 or so) 32 seemed so old. I mean, my mom was 32 and married, and a mother. I used to think I would be those things by the time I was 32.

I used to daydream that I would get home from work and change out of my pantsuit into lounge wear (like Angela Bower) and eat dinner at the dining room table with my family and then we would all pile on the couch and watch tv and a commercial would come on that I made because I would be a high-powered advertising executive (like Angela Bower) and say to my kids “Did you know that mommy made that commercial?” and they would be all impressed and think I was the greatest mom ever.

Needless to say my life is nothing like that. I am not married. I am not even close to being married. And I am not a mother (except to my four-legged bestie).

But that’s ok because there are a lot of things that I am.

I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece, a friend.

I am in marketing and create advertisements. Maybe not the kind that appear on tv, but I am doing what I love, and I am working with some really great people.

So while my life may not be what I thought it would be when I was 10, it’s still pretty great. And there is still time. I am only 32 after all. And I onlylook 26!

Read more from Melissa Martin on her blog.

feature image via celebs101

  • Liz Brown

    You can still fulfill your Angela Bower DREAMS. Just buy a LOT of high neck ruffle collars!!

    • Melissa Martin

      I’m totally being Angela Bower for halloween next year

  • Shar Rowell

    I’m 29, and people think I’m a teenager. I also pictured my life differently than it actually is…I thought I’d be married, have a kid or two, have a successful private practice, the works. As it turns out, I’m still in grad school after taking time off, unmarried, no private practice…what happened?? I know eventually I will have all of those things. I don’t have any responsibility for anyone other than myself, I can travel when I want (I work at an elementary school so we get quite a few breaks). And I look young! I say, count your blessings, girl. Thanks for writing this…now I don’t feel so alone :o)

  • Cindy Pitts

    I am 36 and get the “Get out!!!” all the time when I tell people my age. They are my new besties when they say, “I thought you were in your 20s.” Flattery will get you everywhere. My mother was married at 26 and had a child. My dream was to be a photographer and work for an advertising agency. Not far off from Angela Bower, but I never dreamt of having the hot italian manny;-) Not married, don’t want to be, if kids are in my future than I’ll except it with open arms, not an advertising exec, but still love photography and think I’m doing pretty darned good for my 36 years of life on this Earth. So welcome to the “You Don’t Look Your Age” club. Just think, when we’re 60 we’ll look 50! I’m excited! Aren’t you????

    • Melissa Martin


  • Heather Mckown

    someone actually thought i was 14 this year…and i’m 26. I would have been insulted but it was when they were just meeting me and hadn’t heard me speak more than a few sentences so i didn’t take it that badly. A different person thought my fiance was my mom and she is only four years older than me.

  • Candace ‘Cece’ Johnson

    i love this…i can totally relate!

  • Catrin Morgan

    I’m 23 and get mistaken for 16/17 all the time. I like to take it as a compliment. I always thought I’d be working by now but not so much. It’s strange, by my age my mother was already married for two years and in three years time would have me. I am nowhere close to either of those things!

  • Kristin Mahoney

    I know how you feel! I’m 24 and get mistaken for 16 all the time.

  • Colleen Sweeney

    Don’t fret about this. I am 28 and people still think I am 16. It’s actually annoying as heck, but I guess I’d rather look younger than older than I am. As long as it doesn’t prevent me from dating guys my age.

  • Rikki Pfouts

    I’m 33 and a lot of my coworkers thought I was like 21/22. I’ve even been mistaken for a teenager. I guess it will be a good thing when I;m 45 if I look 35 but right being the only one carded every time I go to a bar sucks! Plus it seems like a lot of people (coworkers included) don’t take seriously me because they think I’m younger.

  • Abi Weaver

    I had an interesting exchange with a new acquaintance recently. We realized early in our conversation that we attended the same college. I asked her what year she graduated, recognizing that we couldn’t be that far apart based on appearance and career level. She quickly dismissed the question, stating that she graduated ages ago. I pressed a little harder and she finally admitted the year. When I told her that I graduated that same year, she said I looked as though I was 24. It could have been a compliment, but no thirtysomething wants to be mistaken in a professional setting as an intern. All we want is the credibility that comes with the assumption of experience. Thanks for sympathizing and for your stellar choice in role models.

  • Flo Chica

    this is such a 32 year old’s style blog. haha. wonder what the 40 somethings think. My coworker said to me the other day – a long time ago, when I was in my 20s. He’s 31. . . yeah.

  • Emily Eyre

    I totally wanted to be Angela Bower as well…shoulder pads and all. Instead, like you, I’m not a powerful ad executive, but am a single, 30-something who looks 20-something and proud of it!

  • Melissa Martin

    Thanks for all the feedback! I am flattered that I look younger than I really am, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that I have conflicting feelings when it comes to coworkers thinking I’m so much younger (one even guessed I was 21!) because it means that maybe I’m not presenting myself in the best possible/professional manner I could be – aka that I lack the 10+ years of experience I have under my belt. And it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one that feels this way :)

  • Ashley Lynn Cook

    I’m 25, and married for 2 years and at work people thought I was 18ish and either still in High School or just barely into college. Blew me away! I was like “Oh! Nono! I’m 25, married 2 years.” they respond: “No, you’re joking! Wow!”. I guess it’s in my genes, my mother is always mistaken for my older sister and my grandma for my mom. Makes me happy I’ll always look young though! lol, thanks mom and grandma!

  • Melissa Martin

    Have any of you seen the new Tostitos commercial where the girl calls all her friends over for a “big announcement” and they are all sitting around and she starts to tell them that she was out for dinner with her boyfriend at a nice restaurant, and she orders a drink, and then she says, wait for it… “I GOT CARDED!”

  • Andrenna Taylor

    I really empathize with this post! It seems like we are both part of a new trend of having careers and getting married and having kids, if ever, later in life. I’m 29, just graduated from law school, and I’m trying to find employment. I remember my mother when she was my age and that is fairly scary to me! I feel like many women from Arkansas where I’m from look so much older than me, and I wonder when I’ll really start to look my age. I’ll be sad when I stop being ID’ed – that’s for sure!

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