So maybe it’s a bad idea to wear a t-shirt sporting my high school’s name around my hometown.
On a recent cooler morning, I was home in New Jersey running errands, while one of Jacob’s aunts watched him. Because it was chilly, on my way out the door I grabbed my long-sleeved field hockey t-shirt, without really giving it a second thought.
Maybe I should have. When I was going into my senior year of college, I wore a high school sweatshirt to the local grocery store. Just outside, a man asked if I was looking forward to going back to school. I said yes and went on my way, but something about the way he said it convinced me that the dude meant high school, not college. It’s nice to look young, though, right? This will be good news when I’m forty.
Around town recently, I had a similar experience. Except this time, I’m not only out of high school, but I’m also out of college. As the cashier at the first store rang up my purchases—frames for our living room wall; pictures coming soon, really!—he asked me, “Goin’ back to school, huh?”
“No,” I answered. “I’m out of school now.” I’m used to people thinking I look young, but I don’t really think I look like a high schooler. The wedding rings are a giveaway for me. Apparently not for him. I decided to press on, just for fun.
“No, I’m married,” I told him, “with a kid.” That threw him.
He asked how long I’d been married, and then asked if I was a young mother. I thought of this blog, and thought his was a silly question. He knew I looked young and he knew I was a mom. What was he getting at?
It was only after I answered, “I guess so” that I realized he probably meant to ask whether the marriage or the baby came first. And I think I led him to believe the latter. Oops.
I went on my way, continuing to hop from place to place, doing things that are just a little easier in NJ than they are in Brooklyn. Again, someone asked me, “Goin’ back to school?”
“No. This shirt’s about seven years old,” I answered, as I silently promised myself to leave it in Brooklyn from this point forward.
Oh, dear. Do I really look seventeen? At least this is confirmation that the baby weight is gone!
So in case there was any doubt about the “young” in “YoungMarriedMom,” I hope I’ve put it to rest.