"Age Ain't Nothing But a Number"
On Looking Old and On Being Young. Guest Blog by my baby cousin, Oz.

There was this girl who recently started working here. (She's since been "let go.") Well, on the first day she and I ate lunch together, as I was her boss. (Imagine that!) So it's just the two of us at the table and we're struggling to make awkward conversation. We have very little in common aside from the fact that we work together. She asks me how I like it here, blah, blah, blah. She asks me if I'm married and if I have any kids. I say, "no," only to realize that these are two separate questions and so I say "no kids either," as seamlessly as possible.

She says, "huh, that surpises me."

Now I'm intrigued. What does she mean by that? "Oh, why does that surprise you?"

"I don't know. I just thought you'd be married."

I see where this is going. Married... by now... is what she really means.

"How old do you think I am? Really, I won't be offended. I'm just curious what you think."

I can hear the rusty gears of diplomacy turning in her head as she gazes at the ceiling. "Um... thrity five?"

I'm crushed.


"Thirty," she says, sounding more uncertain.




"Twenty-eight?" The gears have grinded to a complete halt.

"I'm twenty-four."

"Really, you seem so mature," as they once again start to turn. "I'd never have guessed!"

Now I wasn't lying that I wouldn't be offended. Indeed, I asked for it. And it wasn't the first time that I've been mistaken for being much older. I do dress a bit "snappy" at work, as I was told just yesterday. I like to think that my professionalism contributes also. It's more likely that this girl hadn't interacted with very many people my age who wore ties and spoke polysyllabically. (She was from a very rural area). And in truth, I don't mind it. Most people with whom I work are older than I am. I don't mind being thought of as older if it in any way serves to ward off my ideas and "authority" being marginalized.


We went for dessert at Fourth Street after the reception. Lil Oz was not yet 21 so he was honest and said that he didn't have an ID, but that he was just going for dessert. The guy asked if Omar was his dad, to which Lil Oz replied, "Oh no, that's my older brother."

"Oh, he's not your dad?"

"No, he's my brother."

"Because if he was your dad, you can go in with your dad. that's okay"


"Oh yeah," Lil Oz says, as the guy looks at him with a grin while he's already walked through the checkpoint.

Bechara... so naive!

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