I really am forty. In a two months and a few days, I’ll be forty-one, and hopefully, no worse for wear. I know it’s all the rage to appear to be twenty-nine forever, but I can’t really get down with that. I feel sad for women who think looking young is important, because the undertone of that is that age renders beauty obsolete, whereas I think youth is its own beauty. Old age is beautiful, too. Differently, but not lesser.

Somehow looking young forever has become a desirable goal. I always wonder if the people who think they looked their best at twenty ever considered how much better they looked at age five? Have you seen kindergartners? The whole lot of them, absolutely stunning. Perfect, flawless skin, clear eyes, tiny straight teeth, maybe a dimple here or some freckles there, but always looking well-rested, full of energy, undeniably vibrant.

Having taught kindergarten, it’s obvious to me that each day, we all need to spend two 45-minute intervals outside, running amok and playing. Of course, between those intervals, we need to have some quiet time, where we lie down with blankies and entertain ourselves merely with our own thoughts, be they waking or dreaming ones. We should eat our veggies as if our mothers are watching, and we should do our very best to live our lives as if each task holds the possibility of granting us a gold star.

kindergarten me

kindergarten me

While living kindergarten-ly isn’t always possible, are you even trying?


Because you know, it doesn’t matter what you look like, it matters how you live. You don’t have a lot of control over how you look. Just over a year ago, I was deformed from cellulitis, and two months ago I was in the midst of an atrocious Rosacea flare. Any moment, I could fall victim to some sorta facial burn, crime, or car accident and never look the same again.
So I appreciate my face, at face value.

And I’m GLAD I’m showing signs of age. GLAD. Because 1) I’m still alive and 2) Because I’m tired of being viewed as young.

Let me explain.

At nineteen, I went into my first classroom. I was repeatedly stopped by staff who asked me if I had a hall pass. I wore skirts and blazers with heels, but I looked like I was a middle-schooler.
At twenty-one, I traveled with a family as a nanny. I was repeatedly presumed to be the oldest child of a couple in their thirties.
At twenty-three, a visitor assumed I was the child of my boss.
At twenty-four, I was stopped by a student who offered to sell me some weed. He was mortified to find out I was subbing in his building.
At twenty-four, my date was my father. A lot of them were my father, if you didn’t know better.
At twenty-five, the bartender on the lunch shift delivered all the alcoholic drinks to my tables because she thought I was underage.
At twenty-six, almost every Friday, I was out running errands with two kids and two others I babysat. I was assumed, more than once, to be an unwed teenage mother with at least two baby daddies, and I decided to start wearing my wedding ring.
At twenty-six, the real estate agent believed I was a child bride.

When I was twenty-nine, I went to have my hair done, and the stylist suggested Botox. Specifically, “Bangs or Botox — one or the other,” she said as she pointed to the vertical line running down between my eyebrows. While I could not get over how incredibly rude her comment was, I found myself very pleased. Was this tiny crease between my eyes really making me look older?

When I was pregnant, at twenty-eight, twenty-nine, and thirty years of age, I was constantly asked my age in a way that condemned me for being pregnant at such a young age.
At thirty, I really started getting pissed.

At thirty-three, some Shaggy-lookin 17-year-old at the park asked me out.

No one takes you seriously when you look like a co-ed. You may as well be a kindergartner. 
Not on either side of a parent-teacher conference, not when you’re makin a major purchase, and not even when you’re sure cancer knows you’re 38 and the doctor thinks you’re 25.

me right now

me right now


me, right now, but with moo pullin my hair and sayin, "look ugly!"

me, right now, but with moo pullin my hair and sayin, “look ugly!”

Even now, I get carded by younger waitstaff, I am stopped to be told there is no way these two girls are mine, Why, I could be their sister! I am constantly asked my age.

A few months ago, a woman told me to enjoy my youth.

All this emphasis on youth and beauty really isn’t good for anyone who isn’t profiting from it.
— Like the people who made this software program! So your friend can put your photo into it, and then erase your wrinkles, freckles, and pimples, airbrush you to shiny perfection, add make-up, extend your lashes, whiten your teeth, highlight your hair, shape and fill your brows, and even take the little yellow dots outta yer eyes, until you’re like, “Well she’s pretty, but I don’t even know who she is…” worse than that time you got a makeover at the Lancôme counter.

me with some fancy photoshop stuff my friend did

me with some fancy photoshop stuff my friend did

The people who created this app are surely rollin around naked in a pile of one hundred dollar bills, and most likely, for two 45-minute intervals a day.

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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27 Responses to Kindergarten-ly

  1. Ralph says:

    What a fabulously funny post Jolene 😀 I see no lines, crows feet or frogs legs 😉 xox ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. swo8 says:

    Haven’t you heard – forty is the new twenty.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LindaGHill says:

    I remember getting a haircut once in my twenties and thinking I looked eleven. I remember saying to the hairdresser, at least when I’m forty I’ll only look thirty – and I did! Now though… most of the time I look in the mirror and wonder if I’m 80. 😛
    It must be frustrating for you indeed. Next time someone asks you for ID, hit ’em with your cane. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Phil Taylor says:

    LOL. Loved this post. I think I’ve lived your life as a guy. I still have people that are in disbelief that I’m the parent of a 22 year old. Like most guys though I’m Peter Pan. I don’t want to grow up or grow old. I often stare in the mirror wondering who that old guy is that’s looking back at me.


  5. idiotwriter says:

    Maaaan… LOVED this Joey!…now where’s my blanky 😀
    Though…truly hun… hate to say it…yeah…you DO look like a spring chicken still 😛
    I THINK – it is – you just have a really innocent looking face.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. suzjones says:

    I totally loved this Joey. Especially the bit about us all behaving like children in kindy. That is just wonderful.
    I have to say that although I think I look my age, I am really tired of people saying “You don’t look old enough to have grandchildren”. You know you’ll get that too don’t you? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sammy D. says:

    Oh I have that vertical frown line between my eyebrows too! But nobody mistakes me for a spring chicken – 60 isn’t the new 40. That’s ok, i’m happy i still have all my parts even if they are mottled and wrinkled.

    I never had your “look too young” problem, but I’m well aware that it can be as frustrating as any other physical variance that people feel compelled to comment on. You gave a creative, humorous slant to your personal peeve.

    Enough about that – what’s the name of that app that can make me 30 and unblemished and wide-eyed with long lashes? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for takin me seriously, Sammy! Having all of one’s parts is such a relief isn’t it? Well, maybe not tonsils and stuff like that, lol!
      I don’t recall the app name anymore, and my friend isn’t available to find out. Do go on, mottled and wrinkled, please, it’s far more lovely!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Heh, Lucie still gets carded, while I’ve not had to concern myself with proving my age for nearly twenty years. To be fair, I am a year older than she is…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. cardamone5 says:

    We’re almost the same age…I turn 41 in early November. Unlike you, I looked much older when I was younger, which I enjoyed very much. Now, I would say I look my age, but maybe some would say I look older.

    I agree with you about living your life versus overly focusing on appearance. I used to emphasize appearance, thinking more attractive people were better people in the same way I thought rich people were better than poor people. I didn’t do this consciously, and this mentality was an inheritance from the values of both sides of my family. After my second breakdown, I made the revelation that I thought this way, and that it was so wrong. Since then, I catch myself thinking along the lines of my old ways, but mostly I try not to judge, on appearance or character or money, and enjoy the fact that my family and I are healthy and happy.

    Thank you for this post. It’s an important, and needed discussion topic.

    Fondly (LOL),


  10. Dan Antion says:

    Wow, where to start. I think you’re right about living kindergarten-ly, I think it would help. As for looking your age or older or younger, I think the best thing you can do is laugh at the funny stuff and smack the next person who suggests botox. I’m not sure if I look like I’m almost 60, but whatever signs of age I have, I wear like a badge of honor. One sad bit of news, I read an article recently about schools that are extending standardized testing down into kindergarten. apparently, this is causing some schools to eliminate play time so they can better prepare the students.


  11. Deborah says:

    About 15 or 16 years ago, when I was in my early 40’s, my sister had her only child. My sister was in her late 30’s at the time. My sister and I decided to meet for lunch one day so I could see the baby (we lived a couple of hours away from each other). At one point, while I was holding the baby, our waitress said, “Isn’t it nice that Grandma gets to have time with the baby.” Now, certainly, I was old enough to have a grandchild, BUT I was certainly NOT old enough to be the mother of my sister who was four 1/2 years younger. It was at that point that I covered my gray for a few years. I have since stopped, but I was quite taken aback by the comment. Of course, my sister got a good laugh out of it. 😉


  12. Sherry says:

    You’re just one of those genetic freaks of nature. Or you’re really a vampire…One of the above…lol..great post…


  13. pambrittain says:

    After looking at your pictures, I’d guess that you are asked for I.D. all the time.


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