It's the body's one great "F-U." You spend your teen years wishing and hoping that one day you will look older than you are. And then suddenly you look older than you are, coinciding with your quality of life slowly beginning to creep downward. Except usually you have until you're at least 30 to start feeling the effects -- or should I say showing them.
Which is why I can't decide whether to cheer for or feel awfully sorry for Prince Summerfield (don't knock the plummy name, he's a Brit). He's 14, but he got kicked out of his secondary school (aka high school) because the school officials decided he couldn't possibly be young enough to matriculate. They thought he was 24.
I was a full year younger than my high school classmates, and I've always looked younger than I actually am by a few years to boot. Even now, if I don't have my kid with me -- which automatically adds a few years to my perceived age -- I'm carded for alcohol (don't you dare laugh ... OK, a giggle, but that's it).
So the "I remember what it was like to be in high school" side of me says this has got to be the coolest thing that has ever happened to Summerfield. Popularity jackpot! You're the kid who looks like he's an adult. You can get into clubs and buy booze and enjoy all the naughty bits (sorry, trying to get into the British feel) of life! Praise life and pass the vodka!
But then there's that "oh crap, I'm nearing 30, and my kid thinks I'm 70" part of me that says poor, poor Prince. When you're a kid, as much as you want to be treated like an adult, it pays off to be a kid in the end. People make excuses for your behavior (hence the phrase "he's just a kid"). They expect you to act your age. They're aware you have less experience in life.
In other words: you get away with being a bit of a moron for a little longer. And if you remember anything about high school, the moronic pranks with your friends have to be somewhere near the top of that list (and if you had none of those, I'm sorry, but you probably were too old for high school). Looking your age gives you a better chance at being a kid and actually enjoying the ride.
What do you say when your teens moan about how young they look?
Image via ManifoldRamification/Flickr