On Turning 26

Last week, I made a routine visit to the ABC store. It may come as a shock, (as it did to my mother) but I don’t frequent that establishment. The people there don’t know me as a “regular.”


I perused the aisles, grabbed my booze, and went to check out. As the woman was ringing me up, I instinctively grabbed my ID.

Not needed.

She didn’t card me. I thought it was like, a law, to card anyone who looks under 50 years of age. I was slightly perturbed by this, but I didn’t let ruin my day. I mean, it was a FLUKE.

But maybe not.

Because the next fucking day, I was shopping when an older woman (who actually wouldn’t need to be carded) came up and tapped me on the shoulder.

Excuse me, I don’t mean to stalk you…

I immediately thought she was a blog reader. One time, and my head blew up.

…but I’m shopping for my daughter. Her birthday is coming up and I want to buy her a new outfit. You look about her age, so I want to ask you opinion. 

Of course she could ask my opinion! We briefly laughed about how moms can sometimes miss the mark when it comes to buying clothes.

I happened to ask, How old will your daughter be? 

Oh, she’s turning 38. 



My world immediately imploded. I felt myself getting hot. First, I didn’t get carded. Now, this woman thinks I’m approaching middle age. What’s next?! Someone offering me a discount on a Hoverround?!

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I’m not one to ever complain about getting older. (As I say, it’s much better than the alternative, am I right?!) But this is just fucking ridiculous. Tomorrow is my birthday. I’ll be 26. Please, everyone, come tell me how young I look.


  1. says

    You do not look 38!! I have not been ID’ed in a long, long time. But here we only have to be 18 and I am 29 now so I am more shocked when I am ID’ed!
    Have a great birthday tomorrow :)

  2. Chelsea says

    I’m a server and we’re supposed to card anyone who looks under 40! I would defintely card you. You don’t look anywhere close to 38! Have a happy birthday, I turn 21 on the 16th of this month and can’t wait for my birthday!

  3. Betsy says

    You do look young! And your hair cut is soo cute. I’m 27 and people often think I’m in my teens, so maybe people are just bad at judging ages.

  4. Erin says

    A couple of things —
    1) I am 23, though when I ask people to guess my age, the answers are between 17-21. And there have been 2 times in the past month that I have not been carded. I KNOW I don’t look “old,” so I wouldn’t take that man’s not carding you as a sign of the fact that he thought you were too old.
    2) When I was reading your story about the woman asking for your opinion about clothing, I honestly thought the direction of the story was heading toward her telling you that her daughter was in her late teens or early 20s, because you do NOT look old. I was SHOCKED when I saw that “38.” I actually said “what!” out loud!

    And just one more thing, but since i already wrote “a couple” up there I couldn’t bring myself to add a third item. Pet peeve when people do that. ANYWAY, your blog is absolutely hysterical. I look forward to your posts so much. There is no bullshit in them, and I always laugh or can relate. Thank you for writing!

  5. says

    I just started reading your blog–I found it through your posts about your pixie haircut! I’m turning 26 in November, and have alternated between long hair and pixies for YEARS now. When my hair is short, everyone always thinks I’m my age or older. When it’s long, people think I’m under 18. You probably just look so professional and chic with your hairstyle that no one can believe you’re still a twenty-something :)

    In other news, pretty sure I’m doing the pixie again very soon! I miss feeling so polished and put-together. My blow-dried bob just isn’t the same.

    • Colleen says

      You’re probably right! I never felt so polished and put together when I had my bob – it felt like every other day was a bad hair day! I hope you go back to rockin’ the pixie! :)

  6. says

    Colleen, I love your posts – thanks for being so blunt and honest (not to mention hysterical).
    p.s. You most certainly do NOT look “old.” You’re young and beautiful and I hope you have a fantastic birthday tomorrow!!

  7. says

    Haha oh no!! Well, firstly you do not look old. I’m sure in this mothers eyes you simply look like her young, beautiful daughter. I think to moms we never grow up. :)

  8. says

    People are SO stupid, that’s insane! You are not even close to looking 38. I was once asked if i was pregnant, that sucked. To 26 and beyond…that is so friggin’ young! :) — Ericka @ The Sweet Life (sweetlifeericka.com)

    • Colleen says

      You’ve been asked if you were pregnant?! SO STUPID! I would have been livid. You’re gorgeous and that person was a moron :) Have a great weekend, girl!

    • Colleen says

      REAL awkward. Only because I’ll be so disappointed because I’ve been expecting you to jump out of a life-size cake.

  9. says

    Haha!! You’re cracking me up! I have been ‘not carded’ plenty of times and I’m only 23. I think sometimes people just don’t care. If only we knew that when we were 20 and couldn’t wait to turn 21 lol. Happy Birthday!!!! PS you are beautiful and young!! :)

  10. says

    This post was so funny that I made Tyler read it…then sent it to 2 of my girlfriends. Not because you look 38, but because you are effin’ hilarious. You are a HOT (soon to be) 26 year old. I can’t believe I’m older than you. I might actually need a hover!!

  11. says

    LOL (seriously…my hubs just asked what I was laughing at). You look great, girl, so don’t let it bother you. I’m approaching thir, um, thirt, err, getting close to leaving my twenties behind, and some days I’m carded, others I’m not. I have to say, though, a hover round would be pretty sweet! Happy 26th to you! Hope it’s the best birthday yet!

    • Colleen says

      Embrace 30, girl!! Like I’m telling others…38 is NOT ancient. I was just mortified that she thought I looked OVER A DECADE older than I actually am! terrible!! :) Thanks for the birthday wishes! Have a great weekend!

  12. Krista says

    Not that 38 is ancient or anything (cough, cough)–and I know some beeeeeautiful women in their late 30s/40s–but you do look more late 20s. Ages are hard to guess, in general, and I try to stay away from that game. But, if I’m forced to guess someone’s age, I typically err on the lower side. Happy Birthday, youngin’!!! :)

    • Colleen says

      No, no 38 is NOT ancient at all – it’s just the fact that she thought I looked over TEN YEARS old than I actually am! :) Thanks for the birthday wishes!

  13. says

    Bahahah maybe your short hair makes people think you are old and wise. It takes balls to make the plunge to short hair land (which you pull off amazingly well). So perhaps you just ooze confidence.

  14. Jenny says

    You 400% do not look 38 whatsoever! That lady needs her eyes checked! Have a great birthday and enjoy some celebratory cocktails :)

  15. says

    People are coo-coo. You don’t look a day over 21, and I mean that in the best way possible. You are so youthful! And gorgeous. And funny. And not 38-year-old looking. Idiots.

    Hope you had a grrrreat birthday!

  16. Robin says

    I just left a store where a little girl passed me in the aisle and said “Excuse me, SIR.” I immediately thought of you and this post. If she hadn’t been six (?) years old, I would have hit her. :)

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