I was in Village Grocer the other day, looking for some bottled water. My friends were outside waiting for me, so I was in a hurry. I'd grabbed a bottle and was making my way to the cashier when a little mat salleh toddler, um, toddled into my path; I stopped short, sidestepped him, and continued on my way. Looking up, I saw what must've been his mat salleh mother a little way off, smiling indulgently.
"Watch out for the lady!" she called cheerfully.
I nearly stopped walking. 'Lady'? 'Lady'?! How old did she think I was?! If anything, she was the lady!
She's a lady! Whoa, whoa, whoa, she's a lady!
(From My CD Place)
Later, my dad said maybe she meant it in a 'graceful, delicate' way. "'Watch out for the lady'," he said. "You know. Like, 'the lady'."
"Or like Aung San Suu Kyi," my mother chimed in.
Neither the attempt at justification nor the favourable comparison to the honourable Burmese heroine helped. I was still a bit miffed.
A few days after, I was walking the dogs with my dad in a nearby park. There were some other people in the park, including an old man and his small grandson. Watching the kid running around screaming, I figured the old man had brought him there in the hopes of taking the edge off the kid's hyperactivity.As I walked past them, the kid saw Bandit and me, and stopped short.
"See, got wo wo [Chinese baby talk for 'dog']!" he cried happily, pointing at Bandit. I smiled. Not wanting me to feel left out, he pointed to me as well.
"See, got aunty!"
The smile slid off my face and crashed on the ground.
Aunty?! I gave the kid the Look of Death, but his attention was back on the wo wo. I think his grandfather chuckled a bit, but I was too upset to look. Instead, I stormed off with Bandit, making sure there was a very youthful spring in every step I took.
(From Fine Art America)
Seriously, guys. Seriously. Do I look that old? I mean, I don't dress old. I don't think I look old. Do I look old? This shouldn't be getting me that upset, but I seem to have this complex about getting old since I won't be a teenager anymore next year. Which is in six months. Oh my gosh.
Whatever, man. The next kid who calls me 'aunty' is going to have nightmares for weeks on end.
(This has been a somewhat silly blog post, but there is some truth to it. I'll end it with this: growing old is inevitable, but growing old before my time is something I'd really, really like to avoid.)