Now that I’m in my thirties, I’d love to be carded and mistaken for 21. I can picture it now… I’m out with my best girlfriends. We all look fantastic. The dance floor is beckoning. I hear those magical words, “Can I see some ID?”
Okay, so that’s not how it happens. On those rare occasions I do go out for girls’ night, I’m usually greeted with a quick nod of the head, even quicker wave of the hand, and an almost apologetic “Have a nice night, ma’am.”
And, I’m back to reality…
Let’s face it, there are rules about age that apply to so many milestones in our lives. You can drive when you turn 16. You can vote when you’re 18. You can drink when you’re 21. I even found one wacky law on the books in Winston-Salem, NC, that says you have to be over the age of seven to attend college. (Phew! That’s a relief, huh?)
Right now there is a lot of controversy surrounding the ages of three athletes on the Chinese women’s gymnastics team, including Jiang Yuyuan, Yang Yilin and He Kexin. Despite assurances by Chinese officials that all three are 16 (the minimum age of eligibility for Olympic competition), newly discovered documentation and records prove otherwise.
I don’t want to take anything away from the athletic prowess the Chinese gymnasts displayed in the overall team competition. They were focused, powerful and graceful. But, it comes down to a question of fairness and an even playing field.
Since 1997, the International Olympic Committee rules have clearly stated that a female gymnast must be 16 years of age to participate in the games.
I really hope the truth comes out and it turns out that the gymnasts in question are truly the ages their passports say. And, that they won their gold fair and square. But, like many others… I too am skeptical.
You know, it’s ironic how when you’re young, you always want to look older, more experienced, and more mature. When you get older, it’s the other way around.
For those of you who are young, don’t rush it. There is too much to enjoy right where you are now. And for those of you who, like me, don’t get carded anymore, remember that you really are only as old as you feel.
And, the truth is now that I am no longer a spring chicken, I can look back to when I was 21, 16 and younger and realize that now is the time in my life when I’ve actually started to have it truly ‘going on!’
(And I plan to keep this mindset indefinitely!)