"Wait, what? You're 31?"
"Really, you're really 31?"
"I can't believe you're actually 31..."
In meeting new people, this has been the central conversation of my life for the past few days. I find that the admittance of my age translates into various stages of bizarre facial expressions, especially by those in their early to mid-twenties. The facial expressions are followed by utterly banal statements which go a little something like this:
1. Unsuppressed shock--"Wow! Holy shit. You seriously don't look 31."
2. A sudden searching gaze that is far less than subtle that extends more closely to inspect the skin around my eyes. The fact remains that some 22-year-olds are more aged in this area than I am. This is when I laugh and try to change the subject, but instead I get, "Well, I mean, like, I can't believe you're 31, but I guess that's cool..." (As opposed to what alternative, exactly?)
3. The final stage of furtive glances of pity and mixed admiration. As I walk away, I hear the range of, "Dude, can you believe that chic is actually 31?" to the typical female response of, "Oh my g-d, I will kill myself if I get to 30 and I'm not married. That's soooo sad."
In a part of the world where child marriage seems like the only way to socially preserve order and some women continue having children while their oldest daughters turn them into grandmothers right about now, I realize that I am quite the anomaly...
Let's just say that I won't be breastfeeding my grandchildren any time soon.
In the meantime, here's to 70 spf sunscreen. Tea. Plenty of water. Sleep. And laying off the booze.