That's the first thing they all wanna know, how old I am. So they can know how to treat me. So they know what category to throw me into. So they can find out if I'm in the under thirty crowd and therefore knowledgeable about very little besides drinking and sleeping around.

That probably sounds very jaded and fairly stupid. I assure you I don't really think like that about everyone who asks me how old I am. It's just that in my experience talking to folks ten or so years older than I, it's amazing how rarely I get taken seriously. I've actually had a chat encounter in which my conversation partner called me "stubborn" and "hard-headed" before he knew my age, but then later called me "an impudent child" for the same offenses when he found out I was thirteen years his junior. So basically, a person is a whiny little baby if he or she is under a certain age, while if the same arguments come from someone closer to a person's own age, they somehow carry more weight . . . Right . . .

And on the other side of the fence, people my age and younger have their hang-ups too. Because I talk somewhat intelligently in normal conversation, people who can't see my face often assume I'm years older than I am. I had one guy change his tune when he found out my age. I was lecturing him for rude behavior (he'd called some girl a bitch in a chat room and was making fun of her), and he said he only acts like a jerk online, but that "in real life" he is charming and suave. He said, "You'd let your daughter date me." I assumed at that point that he figured I was a mother or teacher type since I was annoyed at his childish behavior, and when I told him my age he immediately began asking, "do u have a pic?"

People base too much on age! Age says something about your development, sometimes, but you can't assume a whole lot, especially after a certain point. My sister Lindsay and my friend Mark are within a year of each other. I can have a sustained conversation with Mark about my books, quantum physics (sort of), music theory, life, God . . . but with my sister Lindsay, I ask her how her day went and she says, "It was gay." Not that she *couldn't* talk about quantum physics if she wanted to, but as you can see the two people have very different levels of interest in communication. Also, I've seen my peers and those in the twenty-something crowd act like complete fools at times, spending most of their time, money, and energy on getting drunk, partying, and finding a mate. I would be seriously pissed if someone assumed that is what I am like simply because I am a twenty-something (as of this writing, I am twenty-three).

But again, I'm probably just whining about how the world SHOULD be again, so maybe I'll go bang my head against the wall in order to stop thinking about it.

I'm also adding, after reading Jennifer's addition, that I'm mainly talking about meeting people online. I have seriously been told "Aww, you're just a baby!" by people who have taken me perfectly seriously until my age is revealed. This does not happen in face-to-face communication because the types of people that wouldn't think me worthy of a conversation because of my age wouldn't even think to start one with someone who looks as young as I do. As an added bonus, I look about seventeen as I slowly approach twenty-five . . .