The story of my recent ‘teenage’ pregnancy has come full circle this New York trip.
Back in August 2008, when I was coming to New York solo for a few weeks, I knew there was a chance I’d be pregnant so I was prepared to test upon arrival. Dressed in jeans and a raggy hoody, I went with my mom to the local CVS (or at least, one of them – I love my hometown) and walked the aisles in search of pregnancy tests.
Tangent: I know it’s wise to test more than once with the stick testers, since there could be false results, but in America, they come in packs of five or six! Are we that dumb as a nation?
I grabbed a box and we walked up to the register to pay. The cashier was a stiff man in his 50s who eyed me as he rang up the product. My mom handed over some cash since I didn’t have the right bills and as he passed along the receipt, he inquired, ‘Do you know how to use this?’ He asked it as if he thought I was 15 years old.
Then I realized: He thinks I’m 15 years old.
It all made sense. The raggy clothes. I hadn’t put on my wedding ring that day. My mom came with me. She gave me money. I look like I’m 16 on a good day.
I got a kick out of it for the duration of my pregnancy; I visited the States one more time during the 9 months and continued to chuckle to myself when I found people eyeing my teenage pregnancy.
Yesterday I was at the mall getting a desperately-needed haircut at one of those $12 haircut factories and the Italian immigrant woman cutting my hair was 7 months pregnant. We chatted; I told her about my 5 month old son.
After ten minutes she finally worked up the courage to ask me if I’m married. I smiled. She told me I look really young. I told her my age. “You could be 17!”
I could be. I’m not. I’m in my late 20s, happily married, well employed, caring for my first baby. Thank the lord. Seriously.
And, no, the haircut doesn’t make me look any older.