Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My current position on telling my age (Personal Entry)

Expectations of People of Certain Ages

Since sometime last year, I've hesitated more & more about giving out my age. I used to display my birth-year on my profile, but I've since removed that.

Something in my subconsciousness has been telling me that if I don't provide what other people expect of students my age, nothing good will come of it. Garrett only CONFIRMED this when he said:

"People have a set of expectations for you, and when those expectations aren't met, it's quite a crash."

How I may respond to age questions

If I refuse to tell my age, the types of people who get easily annoyed (read: Armstrong) say, "Wha... well you aren't--" (a woman)! I thought men also don't as they get older- when I was in middle school, I had a retiree as a substitute teacher one day and asked for his age. He said, "Information like that is none of your business." Later, I reckoned it's because he's too old to feel comfortable telling that anymore.

Maybe instead of outright refusing, what if I only say, "Call me "19," alright?" Or "Well, how old do I look?" Then the other person gives an estimate younger than my true age. (And so far, they always have. A good sign...) To that I say, "Then call me (guessed age). I'd like it that way."

Not to hide... some things, at least.

Garrett tells me not to hide things about me. Some things about ourselves are OK to reveal, but we all have our skeletons in our closets. We'd better not reveal everything about ourselves. Some things are certain to alienate!

Some skeletons in one's closet could be fetishes, unmentionable interests, and other things that are shameful to reveal in public. Some specific skeletons might be not having ever learned to ride a bike, still liking Pokemon (THAT skeleton need not be hidden in Japan!), having an interest in wearing (and designing?) women's fashion if you're a man, etc.

A minor skeleton of mine is that I have gray hair. You won't see it as of this typing because I get it dyed every so often. Alas, the presence of gray hair is one of those things that make me feel too old, of course.

But while staying in college...

I'm not ready to be my age yet. That's one of many reasons why I'm putting off graduation. It's hard to go back to college once you've left. You'll have a lot of debt to settle once you're out, and you'll miss doing the things you should've done in college, so I'd rather have a long way to go at this point.

While in classes, clubs, & anything else at K-State (and any college I'm studying abroad in), I feel some compelling to pretend to be younger than I truly am, because more students are around me are younger than me now. I dread the moment a teacher asks around class how old everyone is (typically done during the first days, when s/he wants us all to introduce each other.)

Now, I remember one horror story about being too old in a class. In a Public Speaking class in the Spring of '07, a 23-year-old classmate who returned from Iraq once told me that in his Psychology class, an 18-year-old girl sat next to him and one day, she asked how old he was, and when he said he was 23, she scooted away and didn't want to talk to him anymore, simply because he was 23. Understandably, he didn't take that too well. I certainly don't want that to happen to me!

More than that, if I do something impressive, remarkable, or whatever the appropriate adjective is of the right strength, in a class, and people think I'm older, then they'll not be so impressed of me because they'll expect things like that a little more of older people. But if I'm perceived as younger, then the opposite effect goes without saying. I'd feel pumped if that happens to me often enough.

Looking older thanks to a bodily frame

Garrett says I'm tall and muscular (that heavy backpack and secondary bag has been giving me quite a workout especially on these Nagasakian hills here!) so he says I look 20-something. So what? I've met 8th Graders who have been taller than me. I've met more muscular men in high school!

I got a 5-bladed vibrating razor that does a better job at cleaning out my face now. At first, it didn't seem to work because I would "pre-shave" with my old Mach III razor before using the vibrator (don't go off on a tangent here! I already know what you're thinking!) but after consulting online, someone there told me to only use the new razor. Having quite a close shave should shave some years off myself. I think the "Kid's Face" is something coveted nowadays. (No, "Baby Face" sounds too condescending IMHO.)

Treated better emotionally if one looks younger

You see, another big reason why I want to look younger is because if someone believes me to be an age younger than I truly am, they allow some leeway for mistakes, and will be kinder and gentler in correcting my actions. (I hope to learn from as many mistakes as I can only from observing others, not from my own mistakes, however.)

More than that, I'll be allowed more sympathy & compassion in general ; we know younger people generally get more of that. I don't seem to have had enough of it in my recent years. More cruelty has been happening probably mostly because I missed some of the social skills I was supposed to have learned by now.

Self-worth depends on whether someone younger or older is treating me a certain way.

You see, if someone older than you doesn't treat you with respect, you tend not to think so much about it because society programs you to expect older people to not always treat you right.

But if someone younger than me doesn't treat me right, and they KNOW I'm older, then you know how that makes me feel! I wouldn't want that. Yet another reason why I'd want them to assume that I'm younger than they are.

People who are younger than me tend to expect more from people my age, so it seems to help (or at least make me feel better and/or more comfortable) if they think I'm younger than them. I'm aware of certain expectations that I can't meet, so if they think I'm younger, those expectations vanish. (The important ones, anyway.)

A collagen product that could knock DECADES off!

And now, there's a product named "Fracora" that I saw an infomercial of at a hospital on Friday. Even though I couldn't understand most of the language, I still knew what it was about. This 50ml bottle had people looking younger thanks to 10000mg of collagen in each bottle.

Testimonies were all over the infomercial saying this product made people look as much as 25 years younger! The product's pitch-people would set up shop at random street corners and sidewalks and show passersby pictures of the product's users. For a 57-year-old, they guessed 32!

I saved the URL onto the phone, which is and on the "Fracora 500" product selection page ( ), you can get 10 bottles for ¥4200, or more at a time for higher percentage discounts.

Back on the front page, it also sells a "Collagen Bar," here:

I hope I can find these in stores! Some infomercial'ed items aren't sold in stores; some are. I now feel a compelling to get my hands on these anyway, because if a middle-aged woman can knock 25 years off, I can surely knock 8!

I might chug two of these a day and when I get to a point where I look in the mirror and say, "Oh, okay! Yeah, that ought to be young enough! Heh...," then I'll probably feel the most satisfied I've ever felt in a long time.

When the verbal results pour in...

After having enough Fracora, I hope to hear from strangers comments like,

"Hey! You look like you're still in high school! What are you doing here (at this college?) You're a real bright kid who skipped grades, aren't you??"

If anyone tells me that, (and don't read this and recite it the following morning; I'd like genuine comments only, thank you.) then that'll make my day so much I'll think that's the best anyone's ever made my day in a long time.

Then on that day, I may be more than happy to tell my age!

None of the "scrawny" screed...

A sister mentioned something about looking scrawny if I try to look younger than I do now. Nonsense; I already have a respectable amount of muscle & height. I don't expect the collagen to waste neither.

A student with my build and in the first half of high school may be assumed to be a football player and track athlete, not some scrawny basketball math geek. Often someone on the varsity football team has a respectable-looking body so I expect to still have such after taking the collagen.

Youth is an admirable quality, is it not? Isn't it possible that I may look more admirable if I look just a few years younger? (While still having the same body build?) I'll assume it is...

Update: After discussing with the host family about Fracora

Just before I retired to my bedroom just now, I brought my laptop into the living room to get Jun-san (the host father) to help me order some Fracora from the website above here. With his English good enough to get his points across in this situation, he basically told me that Fracora was a fake, and that my money was "mottainai" (もったいない - wasteful) in buying this product.

There were pictures of young-looking women whose ages were posted on the photos. (And yes, they looked quite a bit younger than the ages said.) Jun-san said that was "uso" (うそ - a lie) or an exaggeration. He also got out his electronic pocket dictionary and looked up a word. The translation, "fraud," showed up on the screen.

I told him and Hiromi-san that I wanted Fracora because I looked (and felt) too old, so I wanted to look 8 years younger. Hiromi-san told me I'm like a teenage boy, and I loved that compliment so much. When I told her that was a compliment (or tried to say that I took it as a compliment), she said that was "oseji-nai" (おせじ - flattery) but rather, "honshin." (ほんしん - conscience; true intentions.) I don't know what she's driving at there.

Basically, Jun and Hiromi-san say I look and seem like a boy in his teenage years, and that's such a wonderful thing to hear, flattery or not. I'm glad they think that way, though others won't.

I guess I'll not order something online that costs ~$40.50 for ten bottles, but if I see this bottle sold in stores, I may buy one just to try one and see what happens, but that'll probably be about it.

However, Jun-san said he knew nothing from before about Fracora, so he probably just got his assumptions off of his intuitions. (Or he was merely discouraging me from buying this.) Therefore, the possibility remains (however small) that Fracora (or collagen, in other forms) may really make you look younger. I asked him what product is true if Fracora is false, and he said he didn't know.

This note above this last section was written last night, and this last section was added just now. I didn't submit right away because I had hesitations about submitting it to the public, but now that it's so long, who will read ALL of it anyway??? I'll not care how long my notes are as long as it's only to get something off my chest.

No comments:

Post a Comment