Now, I know that having a baby face and youthful looks is admired by older generations. However, still looking thirteen when you’re twenty-one has many pitfalls and though, as my mum’s friends keep telling me, I will appreciate it in the future, at the moment it is right pain in the arse.
Baby faces have always been admired – Danny Jones was always the favourite in McFly with his chubby cheeks and young boyish charm, though I was more of a spiky hair Harry fan. Similarly, a boy in my form at school was swooned over for his chubby cheeks, freckles and baby face throughout Year 9. However, being struck with the curse, I do not see the benefits and it has caused me more trouble than it’s worth. If I forget my ID anywhere I am unlikely to get served a Fireman Sam DVD let alone Sambuca.
I first realised I had been hit by the young looks charm at the Trafford Centre when I attempted to buy two DVDs that were rated 15 as I had just crossed into this age barrier. I strolled up to the desk at HMV, holding on to my first stand up DVDs and watched as they had scanned through. I felt grown up and I was dressed as grown up as I could muster but my face didn’t past the test.
“Have you got any ID on you?”
“You need ID. They’re 15’s”
“But I am 15?”
“Yes, but I still need to ID. Have you got your driver’s licence or something?”
“No, I’m 15, obviously I don’t”
“Okay, how about a passport then?”
“I came to the Trafford Centre, not the South of bloomin’ France. Of course I don’t”
“Well then, I’m afraid you’ll need to get a parent”
“Aye, I’ll make sure she grabs her birth certificate on the way”
And with that I had to walk out and leave the DVDs reserved at the desk. I was humiliated, embarrassed and disappointed – I couldn’t even buy a stand up DVD, I was hardly going to go on any illegal raves with fake ID anytime soon. With my tail between my legs I went to find my mum in ASDA, who had just finished paying for her batch of red wine with her gas bill and tenancy agreement.
I wasn’t done with the battle of youth yet. My next episode has become family famous for what happened. It all started with a shopping trip – Debenhams, Top Shop, W H Smith, New Look, Next. We’d visited them all and decided to treat ourselves to an ice cream. Not just any ice cream, not even an M and S ice cream. We headed straight to Thorntons with our Christmas Shopping in tow and pulled up at the ice-cream counter.
“Erm, can I have two scoops of Rum and Raisin in a cone please?”
“Do you have any ID?”
“Pardon. I’m 18”
“You’ll still need ID for the Rum and Raisin”
“What? It’s just ice cream”
“I know but it has rum in it. You’ll need ID”
“That’s ridiculous. How many people get bladdered off ice cream? I’m not going to be drunk and disorderly. No police man is going to ask me how many ice creams I’ve had”
“I’m sorry, Miss. It’s company policy”
“But that’s silly. How many ice creams do you have to have to be off your face? I’ve never heard something so silly”
“So do you have ID?”
“Anything else you’d like? Chocolate? Honeycomb Crunch? Strawberry? Cookies and Cream?”
I settled for honeycomb crunch in the end but no one ever believes that I was ID’d for ice cream. It still remains the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard and it never fails to make people laugh. Not many people end up at Alcoholics Anonymous for Rum and Raisin ice cream. Though I must say my young looks work a charm in some situations and could even be classed as a bonus. I can still sometimes get classed as a teen on the bus or on the train, I could sometimes sneak by on child’s ticket until the age of fifteen and now I still get classed as student everywhere I go, with or without a student card. So these big cheeks do save me a fortune but they still make me humiliated and embarrassed at times.
Not long ago, I was with three friends who were buying alcohol in Tesco at a self-service machine and the lady came over when cued by the flashing red light atop of the machine that still didn’t think we’d placed anything in the bagging area.
“Can I see your ID please?” the shop assistant asked.
“No, I don’t need yours” she said to two of my friends, “just yours and yours”. I was already prepared.
“That’s great, thank you! See you can never tell. I’d have passed you” She said looking at my friend. “And you” she said to my other friend. “And probably you” she nodded in another friends direction. “It was just you really” she said looking towards me.
“Don’t worry” I smiled, “It’s the story of my life”