Sorry I've been AWOL - I've been on vacation (along with what feels like everybody else) and I didn't have internet access.
I am normally an exceptionally easygoing and friendly person. I am cranky on this blog, but it's my way of unloading all the things that get under my skin. A perceptive (or not so perceptive) reader may realize that being perceived as a teenager is a massive pet peeve of mine. When this happens, unfortunately, my manners go out the window. My typical response is either a) start spluttering with indignation or b) my smile freezes into a grimace and I get a slightly crazed look as I try not to do option a.
Last week I met a middle-aged man who asked me what my school was. I know he was assuming that I was an undergrad, so I said that I went to (undergrad school) and then (grad school). But I didn't actually say that I was a grad student. My bad. So this guy goes on and on about how I probably know this person he knows, who is, as it turns out, a current student.
I was with my mother at the time. Needless to say, she knows me well. She jumped into the conversation and explained that not only was I not a current college student, I had graduated from college before this girl started high school. She then steered me away before I could say something obnoxious.
I realize that announcing my actual age and then stomping off in a huff is not the sort of behavior that helps me gain respect in the field or anywhere else. I have managed to not do that. But it is really, really tempting.