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Remember when the signs in convenience stores used to say “We card under 25”? I don’t know when that changed, but apparently too many older-looking kids are buying cheap beer and cigarettes. Now the signs all say “We card under 40.” Which pisses me off.

I’ve been carded twice in my life.  Once when I was buying beer with MMB’s driver’s license – a driver’s license with a picture that looked nothing like me (she looks like my dad), that said I had green eyes, was 2 inches taller and 7 years older. The clerk carded me and I confidently handed her MMB’s license. She looked at it, looked at me, looked back at the license and said, “You sure?” I sighed, rolled my eyes and said, “Yes” in my most annoyed tone.

The key to buying beer (or cigarettes) when you’re underage is simple: confidence. Act like you not only know what you’re doing, but that you do it every day. In fact, act like you do it so often, you’re bored with the entire process. When I was a kid, there was usually someone older around to buy it for us, but when we had to get it ourselves, I always ran the point. We decided what we wanted before we even got to the liquor store. I figured out approximately where it was in the store by looking in the window as I strolled in. That way I could go right to it, without wandering around like a kid in a candy store. Which I kind of was.

The other time I was carded doesn’t even count. I was about 28 and visiting a friend down in Oklahoma and she wanted to take me to a gay bar. She warned me to be sure to take my ID because they carded everyone. I told her they wouldn’t card me, but she was adamant that no one got through that door without showing ID.  She walked in first. They carded her. I handed they guy the cover charge and walked right past him. She turned around and made him card me. Totally doesn’t count. In fact, now that I think about it, I should probably be insulted that I was 10 years younger and she’s the one who got carded.

The other day, I stopped to get cigarettes (shut up, Wende. I know! I know!). I was waiting in line while the clerk carded the kid in front of me. The kid said something that I didn’t catch and the clerk said they had to card anyone under 40 for booze or cigarettes. The kid left, I asked for a pack of Marlboro Lights (less tar you know) and the clerk rang up the rest of my stuff and said, “$19.67.”  Which threw me for a second. I thought he was guessing my age. 😆  I told him he better not only card me, but ask for my birth certificate, too. He kind of stammered for a second, so I said, “Just smile and nod, honey.”

I’m guessing it’s the hair. Yeah. I’m sure that’s all it is.