In The Eye Of The Be Older

Is it wrong to be offended by the speed at which a shop assistant presses the “Visibly Older Than 25” button? I’m asking for a friend.

I bought some cold and flu tablets yesterday and went through the self-checkouts which, of course, sets of all sorts of bells and whistles and needs approval from one of the store people before you can pay for anything.

She swiped her card and had booped the button that said I was clearly over 25 without even giving me a second glance. I mean, I know I am over twenty-five but I like to think that I carry a youthful vim and vigour and don’t immediately present as a forty-one-year-old.

Apparently not.

Straight in. Boop. Visibly over twenty-five.

The same happened the other week when I had to be age checked for buying – well, according to the receipt at least, a Lego Groot keyring. It came as a freebee with Avengers Infinity War but needed to be age-checked separately. I don’t know why. I have no idea. But they were still bloody quick with that one.

We once bought some knives – as in the ones used for eating with – and we had to be age-checked for them.

But just because we’re old enough to buy table cutlery, doesn’t mean we’re going to use it responsibly.

We could have taken those knives and gone out into the supermarket car park and given someone a quite nasty mark with them as we tried to cut them as we would, say, a fish finger. Or I could have gone off with my cold and flu capsules and taken them all at once. Bosh. Simple as that. Or, in the case of Lego Groot, I could have put him in my mouth and chewed on him until the arm came off and I choked to death, which is why I assume I was age checked.

There’s no solution to that. People will do as people will do. It still hurts to be immediately branded as over twenty-five.

I’d like a button we could press afterwards that says “You didn’t even look at me!” It doesn’t even have to do anything, like the placebo buttons on crossings with timed traffic lights, it would just make me feel better.