The shame of an ID check-For the love of TED!!

November 2012

Almost three months on from my 20th birthday and I can already feel myself ageing (or maybe that’s me being paranoid again). My growing ambitions seem to be creating a mountain too big for me to climb and I feel the need to push myself and try to make the most of these years. The other day I was told I was freaking insane being a tad bit ridiculous for wanting to pursue an undergraduate placement, and then move on to do a masters. I’ve learnt to not even mention my aspiration of remaining within academia after masters, for fear of being termed a hopeless, goal-oriented over achiever.

But this post was meant to be anything but a lamentation. In fact it’s quite the contrary. It’s about TED!

The movie was released a couple of days prior to my birthday sometime in August. Having had seen the trailer on you tube, my expectations were extremely high and I was awaiting its release with anticipation. This was also around the time I was working at the Olympics. The day of my birthday arrived. I left work early and walked to the cinema along with a friend.

Being students, we often look for the cheapest ways of filling ourselves up. Counting calories is considered a crime. So we stopped by the supermarket, loaded our bags full of junk food and made our way to the cinema.

Once there, we found out the self-service ticket machines were out-of-order. This led to twenty minutes of queuing up and another painfully frustrating ten minutes of having to watch the women in front of us haggle over ten pence.

Finally, it was our turn. Since we were paying individually we took turns to buy our own tickets. By the time it was my go, the women at the till looked agitated enough to want to bite my head off. I politely asked for a ticket, stating the time slot I wanted. The last thing I expected was an ID check; that too on my twentieth birthday, for a movie which was placed in the “15 plus and over” category. Oh the shame!

One of the best scenes from the movie, and precisely how I wanted to react to the ID check! But being led away by security would have been far worse. Just wasn't worth the risk!

One of the best scenes from the movie, and precisely how I wanted to react to the ID check! But being led away by security would have been far worse. Just wasn’t worth the risk!

For a second I got confused and actually turned around to check whether she was talking to the kid behind me. Turns out I was her unlucky target. The conversation unfolded like this:

Big robust women at the till: “Hi darling, what can I do for you today?” (Trust me, she may sound polite but her expression was lethal)

Timid faced me: “Hi, I’d like a ticket for TED. The 3 p.m show please.”

Big robust women at the till: “I need to check your ID please.”

Timid faced me: “Excuse me? Are you talking to me?”

Big robust women at the till: “Yes, I need to see your ID. Can you hurry up please there’s a queue behind you.”

Timid faced me: “You can’t be serious!!! It’s my twentieth birthday for God’s sake”!!

Big robust women at the till: “Well Happy Birthday love, now you wanna watch the movie don’t you, so hand over your ID.”

By looking at her face I knew she meant business. I was left with no alternative. After fumbling through my pockets I took out my university student card, and despite wanting to shove it at her, politely held it up for her to see. I’m guessing the long queue behind me saved me from the shame of having my picture scrutinized. As soon as I had paid, I grabbed my ticket and head handing low, made my way over to the screening room.

All along, my friend’s expression went from one of utter disbelief to complete annoyance. Personally I always knew I looked a little young for my age but never THAT young. Once the momentary annoyance has passed and I had gotten over the shock, I found it quite amusing.

The next day another work friend, having heard the entire incident, tried to make me feel better by relating funny stories of how he was never asked to show ID when he was 18 but since turning 24, he was asked for proof of age every time he went to buy a pack of cigarettes. That wasn’t much of a consolation since being asked for ID to watch a movie about a foul-mouthed hilarious teddy bear is a far cry from buying a pack of tobacco. But we still managed to have a good laugh afterwards.

That teddy bear lives on weed! :D

That teddy bear lives on weed! 😀

All in all, it was the most embarrassing/ annoying/ funny incidents that took place this summer. As for the movie, it was absolutely hilarious. I paid to go and re-watch the whole thing with another friend. Thankfully this time round the self- service ticket machines were working!

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TICK TOCK TICK TOCK-there go the last few hours on my teenage clock!!

So it’s the 14thof June today and the countdown has already begun. In approximately 67 days or 1608 hours, 96480 minutes and 5788800 seconds I will no longer be a teenager! The first word that comes to my mind is “Already?!”

My teenage life has passed by in what seems like a blur; the two years right after my 18th birthday have flashed past with such haste that I have no idea where the time went. The annoying part is this:

You just get used to being 18, when all of a sudden you’re no longer 18…but since you’re so used to telling people you’re 18, you no longer remember you’re now 19 when asked your age! And when you FINALLY get used to being 19, along comes the next big milestone! (And trust me, for most of you turning 20 was a huge milestone even if you no longer admit it!) And BAM! The clock strikes twelve a.m. and your 20th year begins. So much for sentimentality.

The fact is that time no longer holds that same value it once did, months melt into days without a trace and just like that the year is over before we even know it.

Just under two decades of my insignificant life will be over within weeks and I can wave goodbye to those pesky teenage years which make us all think the world revolves around our very existence. (No excuse for being so big-headed anymore-sigh!)  I will no longer be a part of that ‘class of youngsters’ who have the word teen wedged at the end of their age. It is at this point in time that you begin to realize your time is running out, in another two decades you turn 40 and then it’s all downhill from there.

We’ve all had those moments (myself included), some of which we wish we could re-live, others completely erase and others still just re-do a different way. But focussing too much on the past and how things should have been done will only bring you down.

Despite my continued efforts of not making this little blog post into a sob story, I still seem to be failing miserably. I can almost see you nodding your head in agreement now while the somewhat older readers will soon start wondering why I’m making such a huge issue over turning 20.But plainly speaking; my rapidly approaching 20thbirthday has succeeded in scaring the shit out of me.

Tick-Tock goes my clock

Tick-Tock goes my clock

Despite all that, my sensible side has kicked in today. So instead of feeling sorry for myself I have decided to analyse myself and make a list. YES A LIST.  Regardless of having made a number of them over the years and never ever EVER sticking to them I have still decided to give it one last go.

So here are some of the things I have decided to focus more on which will hopefully make my 20th year somewhat of an achievement.

BE IMPULSIVE:

I have decided it’s time I started taking a few more risks in my life. Everyone always says that these years are crucial. It’s the time when you should stick to your guts, follow your heart and go that extra mile. So why not break away from those little boundaries you bind yourself to by your own choice and take a chance?

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS:  

Never be afraid to dream, and when you do dream, dream BIG! Nevertheless there’s no point having a whole load of dreams stuck up in your head. Once formed a dream must be pursued until its achieved.

This always brings that song by Uncle Kracker to mind-“Livin’ the dream”. It’s been one of favourites ever since I heard it and it goes like this:

“Here I go again on my own, going down the only road I’ve ever known. Like a drifter I was born to walk alone and I’ll keep livin’ my life livin’ the dream on my own. And I’ve made up my mind; I ain’t wasting no more time…”

BE HAPPY-SMILE:

Now I’m not one of those people who go around with a permanent scowl on their faces but I’m not exactly much of a ‘smiler’ either.  It’s just something I’d like to do more of. After all, I always tell myself I’ll have the right to be a grumpy old cow later down the line anyway-that’s justified. The simple fact that we are alive, well and cared for should be celebrated with at least a smile a day if not more!

SET YOUR GOALS-Make Another List:

I’m starting to like this list making business again. Despite not being able to stick to them, it’s quite comforting having an outline of what you wish to achieve even if it’s just something you keep in your own head. Now I have decided that there are a number of other things I also want to do such as learning to ride a motorbike and then saving up to buy a sports bike,

One day this baby will be all MINE! =D

One day this baby will be all MINE! =D

go scuba diving and bungee jumping and other ordinary stuff like that 😀

But fantasies aside the first thing on the agenda is completing my university degree. Oh and by the way, I’m still technically a teenager for the next couple of months-Oh the joy!