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!
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.
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!