It has happened to all of us at one point or another, and possibly multiple times — there you are at the airport, an adult in your early twenties, confident in your ability to take a trip by yourself because you have been on the planet more than long enough to know how and have done it many times, when the rug suddenly gets ripped out beneath you. Today it’s Emma Watson’s story, as told by E! Online, but it could have easily been any one of us:

In Hollywood, a youthful look is an asset. In the line at airport security, not so much.

It’s a lesson Emma Watson found out the hard, somewhat embarrassing way, as the erstwhile Harry Potter star took to Twitter to reveal that a member of the TSA stopped held up her recent holiday journey after being convinced that she was a child.

Make that, a very young child, in need of a parent to travel with.

[Emma tweeted] “Passport control: ‘unaccompanied minor?’ Me: ‘sorry?’ Passport control: ‘where is ur guardian?’ Me: ‘I’m 22!!!!!!! #neverwearingabackpackagain.”

Don’t let it get you down, Emma Watson. Like I’ve said twice already, and will continue to repeat to myself long after this blog post ends, it has and could have happened and may continue to happen for every single one of us. Multiple times, each of us has been asked if we are “travelling with an adult” even though we were at that point 21 and then at another point 23 years old. Each of us has been told, “Oh. Ha–ah! Well, no, that’s a good thing! You look so young, that’s a good thing!” nervously after we made the correction. I’m not sure why the TSA agent was not aware that you were one of the main characters in one of the most popular movie franchises of all time, but, again, don’t worry. WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE. CORRECT? ALL OF US?!

Comments (54)
  1. When he asked where is her guardian, she should have held up a newspaper because children don’t read the newspaper and also British!

  2. Big knockers will completely reverse this problem so much so that if you become 15 again somehow men in their 40s will ask to buy you a drink at the airport bar. So you know, get a water bra and hoist ‘em high I guess, Watson.

  3. I don’t think the backpack is her problem. When you’ve flown more than once, you’ll know the trick to getting by security without a hitch. And that is acting like you’d rather be dead in a swamp than in line at a security checkpoint. Once they see that look on your face, which looks similar to the waking-up-and-hating-the-art-in-your-bedroom face, they won’t give you any hassle — even if you’re a minor! DUH EMMA! C’MON!

  4. I think Kelly’s talking about herself, you guys.

    • People also ask Kelly what grade she’s in. Come on people, she’s in grown-up grade.

    • I think Kate helped her type this out.

      It’s weird that a blog is written on a keyboard, though.

      • Some day I want to go down to the cafe on my corner, which is full of people typing scripts on laptops, and bring a portable typewriter. I’ll open it up, roll in a piece of paper, and get to work.

        Click-click-clack-click-clack-clack-clack-click-clack-click. Click. Click. Click-clack-click-clack. Ding!
        Slurrrrrp [coffee sip]

        • You should wear a fedora that has a little card in it that says PRESS for extra fun, though that’s probably actual performance art somewhere in that town of yours.

        • This is kind of off-topic, but hearing this typewriter comment reminds me of that scene in Misery where James Caan hits Kathy Bates right across the face with that heavy, old fashioned typewriter. I guess he was getting even for the sledgehammer incident.

  5. I used to get that. Now I just have airport personnel following me around with a broom and dustpan lest my aged body crumble to dust.

    I may not be doing so well with the ‘getting older’ thing, is what I’m saying.

  6. I work at a university, and once a student that I interacted with often in passing but never really worked with asked me when I was graduating. This question despite the fact that I was there M-F 9-5 for two plus years, never went to class, had business cards, a desk with my name on it, wore high heels every day, was referred to as a member of the professional staff, and supervised a dozen student workers. I replied, “Never, THIS IS MY REAL LIFE!”

    Also once a senior hit on me by giving me his own self-printed business card, which included a fax number. We did not date.

  7. I saw an entry-level dude wearing a backpack in my office yesterday. That is something you should get out of your system by junior year in high school. Also he had it on both shoulders which is the way, way wrong way to do it, you neo maxi zoom dweebie. #1989fashionking #1985insultnobodyeversaid

    • hotspur, No!!!!! I still wear a backpack to work! And I’m an adult, in the loosest sense of the word!

      How else can I bring my laptop, soccer clothes, lunch, thermos, water bottle, big book of NY Times crosswords, pencil, pens and markers, chapstick, lotion, foot cream, nail clippers, locker lock, and charger for my phone to work!? YOU TELL ME!

      • NAIL CLIPPERS TO WORK. You can’t be one of those absolute horrorshows who clips his nails at work, can you?? I like you, I don’t want to believe it!

        • my boss picks at his cuticles and clips his nails at our staff meetings AND NOBODY SAYS OR DOES ANYTHING ABOUT IT and i constantly feel like i’m taking crazy pills ’cause that shit is not. right.

          • Oh god! We had a supervisor that did that during meetings. So gross! So disrespectful!

          • This woman with Megan Fox club thumbs was giving herself a full-on manicure at a company-wide video conference for over an hour one time. I couldn’t stop thinking about those club thumbs with every sound of the clip or the scrape. The thought still haunts me.

            Also, what’s with all of these people clipping their nails at company meetings? I thought this woman was one in a mill.

      • I am now picturing you massaging lotion into your bare feet all day — during meetings, phone calls, while eating at your desk, posting here — all day.

        “Uh, Miss Manners? Your feet are distracting me.”
        “I know, right? What if they dry out at soccer tonight?!? Hand me the clippers. And those… markers.”

      • I once read a self-help book about obsessive compulsive disorder, and one of the stories was a woman who was so tired of checking to make sure that she unplugged her toaster, curling iron, etc., that she just brought all of those appliances with her to work.

        • She’s going to need a 3 months in Europe sized backpack for her job.

          Also, I don’t want to laugh at someone with a very obvious mental illness but at the same time, she brought a toaster to work. Wouldn’t it have been easier to get rid of the toaster and just buy your toast every morning? There must be a workaround somewhere…

      • You guyz and galz! I do in fact bring all of those things to work regularly. As it is winter in Boston, my soccer clothes have turned into my gym clothes, but yes, I do bring nail clippers. But I am pretty normal, in the loosest sense of the word, so I don’t disrespect my coworkers by trimming my nails in front of them. I do so in the bathroom or when everyone has left for the day.

        The worst thing I’ve seen at work has been not a weird trinket that someone brought, but that when they clean the coffee pot with the stick-like sponge/scrapper, which is essentially rinsing it with water and then using this tool to make a quick sweep of anything the water isn’t removing; these guys, without fail, put that dirty tool IN THE DRY RACK on top of all my clean dishes! Therefore leaving coffee stains on everything! Alright, that’s my one complaint!

    • Backpacks are an absolute necessity. It’s great to be able to pull out a book when you get stuck waiting in an unexpectedly long line, or if you get to wherever you’re going earlier than expected, but who wants to carry books around in their hands all the time? Chumps, that’s who. I don’t get why more people don’t wear backpacks. Sure, you look like a huge nerd but better a nerd than a bored-in-line chump. That’s just science right there.

  8. I always forget to take out my weed. One of these days they’re going to arrest a stoned middle aged homo for forgetting to take the one hitter out of his backpack. #OneHittersWillGetYouArrested

    • heimaey! we need you to stop smoking weed or we’ll start self-harming! #cuttingforheimaey

      Just kidding don’t ever stop smoking weed and also I hope all those posts were just trolls trolling trolls because oh boy.

    • FUN FACT: There used to be a gigantic sign at the Santa Rosa, California airport that reminded travelers that not every place has the same medical marijuana laws as northern California and to please remember to not bring weed into states in which it is still illegal. Huge sign. Haven’t seen it since the redesign, but it was bigger than most airports reminders not to bring lit acme-style bombs on planes.

      ANOTHER FUN FACT: if you fly out of Santa Rosa, you can check a case of wine for free.

      Just another chill day in Guy Fieri’s original FLAVORTOWN, CA.

  9. #humblebrag

  10. Oh man, I AM that TSA agent. I can literally never tell how old any person is. The problem is worst with children between the ages of 2 and 25 and old people between the ages of 65 and infinity.

    I only count the in-between areas as not a problem because it doesn’t really matter how old you are between 25 and 65 because in there you’re just an adult and you don’t have to ask adults how old they are because, again, it really just doesn’t matter at all how old an adult is.

  11. I was once at the dentist, and the hygienist came in, looked at me, looked out into the waiting room with a concerned expression, and then turned back to me and said, “Is your mom with you, sweetheart?” I was 33. I’m also close to 6 feet tall. I asked for a different person to scrape at my gums with pointy metal objects.

  12. I’ve been given the children’s menu at places when I’ve gone to dinner with my Dad. The hostess always seems surprised when I tell them I’m in my 30s. Next time though, I think I’ll take the children’s menu yet order a martini…just to see what happens.

  13. When the big short flask started high school, Mrs Flask was asked at the parent orientation night where her parent was… because this was for the parents. #marriedtoreallifelorelaigilmorefuckyeah

  14. I am definitely a member of the Getting Carded Until I’m 40 Club.

    To all you skeptical cashiers: what kind of sad soul would risk a fake ID to buy a Trader Joe’s mix-and-match 6 pack?

    • I love when I get asked for my ID when I’m using my credit card to buy a pack of cigarettes, and I’m thinking that if I stole a credit card, I would be buying a lot more than that. Also, my picture is on the damn credit card you ding dong cashier.

  15. When my fiance was 20, he was on a flight going back to college, where he was a junior, and a flight attendant stopped by his seat before take-off and said, “You know you have to be 14 to sit in the exit row.”

  16. I’ve been enjoying reading everyone’s experience with age mishaps. But c’mon, some of these seem far-fetched! Is there any way we can get some cold hard evidence that you all look so young yet aren’t?

    I’ve been telling people that I’m 12 since I can remember. They all give an awkward laugh because they aren’t sure if it’s true or not. To be honest, I don’t much care. I’m currently 24 years old and am in dire need of a haircut, it’s becoming fro-y.

  17. I was actually talking about this with my coworkers today. The worst was someone telling me you had to be at least 18 to enter a drawing during a festival in my town. I was 24.

    • This used to happen to me all the time. I got carded for a rated R movie when I was 27 or 28. And I didn’t bring my ID with me because I was going to see Anchorman on a Tuesday afternoon. And the stupid kid at the ticket booth wasn’t going to let me in without ID. And then I went into a holy tirade about how I had been anticipating this movie for longer than he’s been allowed to work, the history of the MPAA and how even if it is R, it’s actually just a suggestion but if he wants to call my parents in Wisconsin he’s more than welcome to ask their permission, etc. Probably yelled at this teenager for at least 7 minutes because that brat wasn’t going to let me inside.

      Now that I’m 35, it’s fun to get carded, which still happens all the time, but at least they leave me alone at the movies. Actually it’s been happening more lately, especially since I bought that new Kiehl’s creme made with the blood of virgins. Apparently it *was* worth the cost… Neat.

      • Good for you for telling that kid off! It’s not like it was going to hurt anything to let you see Steve Carell stab someone with a trident. I might have to look into that virgin blood creme as I get older…
        There was another time when I was accompanying a group of incoming high school freshman on a tour of their high school before the school year started. I got mistaken for one of students. That was after I had graduated from college.

      • tell me more about this kiehl’s creme, please!

  18. A couple days ago I shaved off my beard because my boss mentioned that he thought we were the same age. He’s in his late forties and I’m in my late thirties. Used to be that when I shaved off my beard it was like shaving off ten to fifteen years. But this time I shaved off maybe five, meaning that now I look like I’m in my early to mid thirties. You guys, I’m not immune to the passage of time! What kind of bullshit is that? This is not what I signed up for! I WANT MY MONEY BACK!

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