DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’m a middle school teacher, and often when I meet with parents for the first time, they will remark “You look so young,” or “You look like you could be one of the students!”
I understand they don’t mean any offense, but I am in my early 30s and do my best to wear professional clothes and makeup. My co-workers tell me I should take it as a compliment, but lately I’ve been feeling a little insulted, especially when they compare me to a middle-schooler.
I normally tell them “thank you,” but I don’t feel like my response is genuine or appropriate. How should I respond in the future?
GENTLE READER: “I can assure you that your child is fully aware that I am a grown-up, and that I am in charge here.” Miss Manners just asks you to say it with a smile.