It's Not My Age That Matters

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"Angelina, you're 18 going on 45" - that's my best friend, Bailey's, favorite expression. What most people don't understand, though, is that those qualities of mine that make me seem older are simply the result of a rather unusual upbringing. Of course, saying that usually brings on the ever-popular phrase of "You didn't have a childhood, did you?" No, I did have a childhood; it just wasn't the typical childhood.

While most ten-year-olds were in bed by 9 on a Friday evening after watching their favorite Disney movie, I was at the Metropolitan Opera House with my father and about 1000 bejeweled widows. After a two-hour car ride, I would sit in the front row of our box, my eyes never leaving the stage, trying to make sense of Puccini's La Boheme. The Met wouldn't be putting in subtitle boxes for a few more years, so any translation I made had to be solely drawn from the variations in the music. Even if I didn't catch on to every detail of the story, I was completely taken in, and ever since then my parents haven't been able to kick me out of "my" seat at the opera.

When not at the Met, I spent my free time watching foreign films with my mother - Cyrano de...

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