I had a revelation a couple of days ago. I was in the car, following sat nav, on my way to buy a train set, when I pulled an absolutely great manoeuvre out of the bag and said to myself “Dad would be proud of me for that one” like I was a newly passed, green L plated 17 year old. And then it hit me. HOLD THE PHONE PEOPLE, I’m not a newly passed, green L plated 17 year old, in fact I’m nowhere even near to being a teenager, being 17 is over half my life back, not only am I now past 30 but I’m actually on my way to the big 4-0. Say what? I’m a freaking adult.
How on earth did this happen?
I’ve been convinced, for many a year now, that I’m still only 27, a year which, if I’m being honest, was pretty bloody, brilliant! I’d been established in London for a good few years, H and I had been together for three of them, I was skinny, I had designer shoes, was doing well career-wise and had the energy to burn the proverbial candle at both ends – I remember a time when my personal goal, upon starting a new job, was not to be sick with a hangover at work. Oh those were the days! When I went to festivals, was carefree and actually got asked for id when I bought booze! That’s not the case anymore, although I do feel shop assistants should have a duty to ask those of us, obviously not under 21, or is it 25 these days? for id as it really is a great coup.
Anyway, I’d had this revelation and wasn’t really sure how I was feeling about it, so I gave it some thought. On the one hand I was mourning my youth, those halcyon days of never-ending fun, spontaneity and wrinkle-free skin, yet on the other, I must admit, I was starting to feel a little tired at the prospect of re-living it. Don’t get me wrong, I love having a good time, I’m incredibly social and an hilarious drunk, even if do I say so myself, but these days I quite prefer a bit of a meal to go with my alcohol and for it to be in the form of a nice wine rather than a shot, plus, to really put that last nail in the coffin of my youth; I do like to try and get a good 8 hours in bed at night. It had therefore become apparent that, indeed, I really am a freaking adult.
That night, as we were sat on the sofa, watching a box set, because that’s how we roll these days, I was just about to discuss my latest revelation, with my husband, when all of a sudden a rather blue scene came on the screen. I kind of felt I should do the hunky male actor the honour of concentrating diligently on this bit of superior acting and of course making time to admire, and pay my respects to, his rather superior rear, when a voice, next to me, piped up; “She’s got a nice fridge, it looks like you could keep a lot in it.” Now at first I wondered whether this might be a euphemism perhaps, but it soon became clear that it wasn’t; my husband was genuinely eyeing up the size of the naked lady’s fridge. I mean, to be fair to him, when I finally did take a look, it really was a nice, roomy fridge. I simply hadn’t noticed…
I recently read a great quote in Sara Gruen’s ‘Water for elephants’ which really resonated and made me smile; “In your thirties something strange starts to happen. It’s a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I’m – you start off confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you’re not – you’re thirty-five” well, it’s good to know I’m not the only one who does that!
I used to firmly believe that age really is just a number and to some extent I still do, however I also believe that there are various rites of passage each person goes through as they work their way through the decades. I’m glad I made the most of my twenties and can look back on them with such happiness and fondness, but at the same time I’m pleased that now it’s okay to binge watch tv, read in bed with a cup of herbal tea and suffer the next morning after just a couple of glasses of wine. I’ve also decided that I’m actually okay with not really knowing my age and being a grown-up. Hell, I might be 35, or is it 36? but, I’m still looking at the naked man on tv and not at his appliances – all of a sudden I’ve created a new benchmark for adulthood and I seem to be doing pretty well on it! To be on the safe side though, I think I’d best test out this theory on a few more hunks.