Next month it’s my birthday. I’ll be… twenty…se…nieight? By god. I’ve hit a point where I can’t remember exactly what age I am without thinking about it for a second! This is extremely concerning, not only because it rather suggests that I have no memory whatsoever but because it confirms something I’ve been suspecting for a while, something that’s crept up on me, something that, like a fictional boy dressed bizarrely in green tights, I thought would never happen. I fear I might have inadvertently become a grown-up.
Now there remains evidence to the contrary. I spent this afternoon watching Disney films with Dom, I get more into playing lego with my nephew than he does, we keep listening to the Muppets soundtrack TV in the car and I often use the word “wibble”. The trouble is that the scales seem increasingly tipped towards adulthood: I’m getting married, we’ve bought a house… these are certainly suggestive but not quite conclusive. Kids play at getting married and houses and things right?! What concerns me more is that we’re actually one of the last of our friends to get married and, more worrying still, several of them now have their own kids.
The more irrefutable evidence has been presented by the jury just recently. My big purchases used to be the latest Playstation Game, DVD’s, maybe a new bike or just something fun. My recent major purchases have been a washer-dryer and a fridge-freezer and I wait with “eager anticipation” to replace a carpet and a fireplace. The final nail in the childhood coffin though came with a recent acquisition of furniture for our spare room. I’m very pleased with this furniture, I think it looks great… after hours AND HOURS of trying to interpret instruction manuals that bore no resemblance whatsoever to their flat packed counterparts to create it I’m even quite proud of it. The thing is, as I finally completed it and closed the door on it for the evening, I realised that I had just spent all this time (and a fair amount of money) on furniture for a spare room… a room that I didn’t even intend on spending any time in, a room that was there solely on the off chance that at some point we might have guests round that want to stay over. Worse still it’s probably the best room in the house!
Do you know, the other day I actually turned off Radio 1 and skipped to listen to a Radio 4 documentary?! And do you know the reason? Because when a particular tune came on I actually used the phrase “that’s just noise, that’s not even music!” I’m one episode of The Archers away from doing that dad thing where you reverse the car by putting your arm over the back of the headrest because you inexplicably can’t use a rear view mirror! This house-proud, Mondeo driving, wedding planning documentary watcher seems a far cry from the person I assumed I would be when I pondered my childhood ambition of becoming a Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle.
But do you know what? I don’t care! As you get older what you want in life naturally changes and that’s fine by me! I love my life and being a grown-up definitely doesn’t mean you have to stop having fun! I’m luckier than most, I do a job every day that I absolutely love and it turns out that the idea of getting married to a girl isn’t quite as disgusting a thought as my six year old self once believed.
But let’s face it, you’re not a real grown-up until you invest all of your money in stocks, see Christmas as a hassle and understand how to play cribbage… there’s hope for me yet, I don’t even understand the rules of Rummy or Yahtzee!
Eat your heart out Peter Pan!