I went to lunch the other day with some friends. We met on our first day of uni, our friendship was cemented on a £3 bottle of wine each before going out, drinks, drinks, drinks, dancing and not remembering getting home. And here we were, having a lovely lunch with nice wine in a quality restaurant. There was quiet background music, we had a long chat about our lives – jobs, careers, partners, children – and everyone was in bed by a decent time. It was fantastic, and all very civilised. But on reflection; it occurred to me – am I getting old? Help!
And thinking about it, while children undeniably keep you young (like my mum, who still listens to Radio 1, shops at Topshop and knows who all of One Direction are) and I also don’t feel old or responsible enough to have passed my teenage years, children can also make you feel really, really old. After a run of bad nights and at the moment, when I have back ache and a bump, I feel as if I’m days away from my royal telegram.
I’m not actually that old, in the grand scheme of things…am I? But where’s the truth? Here’s the signs (you decide):
* I’m really happy about good weather…because it means I can hang my washing on the line. And a sunny day? Screw sunbathing, think of the multiple load-drying potential
* We bought Eliza an Easter present instead of an egg, because she’ll get much more use of out it, and we don’t want her to have too much chocolate, and so on. All very…sensible
* I now have cultural references that make younger people go ‘what?’ I can remember when people said these sort of things to me and I thought they were soooo old, grandma
* A recent satisfying shopping ‘haul’ consisted of paint, washing line pegs, and the more expensive Waitrose biscuits. And no, I won’t be making a YouTube video about it
* Our first house was picked for close proximity to Zone 1, bars, the quick stagger into work and the night bus route home. This one? Good schools and a garden, and it’s too far out to be on the tube. Early 20s London-dwelling me would have been shocked, I tell you
* Despite moving months ago, I’m still obsessed with property prices and the RightMove app is filed in a folder called ‘entertainment.’ And I no longer watch reality TV, but love any new series involving Kirsty and Phil
* Going out is all about restaurants we’ve read about in weekend supplements, quality cocktails and the actual event of doing something, rather than pure volume of alcohol
* Instead of Zara, Topshop and bars, I now spend most of my money in places like Topps Tiles, Howdens and The Bath Store. And any of the following are now a cause for excitement – new carpets, wallpaper, bathroom fittings, metro tiles, shaker-style kitchen cupboard doors
* Women’s magazine? Too full of adverts and a waste of money
* I like the new Coldplay song and I’m not even sorry.