When I published my post about all the things that make me think I’m not a real grown-up, Sarah commented and, in reference to my point about being unable to clean glass without having to call my mum, recommended a certain brand of cleaning cloths she’d found at Amazon.
Now, I’m always up for trying a new cleaning product, so I went and had a look, and by the time I’d read the first few reviews, the cloths were ordered, and I was smuggly informing a disinterested Terry that we were about to have the cleanest glass ever. EVER. And that’s when it hit me. I may only be 13-years-old in my head, but if my ACTUAL 13-year-old self knew I’d ordered cleaning cloths with almost the same level of excitement she used to reserve for the latest copy of Smash Hits, she’d probably stand up and flounce out of the room, shrieking that it was “SO UNFAIR” and that she “MAY AS WELL BE DEAD ALREADY” if this was how she was going to end up.
And yet, this IS how I’ve ended up. I mean, only a grown up would be excited about CLOTHS, right?* So while I stand by everything I said in last week’s post, and firmly believe that I will never, ever TRULY be a “grown-up”, today I thought I’d share some of the ways in which I’m … well, let’s just say I’m getting there. For instance:
(The confectionery in this post has nothing to do with anything, btw. Tasty on ice-cream, though.)
01. I RUN ERRANDS IN MY WORKOUT CLOTHES, AND HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO TAKE THE TRASH OUT IN MY DRESSING GOWN
I’m not trying to say here that sloppy dressing is a sign of maturity, but, in my case at least, NOT CARING that the neighbours might possibly catch a glimpse of me in my nightclothes is definitely a sign of progress. As a teenager, I would have straight-up DIED at the very thought of being seen looking anything less than immaculate, because as a teenager I believed the world revolved around ME, and that what I was wearing at any given time was of the utmost importance. To everyone. As an adult, well, I still obviously love my shopping, but seriously: who can be bothered doing a complete outfit change just to run to the end of the driveway to pick up that parcel the postman left in the “safe place”? Not this totally grown-up adult. Nuh-uh.
02. I HAVE ALLOWED PEOPLE TO SEE ME WITHOUT MAKE-UP
Again, failure to care about your appearance does not make you an adult, but look: I used to wear a full-face of make-up to the gym, for God’s sake. In my defence, it was mostly because I’d go there after work, and I couldn’t be bothered removing and then re-applying the makeup I was already wearing, but it was also because I thought I would die if someone saw my bare face. In university, the fire alarm used to regularly go off in the building I lived in: everyone would pile outside to stand, bleary-eyed, waiting for the fire brigade to turn up to switch it off. I, meanwhile, would take the time to apply a quick coat of mascara first, because I was seriously THAT STUPID.
These days? Honestly, I’d still rather not be seen without my “face” on, but I stopped wearing make-up to the gym many years ago (Well, it’s a waste of good make-up, isn’t it? Do you know how much that stuff costs?) and the world did not end. Imagine!
03. I HAVE ACTUALLY TOLD THE NEIGHBOURHOOD KIDS TO GET OFF MY LAWN
It’s one of the reasons we moved house, to be honest. Those pesky kids: why, I oughta…!
04. I NO LONGER JUDGE PEOPLE ON THEIR TASTE IN MUSIC
I’m ashamed to admit it, but I used to be the most horrible music snob, and if I met someone who liked what I considered to be bad music, I would judge the hell out of them. Now I not only hate ANY kind of snobbery, I’m married to a Meatloaf fan, and the most played tracks on my phone are all by Taylor Swift. I’m in no position to judge anyone, here…
05. I DON’T REALLY CARE IF YOU LIKE ME
Recently I met a couple of people who I got That Feeling about. You know That Feeling, right? It’s when someone isn’t being rude, exactly, but you just somehow KNOW that as soon as your back is turned, that bitch is going to be sniggering at your outfit or whatever. Even just a few years ago, I’d have been absolutely destroyed by this: I’d have spent hours agonising over what I’d done wrong, and what I could’ve done differently, and, just, WHY DON’T THEY LIKE ME, DAMMIT? Now? Now I just quietly register That Feeling, and my main emotion is simply, “Meh: I don’t like her much, either.” Progress, people!
(I may or may not also have a bit of a rant about it to Terry. Well, good manners cost nothing, you know? Speaking of which…)
06. I FREQUENTLY FIND MYSELF UTTERING THE PHRASE, ‘MANNERS COST NOTHING, YOU KNOW!”
I am a stickler for etiquette. I don’t mean that in the “which spoon should you use with which dish” kinda sense, but simply in the “this is how we behave when we’re in company” sense. And I will not judge your for your taste in music, for what you’re wearing, or anything else like that, but you better believe I will judge your lack of manners. Because they cost nothing, people! Nothing!
(Terry and I use the phrase ‘The Etiquette’ to refer to my many rules of engagement. ‘It just went TOTALLY against The Etiquette!” I’ll say, once or twice or fifteen times a week…)
07. I IRON THE BEDSHEETS
From what I’ve read on the internet, the question of bedsheets, and whether or not they should be ironed, is second only to the “do you ask guests to remove their shoes” issue in terms of controversy. I’ve actually seen people be branded “idiots” and told they obviously have too much time on their hands, just for admitting to quickly running the iron over the sheets, but… I do this. I can’t imagine NOT doing it, actually. I’m not judging YOU if you don’t, I hasten to add, and I don’t spend hours over it or anything like that, but the thought of putting crumpled sheets on the bed would be a bit like putting my shoes away dirty or something. You may all now proceed to inform me that YOU have better things to do with your time than ironing sheets, but a) I DON’T, OK? and b) you are totally breaking The Etiquette by looking down on me for this, seriously.
08. WHATEVER SOCIAL ACTIVITY YOU’RE ABOUT TO SUGGEST, I’M TOO TIRED FOR IT
When I was at university, I worked weekends in a call centre: every Friday night I’d go out clubbing until around 3am, not get to bed until 3:45-ish, then be up again at 6:30, to be at work by 8:00. Then on Saturday night, I’d do it all again. I’d also go out at least a few times during the week, even although I had classes every day (Which I, er, didn’t always attend, mind you.) I thought absolutely nothing of this – I mean, sure, I’d have much preferred to have lain in bed all morning, but I don’t remember ever feeling particularly the worse for wear the next day. These days I can have a couple of glasses of wine and spend the next morning with a hangover – and, during conversations with my nephews (who are 19 and 21, and also think nothing of staying out all night then working the next day), I’ll frequently find myself saying ‘old person’ things like, “I just don’t know how you do it!” or, worse, “I wish I had half your energy!” (My nephews are far too polite to say, “Amber, you’re ancient,” but that’s certainly what I used to think when I was their age and people used to say things like that to ME..)
(Oh, and I also recently caught myself telling my nephew, “You’ll understand when you’re older,” in reference to loud music from a neighbours house, which he thought was fine, and all the old folks present were annoyed by…)
* * *
I WAS going to add the fact that when I’m in a bar or club, I’ll frequently complain about the volume of the music, by saying things like, “I mean, when I’m out with my friends, I want to be able to TALK to them, you know?!”, but then I realised that I’ve actually ALWAYS been like that, even when I was a teenager. (And, seriously: WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE SO DAMN LOUD?) So maybe it’s really just about personality, rather than age. And, just to re-iterate: I might iron my bedsheets but I refuse to spend a sunny day washing the car (that’s why they have car washes, surely?), we replaced our lawn with pebbles, just so we wouldn’t have to mow it, and I can’t drive the car anywhere without feeling a bit like I’ve stolen it.
Other than that, though, I’m totally an adult now, for reals.
(*Because I know you all care deeply, the cleaning cloths are AMAZING, seriously. This is not the last you’ll be hearing about them, trust me…)