About five years ago, almost all of my friends decided to start having children, pretty much simultaneously, and this came as a huge surprise to me, because WHOA, isn’t that, like, something only GROWN UPS should be doing?
And we, of course, were not grown-ups: or, at least, I wasn’t. My friends obviously were, and Terry seemed to be too, because he was always worrying about the national debt, and suggesting that we buy some plants for that corner of the garden “we’d” been wondering what to do with. (My suggestion of building a second dressing room was rejected, surprisingly enough…)
Me, on the other hand? I am still very much a child. I’ve been waiting my whole life to start feeling like a “grown up”, but it hasn’t happened yet, and the fact that I now have a child of my own hasn’t done anything at all to change that: in fact, sometimes when I’m out with Max somewhere, I’ll be half expecting someone to come up and challenge me, demanding to know where I got the baby, and why there isn’t a responsible adult in charge of us both. Then it hits me that, oh yeah, I’M the responsible adult now, apparently. So why don’t I feel like one?
This isn’t a new thing, of course. Actually, I’ve always lagged behind in the whole “being a grown-up” thing. Even as a little girl, I didn’t really see the attraction in it. My friends would be all, “I’m NOT six, I’m six AND SEVEN EIGHTHS, thankyouverymuch, which means I’m ALMOST SEVEN, which is totally close to being EIGHT!” and meanwhile I’d just be like, “Yeah, six is fine by me, thanks. Five-and-Thirteen-Months would be better, though.” Why was everyone in such a hurry to be a grown up? I mean, sure, when you were a grown up, you got to eat whatever you wanted (So, salt and vinegar crisps for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then…), but it wasn’t like you got to DO whatever you wanted. In fact, all of the grown-ups I knew had jobs, which seemed really boring, and basically like school, but without the long holidays, and where was the fun in that? Also, grown-ups had to watch the news rather than cartoons, and people gave them CLOTHES for Christmas. CLOTHES. Can you even IMAGINE anything more boring? (Yeah, yeah, all the lols…)
I DID manage to go through most of the big life stages at roughly the same time as everyone else, but I did them in a not-remotely serious way. Like, I went to university, but I studied English Literature: not because I thought it would help me find a career (I couldn’t even imagine having a “career”, and, to be completely honest, I didn’t really bother trying, because surely “careers” were for grown-ups, and, ooh, is that a bag of Haribo mix over there? BRB…), but because I figured it would just be like reading books all the time, and would basically allow me to delay adulthood for another four years. I bought a house, but if I hadn’t had Terry to keep me on the straight and narrow, I’d probably have been tempted to keep living with my parents, and buy a Porsche and a ton of designer shoes, instead. I got married, and the only thing I really cared about was having exactly the right playlist for the party afterwards. (Well, bad music ruins everything, doesn’t it?)
Which brings me to the present: a time when, even with a child of my own, I’m still constantly wondering when I’m going to start feeling like a grown-up?
Here are some other, totally random, things that make me think I am totally not a grown-up:
I never have any money. Or not ON me, at least: because I’m a bit like the queen in this respect – I never carry cash. Unlike the queen, meanwhile, that’s often because I don’t actually HAVE any cash, and am just counting down to payday, so I can hand over my entire salary to ASOS again, and then try to convince Terry that it would be totally fine to just live on toast all month. In my defence, I AM doing my best to break this habit because I’m very, very aware of how incredibly stupid it is, but I’ve been bad with money my entire life, and the only reason I’m not in the debtor’s jail right now is because Terry is my polar opposite, and has managed to keep me on the straight-and-narrow. Well, that and the fact that I don’t think the debtor’s jail exists any more, does it? I mean, we’re not living in Dickens’ London, are we?
Anyway. Last month I started using Plum to track my spending (This isn’t a sponsored post, btw, but that IS an affiliate link, so if you secretly hate me and don’t want me to get a commission, you’re going to want to avoid clicking it…), and I’m very much hoping that doing this will help me feel more like a responsible adult, who is good at The Adulting.
On the other hand, last week I hid in the bedroom just to avoid the window cleaner, because I don’t keep cash in the house, and he doesn’t accept debit cards. (Hey, maybe we ARE living in Dickens’ London, because, I mean, who doesn’t accept debit cards?) So, you know, MAYBE NOT.
When parents tell their children to “watch out for that lady!” I always look over my shoulder to see who the “lady” is, and then am totally shocked to discover the lady is ME, and want to go, “I AM NO LADY, YOUNG MAN!” Which would just be straight-up weird, really, wouldn’t it?
I have to get my mum round to clean some of the mirrors in my house, because I’m totally incapable of doing it myself. (See also: things you can probably do that I can’t.)
I am shocked to my core when people tell me they WERE going to go on holiday this year, but they decided to have the driveway monoblocked instead. SHOCKED. TO. MY. CORE.
I have never hosted a dinner party, and have absolutely no desire to. I do have a large collection of take-out menus, though: enjoy!
I still feel nervous when I see groups of teenagers or pre-teens coming towards me, because I think they’re going to make fun of my hair/outfit/face/whatever. It has yet to sink in that kids that age see me as ANCIENT (A “lady”!), and therefore invisible/irrelevant.
When I walk into a bar, I panic in case I don’t have my ID on me. I haven’t been asked to show ID since… actually, let’s just move onto the next point…
It still feels funny to me when my nephews and niece call me “Auntie Amber”. Because an “auntie” is a grown-up person, and I am not a… oh.
Almost every day I see a dress, or a pair of shoes or something on the internet, and I’m instantly all, “OMG, SHOOZ! I MUST HAVE THE SHOOZ! GIMME THE SHOOZ!” Surely adults don’t do this? I don’t remember my parents or their friends ever doing stuff like this?
Haribo mix. Give me it.
A lot of my favourite TV shows revolve around the goings-on of a group of high school students. I relate to these people. These people would laugh their asses off at the very idea that they might have ANYTHING in common with someone older than, like 20.
Sometimes I catch myself thinking, “What if I don’t have dinner tonight, and have an entire chocolate cake instead?”
Sometimes my friends will be telling me about something their child did, and I’ll be all, “Oh yeah, I do that too!” And I do.
Basically, in my mind, I’m still 13 years old, and I feel like I always will be. Does everyone secretly feel like this, I wonder? Not like they’re 13, specifically, but like they’re… well, making it all up as they go along, really? Because I can clearly remember being a child, or a teenager even, looking at people the age I am now and thinking they had everything sussed: they were just so GROWN UP and self-assured, and meanwhile here am I, feeling no different at all.
Seriously: IS it just me?
(Er, going to be pretty awkward if it IS, huh?)