Gentle Listener, I am now 31.
I’ve learnt things.
I want to share them with you.
Here they are.
- If you can’t think of a hilarious and verbose introduction to a list-based blog post, short and sweet is king.
- Everyone in the world is either married or engaged.
- If you are not married or engaged, you start to fear that the reality of aged spinsters silently knitting alone is coming your way, baby.
- You start tutting at loud music in shops.
- Your friends start discussing mortgages and car insurance in the pub, and you’re too embarrassed to ask if anyone saw ‘World’s Most Dangerous Newts’ on Channel 5 last night.
- Crouching for long periods of time doesn’t become impossible, but unpleasant.
- The wrinkles that you see on grown-up people suddenly appear on your own fair skin, overnight. Next to the fresh spot that popped up yesterday.
- Facebook is swamped with first smiles, first steps, first birthdays, first school photos, first managed-not-to-shit-on-the-floor-but-in-the-allocated-potty-in-the-allocated-poo-station-in-the-corner-of-the-bathroom-s.
- If you don’t have a child with which to adorn Facebook with its firsts, your parent friends assume that there is an old ice cream tub where your womb should be.
- If you accidentally buy trousers with elasticated waists, you do not freak out at their tragic agedness, but rather relish in their supportive yet luxurious comfort.
- A nice cup of tea and a sit down is literally the shit.
- You find bits of your body evolving into places you cannot follow.
- You don’t buy clothes on their fashion merits, but on your judgment on whether they will maintain you at a pleasing temperature.
- A bottle of wine + ‘British kids’ TV theme tunes from the 80s’ on YouTube = Best. Night. Ever.
- You see your friends every two months instead of twice a week because of children / honeymoons / mortgage repayments / late-night working / business trips to New York / prison.
- You have to start taking paracetamol before, possibly during, and definitely after a drinking session to mitigate the risks.
- You genuinely start to not give a poppins about what people think of you and you’re much better with criticism.
- There is literally nothing more exciting than discovering a 70-part show to binge watch on Netflix.
- People falling over is still funny.
- You start asking for grown-up things like saucepan sets, slow cookers and new mattresses for birthdays and Christmas, and are genuinely thrilled when you receive them.
- You see your childhood toys labelled as ‘vintage’ and ‘retro’ on eBay, and a small part of you dies (but you secretly don’t mind now being ‘retro’).
- You are still not too old or grown-up to act like a right brat in front of your parents.
- You keep a packet of Rennies or Tums in your bag, because indigestion is an evil you do not care for.
- You fear for humanity when you see pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio looking a bit old and podgy.
- You cannot grasp what a ‘gif’ or a ‘vine’ is, and you’re too afraid to ask.
- Vicious forces start mucking about with Time, and as a result, Christmas comes round every three weeks, yesterday was 5th May and today is 30th October, and when someone asks you what month you went to Greece, you assume this pose:
- You realise that, when you thought at the age of 22 that by the time you were 30 you’d know what words like ‘dividend’ and ‘remittance’ mean, you were naive, and you don’t.
- You are utterly fascinated by teenagers, because the last time you spoke to one, you were one.
- Instead of saving up all your money to go on a £100 blow-out on a Saturday, you drink moderately and consistently throughout the week.
- If you’re a writer, the phrase ‘Write drunk; edit sober’ is literally the best advice anyone has literally given to anyone literally ever.
- If your night out edges much past 11pm, you start desperately worrying about transport.
- You get vague pangs of envy when you see nubile, dewy, smooth-skinned 20-somethings prancing around and necking shots, but then you remember you have a fresh packets of crumpets in your cupboard at home.
- You still catch yourself thinking the phrase ‘When I grow up’ and wince inwardly and painfully every time.
- None of the above is really so bad.
So, if you are yet to tumble into your 30s, you have all this to look forward to; and if you are past your 30s, please don’t spoil the surprise. We’ll find out soon enough.
Like, TOMORROW, at this rate.