Bonus question. Do you know where todays’ Blog title came from?*
Hint: It’s a song, in a film.
Anyway, today I am totally not in the mood for Adulting. I need to make appointments for a contact lens check up and I have work stuff to organise and blogs to draft but I had a rubbish nights sleep as my back hurt and all I want to do really is watch Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries on Netflix and sulk.
A few days ago I read this post on Forever Amber, about reasons she’s not a grown up, and whilst I nodded along with most of them, feeling relieved that I wasn’t the only person in the world who’d never grown up, there was also the little screaming child in the back of my head that was going “BUT I’VE SEEN PHOTOS OF YOUR HOUSE! WHERE IS THE DUST? YOU HAVE REFURBISHED A BATHROOM AND LAID NEW FLOORING AND I HAVE BEEN IN MY HOUSE NEARLY 3 YEARS AND THERE IS STILL A HOLE IN THE KITCHEN CEILING! YOU ARE TOTALLY A GROWN UP! I AM FAILING AT LIFE!”
I turned 36 years old this year, and every now and again it’s bought home to me that I am very, very old. Time Hop reminding me that it was 22 years ago that Jurassic Park came out, a film I saw at the cinema, on the same day that a Derby friend of mine turned 23, PR’s who tweet me handy links about nutrition during the menopause and appearing in the Good Housekeeping list of 10 Fashion Blogs for Grown Ups to name just a few.
I’ve never really bothered that much about age, I just do my own thing, but it’s really weird to realise that on the surface people think that you are a “Grown Up” one of “THEM”. It occurs to me that amongst all my friends, the ones with children and the ones without, the ones with responsible jobs and several university degrees and the ones who work in the corner shop, I don’t think very many of them at all would describe themselves as “grown up”. In reality all of us are just bimbling our way through life doing our own thing and hoping it all works out in the end.
So just to be contrary, I decided to list all the reasons I might appear to be a grown up, and explain why I think all of those things are obviously a mistake.
- I’m Married
That always seemed like a deeply grown up thing to do. Get married. Not only am I married but I am coming up to my 10 year wedding anniversary.
Our Wedding day was lovely, but I ordered my wedding dress online and had to sew up a piece of chiffon to put down the top of my corset to stop my nipples popping out. I taped it to myself with toupee tape so it didn’t fall out during the day and 10 years later I still haven’t dry cleaned my skirt. I’m fairly sure grown ups have dress fittings and rented tuxes? I also carried fake flowers that I bought from eBay as frankly dealing with florists was way too confusing, and anyway I have hayfever so I probably shouldn’t spend all day waving fresh flowers in front of my face.
I don’t feel like my wedding was very grown up, and being married? Well it’s much like not being married, especially as I didn’t change my name afterwards, because, well, that feels weird to me, like I’m somehow a different person and double barrelling? Way too grown up.
2. I own a house.
For the last 3 years the house I live in has not been rented from a landlord. We don’t technically “own” it, the bank still does most of it, but mortgages and all that are terribly grown up.
Except I don’t “own” a house at all, Mr Chick does. I even had to sign a piece of paper to say I didn’t own the house before they would give him a mortgage because I am so immature that I have stupidly huge amounts of debt and no bank in their right mind would ever lend me any money. I have no more idea at this point how to go about getting a mortgage than I did before.
3. I’m Self Employed
I know, right, I do my own tax return and I sign contracts and make business arrangements with people and stuff. That’s way grown up.
Not the way I do it. Somehow I managed to make “wearing frocks” part of my job description although I have attempted to do things like formulate a business plan, it never really stuck. I feel like I am self employed because I was far too immature to hold down a proper job where I had to put on clothes and go out in the morning and see actual people all day.
4. House renovations
When we moved in there was a gas fire in our front room that we ripped out and replaced with that amazing open fireplace that always gets loads of compliments when I take outfit photos in front of it. Don’t look at the fireplace look at ME ME ME! We ripped out and replaced the kitchen and bathroom and moved the door to the back garden into the dining room to give us more kitchen space. This all sounds terribly grown up to me even as I write it. We even HIRED A SANDER to do the floorboards in the living room.
The secret truth is that the back door was moved 3 years ago, and I can’t help but think that an actual grown up would have fixed the hole underneath, plastered over the lintel and re-sited the electric socket that had to be moved by now. They might also have been bothered to properly sand down the bathroom door before they painted it white so that the varnish didn’t seep back and show up over the paint (how does it even do that?) They might even, and I’m not sure, because I’m not sure what grown ups really do, have NOT put that lovely fireplace in and instead spent the money on something sensible like tiling the kitchen and repairing the hole in the ceiling. Like I say, I can’t say for sure because I don’t know any grown ups to check with.
5. I have an ISA
It even has some money in it. How grown up, it’s like I’m preparing for the future. Except I probably really shouldn’t have any savings because I have debts, all the grown up things say that you should pay off your debts first before you save. But I think “what if I need money?”. It’s also an instant access ISA, which means I can dip into it occasionally for vitally important things like needing more spending money to buy wine. I also don’t have anything sensible like a pension which sometimes makes me wake up in terror in the middle of the night because I should probably sort that out before I die alone and get eaten by cats.
6. I’m an Auntie
My sister has 2 gorgeous boys. Being Auntie Gemma feels terribly grown up, but the fact is I’m a Auntie because someone I’m related to had children. Some of my friends have children too, I think they’re lovely, I don’t hate children, contrary to popular belief. I’m just not sure what you’re supposed to do with them and my total inability to talk to children like anything other than small grown ups is a cause of great hilarity among my friends and family.
7. I have loyalty cards for Supermarkets
Probably the fact that I think that’s grown up tells you everything you need to know. Everyone has loyalty cards these days, but the fact that I manage mine carefully and actually replaced the cards when I lost my purse (because I was drunk and left it in a cab, see, not a grown up) make me feel quite grown up. I don’t even always use the vouchers immediately I get them. I save them and use them to buy treats at Christmas. How grown up am I?
Well, maybe, sort of grown up. If those treats weren’t largely booze related.
8. I own a garlic press
And a rolling pin, and a casserole dish and 2 potato mashers and a sieve. I have a dishwasher too. And it only took me 2 tries to spell sieve right. I actually can’t think of any reason that these things don’t make me grown up. I use them all for their intended purpose and I empty and reload the dishwasher at least once a day, normally when the kitchen surface is too full of empty glasses and cups to take any more, which maybe isn’t so grown up, but hey, baby steps.
So I might be the self-employed, married, responsible owner of a garlic press, but I’m 36 years old and I never learnt to drive, I’m yet to get my head around the idea of an organised wardrobe preferring instead to keep all my shoes in a pile on the floor that I have to move every time I want to get into a cupboard and I can’t stand unexpected guests because a) I can’t stand unexpected guests and b) My house is in no fit state to receive them, ever.
So I have to ask, is there any such thing as a grown-up? I’m not sure I know any.
* It’s from the Worst Witch, a children’s film from 1986 starring Tim Curry which I have in no way out grown in the last 30 years.