I’m not old. I was born in 1990. But lately I’ve been feeling a little old.
I galloped off to University TEN YEARS ago this September. I was awfully homesick and, despite thinking I was a woman of the world now I lived in a city 70 miles away from home, couldn’t make cheese on toast without a small fire and got a warning for calling 999 in an attempt to obtain a crime reference number for my lost buss pass. It seems like another life now I can successfully cook [some] meals, have kept 2 cats and a dog alive for almost 8 years (less for the littlest of the fluffies that let us share our home with them), have a proper job that I don’t ring in sick to just because I feel like I cant be arsed or would rather be at the seaside and own a home, a tiny square of land in the corner of Yorkshire known to Guardian readers as The Shoreditch of the North.
I rewatched 10 Things I Hate About You recently. In hindsight I didn’t just think Julia Stiles and her spaghetti strap vest/ baggy cargo trouser combo was cool AF but definitely fancied her a bit. But when I mentioned 10 Things to someone at work I was met with blank stares. I hadn’t realised anyone in the world didn’t know the film but, after an extremely non-scientific survey, it transpires that anyone born after 1990 is unlikely to. I didn’t even start the conversation about another Stiles classic Save the Last Dance and it’s sometimes problematic cultural appropriation.
Then a friend of mine suggested we have a night out, clubing. I responded; sounded good but it would have to be dinner and maybe a glass of wine at a quiet bar somewhere (though I rarely drink and she has a newborn so planning soon descended into meeting for a coffee). I told her, frankly, the last time I went to a club and had a good time was December 2012. In 2012 I alsostill fake tanned on the reg and died my hair auburn because I apparently had the time and inclination to spend on the upkeep. I remember that night vividly as the night I lost my favourite, and most uncomfortable, shoe-boots and learnt a very hard lesson the next day about having commitments on a hangover. I’ve been clubbing since then, of course. The songs are largely the same, but now they’re played ironically or are remixed for a new flood of clubbers, who didn’t know the original (or the remix we knew). Now, I spend almost the entire time I’m in a club wondering where I can sit down apart from the toilet, in awe at the heels some people can walk (let alone dance) in, guarding my drink and handbag from strangers and calculating when I can make an escape without looking rude, antisocial or boring. I’m much happier with my phone off, netflix on and my curtains closed.
Now I like to potter round museums and galleries, take a day trip somewhere, flick through the Guardian while rain pitterpatters outside, browse holiday destinations, eat thai food in my pyjamas, snuggle up with my wife for a good film or to binge watch a boxset, buy new pyjamas. What I seem to be saying is, I like indoor activities that don’t involve heels.
Which is maybe why I love autumn and winter so much. It’s a little more acceptable to eat comfort food and avoid excessive socialising with the excuse of bad weather. Not to mention I’m a huge fan of a good solid pair of flat shoes and a nice coat. There’s whisperings that the recent heat wave will continue into next month (the papers will call it an Indian Summer and no one will know what to wear for work. Again.) but the shops are full of mustards and aubergines and all memory of those silly cut out shoulders has disappeared.
So I’ve been feeling old lately but the season for snuggling up with a cuppa is coming so I’ll embrace my grey hairs and accept I’m not 18 anymore. But that’s okay.