Monday, 11 October 2010

35 And Not Dead

As most of you will know (and thanks for all the kind messages by the way) I had another accident with my calendar at the weekend.

Apparently, and according to something called 'time', I turned 35 years old last Friday. All of which seems barely conceivable but I'm going to have to accept it at some point. So I thought I would start now, and here, in the one place where my inner-most thoughts are kept. That way I can rest assured that only about 20 of you at the most will ever find them.

The most striking thing about being 35 is the fact that if you are, then most if not all of your mates are. Or older! This causes all manner of social problems. Having arranged a post-work gathering we got to Friday lunch time in the frankly embarrassing predicament of having only four people confirmed to attend. Everyone else is too old. They're 35. They've gone off to do grown-up things like have kids, go to ASDA or put shelves up in their spare rooms. I'm 35, but I don't want to do any of those things. I want to get drunk, play on my Wii and watch Match Of The Day. All at the same time if possible.

And so I'm in some kind of tragic limbo. I'm staggering around drunkenly, looking for the sign on the wall where it says I'm supposed to grow up now. I have a mortgage and a long-term girlfriend but that's about as far as I'm willing to embrace adulthood. Even shaving my face really grinds my gears. I reach the point where I haven't done it for over a week, by when those cheap disposable razors that the infinitely more grown-up Emma buys from ASDA struggle to get through the thick carpet that has slowly developed around my chin. And then I cut myself, but it's more to do with clumsiness and cheap razors than any desire to self-harm.

Because you see I'm not unhappy. Not really. Yes I was close to some sort of mental breakdown on Friday lunchtime when I realised just how unpopular I could be, but the moment passed. It always does. In fact I was rather pleased with the turn-out in the end, and as I alluded to earlier there were dozens of good wishes from some very nice people indeed.

I have many things that I want. I want to be in a long-term relationship AND unmarried. I want to go out to my local and drink (on my own if need be) on a Saturday night if the alternative is the bloody X-Factor. And I can. And I do. The only problem is I feel I am being judged by the family-orientated people my age. They're all so much more mature than me, and therefore they're just better people. They're leading a good life, doing their bit to maintain the human race, whereas people like me well.......we're all about ourselves. Ourselves and our Wiis and our beer. Who needs kids when you are one?

But I'm not. I'm 35.

Yet that in itself cannot be all bad. Another birthday means another year passed without the buggers getting me. Three years ago my specialist looked at a scan of my kidneys, rubbed his chin and told me they weren't going to last much longer. I'm no specialist (though I like to think I have better people skills than most of them) but I know that continuing to exist becomes difficult without kidneys. I'm quite sure that many people have died from the lack of any functioning kidneys. And so it is with some relief (with the odd slice of weariness on bad days) that I continue to breathe your air, eat your food and drink your beer. If and when I reach 40 I'm going to throw a huge party to celebrate not being dead. I'll get drunk and wake up feeling like I am dead.

But I won't be, and that's the important thing.

1 comment:

Lee said...

Great to read Ste, love the use of the phrase "grinds my gears".

As one of your younger friends, I hope to be at your 40th.