I turned 24 the other day. Closer to 20 then 30, not yet wrinkly or particularly saggy, young enough to experiment with trend-based fashion and old enough to not be harrassed for ID at bars. But until last night I have never really felt like an adult. Graduating from uni, living on the other side of the globe and giving birth still hadn't made that "grown-up" section of my self-awareness kick into action. Frankie magazine ran a story a couple of issues ago where various writers revealed the moment they became a "grown-up". There was the first sexual experience, realising your parent's taste in music isn't as daggy as you once thought &co. &co., but it made me think. I just re-read those first few sentences and realised it sounds like I'm about to launch into some erotic fantasy about "being treated like a woman"; apologies for that. What I meant is, after years of fairly hard partying, tempered by having a baby of course but the urge is still there when I'm not too tired/cranky/wanting to wear pjs, last night I honestly and truly wanted to stand around in a fairly quiet bar with my friends, have a few drinks and a good old gossip...and not get completely maggoted and dance the night away. Those who know me personally have just keeled over in shock, but it's true. The thought of being stamped from a nightclub full off too-young, too-orange people in clingy polyester is about as attractive to me now as being tickled with a red-hot cattle prod. This never used to be the case. I'd happily get tipsy enough to not care where we were drinking and dancing or what sort of rhytmic rot we were dancing to. Last night I took great pleasure in getting tipsy enough to talk louder then usual and cackle at everyone's (yes, mine too) bad jokes and generally just enjoy everyone's company, but by midnight was seriosuly contemplating my ugg boots, a cup of tea and leftover birthday cake. I realised just how much more attractive this is then stumbling barefoot to Merv's Pizzeria for chicken wingdings under flourescent lights.
A few of my more settled friends had already trotted off, and when I mentioned to another that I didn't really feel like partying all night, gawd I must be truly old, she replied "You're not old, you're just grown-up". She was right, I think. She's a psychologist and been at uni for three thousand years so she knows what she's talking about. She also warned me that the majority of people we were dinner-ing/partying with would be gone by midnight, because we just don't have the interest in partying til dawn anymore. Apparently, that's what grown-ups do: drink enough to be happy, enjoy everyone's conversation and company, head home for a good night's rest and not feel like hell, cursing the sunshine and craving Burger Rings all Sunday. Whereas once I would've poo-poohed the idea, it now makes perfect sense. Not to say that people who do party all night are delusional or irresponsible or indeed wrap themselves in cheap fabrics, I hope they party hearty while they still have the drive, and when that lightbulb goes off signalling the beginning of sensible socialising, they can sit back, smile, and appreciate what they've had.
Of course, wise psychologist friend is getting hitched in December, so we're all going to make the most of the free champers, kick off our stylish but uncomfortable heels, try to remember not to tuck our frocks into our knickers after struggling to the toilets in large groups getting disoriented on the way back, all while struggling to remember the steps to Nutbush. Hell yeah.