Good morning, lovely reader! How’re you doing on this fine Friday?
Thank you very much for the birthday wishes yesterday; I had a really lovely day, and feel thoroughly spoilt. I do not, however, feel twenty-five. A few people have said “ooh, this is your last big birthday before thirty!” which I think is a lie based on the fact that humans like nice, round numbers, i.e. multiples of five. This is a nice birthday for sure, but if I want to make my twenty-seventh birthday a “big” one, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll do it, convention be damned. Two years from now we will all be meeting for afternoon birthday tea at the Ritz, OR running around a fairground that includes at least one bouncy castle and some dodgems. (No clowns, though. Definitely, DEFINITELY no clowns.)
But this is the problem, as you can see from my two top party choices: everything in a twenty-something’s life comes back to trying to decide whether to be a grown-up or a child. When is it ok to be silly, and when do we have to be on our best behaviour?
I am currently working on a really exciting digital project with two lovely lads, both of whom have a lot of expertise in creative and technical production. They are perceptive, talented and passionate people who are an absolute joy to work with. They are also old friends of mine who share a ludicrous sense of humour and the tendency to enjoy silly voices, so you can see why we all get on so well. Anyway, we had a meeting a couple of weeks ago about the project, which was a seriously mature affair. We took minutes, for crying out loud. In the midst of a very technical, important, official discussion about equipment and release forms etc., one of the boys said “oh my God, this is so grown-up!” and the other immediately started singing a little song that went “we’re grown-ups, we’re grown-ups”, complete with hand-clapping.
So obviously as soon as we realise that we’re being adults, we feel compelled to do something to return to our childish roots. Whenever I discover that someone my age is getting married, it immediately makes me want to balance out the universe by eating a McDonald’s Happy Meal (or something). When I find out that someone my age has gone clubbing in Watford on a Friday night, it drives me to read a furniture assembly instruction manual. We are grown-ups or big kids depending on the occasion, and I think that that’s absolutely fine, for two reasons:
1) We are supposed to be enjoying our lives. As long as we can separate the silly moments from the serious, why do we have to behave a certain way all of the time? Why can’t Ash and I impersonate the bunnies from Gnomeo and Juliet when we want to? Not that we ever do that. Ahem.
2) No matter how grown-up we get, we will never be completely free of our younger selves. People who are married, buying houses and having kids still say that they feel like they’re pretending to be adults, and that they’re playing at being responsible. There is a surreal and scary quality to adult life that we have to defend ourselves against by letting out the childish impulses once in a while. Perfect example: my dad started his day at 8am by running down the stairs singing “tra la la!” very, very loudly and for no discernible reason. The man is knocking on sixty and he’s still got time for childish behaviour, so I think the rest of us can give ourselves a break.
Have a spectacular Friday. I hope that your post-work social plans are the highlight of your week.