I'm lying on my sofa under a blanket watching The Neverending Story and wishing I was 8 years old. Today has so far been a day of reminders that I am not really young any more...and it's a tough feeling.
Firstly, I woked up at about 8:30am this morning. I was thrilled to have had a lie in. I woke up, got up, showered and started working on everything I needed to do today. Then my housemates appeared and we watched the tennis.
I cannot even begin to list the things that are wrong with that paragraph...thrilled to be up at 8:30am on a Saturday?? Give over! I'm clearly not 16 any more. I got up? I didn't lie in bed hating everything that was vastly unfair with the world? Showered? Without a reason to leave the house? Got dressed? Without having to be pummelled into my room by a parent with an agenda? Watched the freaking tennis? Where was Bert Racoon and Grandma Gummi? What the hell has happened with my life?
It's not that I think things were simpler when I was younger - not by a long chalk. That's a fallacy created by people who can't remember how terrifying the things you worried about then were. Alright so I may owe the Government thousands of pounds right now...but the Government isn't going to threaten me with a smacked bottom. The worst that they can do is put me in prison. Not anywhere near as terrifying as the sound of my Dad's footsteps up the stairs behind me. The Government has never had me sitting on my bed with my hands clamped so solidly to my behind that you'd need a chisel to separate them.
It's just that when I was 8 time stretched out so long...you could wake up on a Saturday with the promise of a party and a loop bag at 4pm and still have an entirely adventure filled day between then and now. These days a party on a Saturday is liable to happen somewhere in Hoxton between 9 and 10pm at which point I'll be wondering whether it's even worth getting two buses to go to it without the promise of any kind of party bag. In my experience birthday parties very rarely even have cake any more.
I'm off to Brighton in a few hours which is sure to be a fantastic time - I'm to see Portman depress the crap out of me as a ballerina. Why wouldn't you want to watch that? Oh, because you have an interest in maintaining some sort of sense of joy in your being. I think I might be the only person left in the country who hasn't seen the King's Speech and so I've missed my window to find someone to go with me to see it.
If I was 8 I wouldn't even want to see the King's Speech, and I wouldn't be expected to go and see The Black Swan. I don't even like ballet. I do like popcorn though so maybe the two will cancel each other out. That's definitely the best thing about not being 8 - you can eat what you like. Someone might raise their eyebrows as you stack only blue smarties on your popcorn, microwave it all and then put it on ice cream - but they certainly can't stop you.
Maybe what I need is my own 8 year old? Maybe not. I think between the two of us we'd make the Chuckle brothers look like the ideal business partners. I have a tiny nephew who is good enough for me at the moment - he's devilishly cute. So much so that he is the wallpaper on my phone screen. This lead to an interesting event in the pub last night. I was out for a quiet drink with a friend of mine and happened to notice a guy across the room staring quite persistently...he wasn't really my type so I studiously avoided but eventually he got up and came over.
This NEVER happens to me and I really didn't know how to cope with the situation. My body took over and decided that reckless giggling in the style of a sea lion would help. He dutifully explained that he couldn't stop staring at me (I'd noticed) as I was very beautiful (I snorted and actually produced snot here) and could he please have my number...?
He couldn't have my number and by this point I was helplessly paralysed in fear, shock and hialrity. The people next to me were stuck between a grimace at the poor guy havign chosen the worst possible prospect in the pub to approach, and laughter at my inability to deal with the situation. I tactfully offered to take his number and call him tomorrow and on producing my phone slipped the catch off and passed it over so he could enter his number.
He saw the baby on the screen.
"Is that your son?"
"Because it doesn't matter if it is. If it came from your womb, I'd like it."
My diaghragm was sent into absolute paralysis of laughter as the poor unfortunate soul back tracked merrily and tried to make it sound less like he would eat my placenta on a platter. He stuttered his way to the door and I asked for some paper towels to deal with the fluid leaking out of all orifices I'd lost control of. I'm not sure how I'll ever cope if I see the guy again...I'm not sure how he'll cope either. But I think it's safe to say that adult me has no better skills to cope with the real world than the 8 year old.