Chances are that, as you’ve got older, you’ve become wiser. Age brings experience and experience brings wisdom. We all know that. It also brings about a seachange in the things you care less about…
Being thin. You counted calories, slurped slimming shakes and ate nothing but sausages and cheese for a while. You tried every diet going but lost only money and self-esteem. You replaced food with fags and dropped a dress size but felt miserable – course you did, you were hungry. Then you realised you could eat well if you moved more. Who knew?
Make up. The effort. So much effort. Plucking, tweezing, exfoliating, styling, layering, blending, concealing, contouring. These days, you need a long run up to prepare yourself for this. You go through the rigmarole and think, wow, I scrub up pretty well. Two hours later, the waterproof mascara has dried out your contacts and you can’t see in the mirror. Sigh.
Alcohol. You were a committed, dedicated social drinker. You slammed tequilas and slugged sambucas. You snogged men who smelt of Davidoff Cool Water and tasted of danger. You were a party spirit. But things changed. You wanted to get up early and go walking instead. You wanted to see the morning – whatever that was – and have a few more quid. You didn’t want to experience the hangover fear. Dear god, the fear.
Dressing up. Shivering in paper-thin dresses. Feet on fire from sky-high spiky shoes. Tummy ache from skinny jeans that are a teeny tiny bit too tight. Paranoia that the stick-on bra underneath the BooHoo backless top will come unstu – Oh. That definitely wasn’t your tummy plummeting with worry. Boob frigging hoo.
Going out… Ain’t no party like an S Club party. Actually, there is. It’s a party for one. In PJs. When you do go out, you turn into your mum: ‘I can’t hear myself think’, and ‘Ooo, it’s everso loud.’ You’re totally cool with this because mum is always right. So you hibernate in the warm. It’s 9pm and you’re half wondering if you can go to bed. Staying in is the new going out. You do, however, make exceptions for Sunday lunch especially a good carvery. Yes, I can come – what time again?
…and staying out late. Against your better judgement, you’ve gone out. Everyone around you is either talking too loudly or too quietly. The music is diabolical; Chesney Hawkes or Shania Twain. Have you time travelled back to the 1990s? They could have done the decent thing and dropped you off at Dance Planet but here you are. Your feet hurt from those goddamn heels. You want to go home and watch RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. You leave and, funnily enough, it’s the best bit of the night.
Niceties. It’s not that growing older has turned you into an ogre. You’re still perfectly lovely. But you were too nice. You said yes a lot. You didn’t push back – were sometimes afraid to – and tried to be all things to all people. You ended up feeling short-changed and your needs weren’t met. You learnt the hard way, but learn you did. Now you say no (nicely) and mean it. You know your boundaries and (diplomatically) kick ass if they’re crossed. You’re still nice, just… not all the time every time.
Brexit. Except… I think I kind of DO still care. I just don’t understand it. Does anyone? Hello?