Friday, 8 June 2012

In which I assess the merits of being a grown-up

Inspired by a tweet from TIME magazine writer Megan Gibson, I pondered what my younger self would make of my current, (supposedly) adult existence...

The dream: Eating ice cream whenever I want to, including for breakfast.
The reality: Barely eating ice cream at all. I’m just not fussed by it. Unless it comes with Monster Cracking. Then I’m all over it.

The dream: Growing up to be a champion showjumper, a la John Whitaker (and someone else on whom I had a huge crush, whose name I have now shockingly forgotten. I remember seeing him at Olympia in the 90s, and he had curly blond hair. Any suggestions?).
The reality: Doing a job I had no idea existed until I was 18, having not sat on a horse in several years. Le sigh.

The dream: Homework playing absolutely no part in my life whatsoever.
The reality: Getting home and finding that the final check of the BlackBerry has thrown up a client whim that has me finishing my working day on the sofa, some 14 hours after it started.

The dream: Boys being less mystifying.
The reality: Men being more mystifying.

The dream: Getting to wear high heels and make up.
The reality: Getting to wear heels so high I spend most of my life either sitting down or walking veeeeeeery slowly, and lashings of black eyeliner.

The dream: Having sleepovers with friends whenever I like – even on a schoolnight.
The reality: Having a sleepover every night with a particularly special friend (although the midnight feasts are fewer and further between than Small Me would like).

The dream: Having a tiger as a pet like that woman in the black and white newsreel footage without anyone telling me it’s impossible.
The reality: Not having a tiger as a pet like that woman in the black and white newsreel footage, because it’s impossible. Settling for something that resembles a smallish panther instead.

The dream: Getting everything I ask for at Christmas.
The reality: Realising that Father Christmas has less jurisdiction when you’re a grown-up.

The dream: Reading until it’s well past bedtime without having to resort to a torch under the duvet.
The reality: Reading whenever and wherever I damned well like.

The dream: Being allowed to listen to something other than classical music on the radio.
The reality: Swapping Classic FM for Radio 4. Rock ‘n’ roll, little me: rock AND roll.

The dream: Never having to eat Brussels sprouts.
The reality: Never having to eat Brussels sprouts. Amazing.

The dream: Going to bed as late as I liked, whenever I liked.
The reality: Going to bed at a depressingly reasonable, nay early, hour as often as I possibly can. My 8 year-old self wouldn’t be angry – just deeply, deeply disappointed.


stroppyeditor said...

For me, the details vary but the basic point is the same: the dream of being a grown-up is that you'll finally be free to be a kid. But by the time you get there, you've mostly forgotten how to do it.

I wonder if this is why people have children?

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

I wanted to be a show jumper. In fact, I'm pretty sure I called all of my Barbie's white horses "Milton". Ah, the 90s.

Blonde said...

Stroppyeditor: Yes, I think you've probably nailed it there. I imagine it must be - as far as I can see, there's little other reason to do it. (Too harridan-like?!)

Jo: Ah, you too, huh? I bloody loved Milton. Can you remember any of the other big showjumpers?

Jessica said...

The self-promo worked: I came, I saw, I decided it would my better judgement to follow!

I already follow and love Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open, but thanks for the recommendation anyway!

Zstep said...

Being a grown up is vastly overrated. Bills, sullen children and responsibility are not nearly as awesome as I thought they'd be.

Blonde said...

Jessica: Huzzah! Lovely to have you. Am loving your stuff.

Zstep: Hello! Long time no comment. I couldn't agree more: youth is wasted on the small children with chocolate round their mouths.

Sophie said...

Racking my brains trying to remember a curly blonde show jumper but all my attention want on Franke Sloothaak (and Milton, but he's a given right?!) who i'm sure was no where near as good looking as i remember him being. Franke that is, Milton was perfect!

Zstep said...

Fear not, I've been an ever present lurker. I just find your current settled status to be not nearly as worthy of my snark as it used to me. :-)

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