Annabel Rivkin & Emilie Mcmeekan
HOW DO YOU KNOW when you are a grown-up? Is it the wisdom and the serenity? The perspective and the authority? The ability to cope and simultaneously still grow? The efficient processing of emotion combined with a meticulously measured empathy muscle? The facility to refrain from judgement and yet objectively observe with a mature incisiveness? Obviously not. And yet, sometimes you are reminded you are one of the grownups when things like this happen…
You answer an 11pm text at 6am. You thought it was probably too early to answer when you first read it at 4.51am. You thought that might make you look a bit mad. God forbid.
You don’t give excuses. Do you remember the old days, when you used to concoct extravagant lies about dead grandmothers and deadlines and nieces’ ballet performances? Now you just say, ‘Sorry, I can’t make it.’ Zero excuses.
You talk on your phone while simultaneously looking for it. ‘WHERE THE HELL IS MY… Oh, there it is.’
You carry plasters. Once you would have dealt with a cut or scrape with masking tape or vodka. Now you have plasters in all shapes and sizes. Even those blister ones. In your first-aid kit. And you have a toolkit. And a holiday emergency kit. And an escape kit. And
probably some kind of dusty baking kit, somewhere.
You tell people to move along inside rush-hour train carriages.
You do not bow down to everyday illnesses. ‘Strep throat? Give me half an hour in bed, a prescription for Augmentin and a tube of Tyrozets, and I’ll be back on it, on top of it, all over it, within a couple of hours.’ Because who can afford to be ill?
You fancy Robert Redford. ‘Oh, I get it now.’
When someone tells you they went out until 2am, you have a melange of
feelings. First, jealousy: how on earth did they manage to stay up so late? Second, sympathy: they must be so tired. Devastated. Be gentle with them. Third, excitement: maybe it is possible, really possible, to stay up past 10pm.
You have 400,000 Bags for Life in the
boot of your car.
You write down EVERYTHING. You also have alerts on your phone that ping constantly. ‘Car insurance.’ ‘Milk.’ ‘Money for cleaner.’ ‘Bras.’ Most of the time you forget what they mean.
You give great relationship advice. All that ‘experience’ is finally coming into play… albeit for other people.
If the washing machine breaks down, you break down.
You listen to chanting on your noisecancelling headphones so you can drown out the office gossip. You have work to do.
Your laptop is insured.
You re-read books all the time. Sometimes this is on purpose, like visiting an old friend. Sometimes it’s just because you’ve forgotten you ever read it in the first place.
You follow recipes. And when they say, ‘Now zest your lime,’ you calmly reach into your kitchen drawer for your zester. Which is next to the egg poacher and an array of tongs in different sizes.
You mentally calculate how much time you are going to have to spend walking in heels versus standing in heels versus sitting in heels.
You care about lighting in hotels. And lighting in bathrooms. And lighting in general. And you’re not at all sure if daylight is your friend any more.
You’ve started holding your menus really far away from you, and then slowly bringing them closer. But you do not need glasses.
You talk on your phone while simultaneously looking for it. ‘WHERE THE HELL IS MY… Oh, there it is’