Monday, 24 November 2014

Seventy Four, Seventy Five

Hopefully I won't get
'egged & floured' this time!
In six months I'm going to be 40.  It feels a bit exciting as I love a 'big' birthday, although I'm not sure of the significance of this one compared to my 18th and 21st unless there's some legal thing I've missed which means I get a double-strength vote or am allowed to ride a unicycle through Westminster while dressed as a horse.

I guess it's supposed to be a point of reflection, a time to think about how far you've come, count your blessings and stick a flag on summit that is reaching official Middle Age.  But what does that even mean now?  We're all busily extending our teenage years well into our fifties, refusing to give in to M&S elasticated trousers and continuing to go out when we really ought to be hosting civilised dinner parties instead.

Some people use it to attack their 'Bucket List' but I used up a whole load of that stuff (and probably nine lives) in charging through my teens and twenties because partly I had a 'life is short' rocket up my arse thanks to the death of my dad when I was a teenager, and partly because I knew jumping out of aeroplanes would be a less responsible thing to do once I became a mother (despite stating frequently I would "never have children" I guess there was always a part of me that secretly hoped I might).

What is good about this impending milestone is that it means a lot of my friends are turning 40 too, bringing ample opportunity to celebrate - and a welcome change from invitations to ferry the children to and from village halls and soft play centres where you stand about and drink lukewarm squash while your children get a serious sweat on and cry that they don't have enough Hula Hoops.  This has brought about some already very memorable parties and the realisation that when you get a group of grown ups together without their children, you find the same jokes you shared when you were 14 still have the power to make you cry with laughter.

Over the past couple of months I have....

  • Been in hysterics over memories of old school teachers, and spat my drink out as former classmates confessed to being the source of phone calls about "massive willies" 
  • Used words that were once terms of abuse as terms of endearment - I don't know why my year group used "skippy cotter" but we did.  So there.
  • Marvelled at how ten - even twenty years after last seeing someone - they still look the same as their class photograph from 1987 (minus the terrible brown and green uniform - see picture..)
  • Danced like a woman possessed.  No, hang on a minute, like a sixteen year old girl who is awe-struck that bands like the Happy Mondays and Jane's Addiction even exist
  • Bellowed "no future" with some other mums whilst hurling ourselves around a living room to the Sex Pistols 
  • Hugged friends - current, new, long-lost and found again wrapped in bear hugs and embraces

These parties have been awesome, emotional and above-all life affirming.  A chance to come together, reflect on the girls we were and the women we now are; so if this is what being 40 is all about then you can bring it on :)

Soundtrack: '74 - '75 The Connells

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