Yup, tomorrow I turn 30. Bye bye twenties, hello eye wrinkles and conversations about bin collections.
I’m alright about entering the fourth decade of my life, I think. I’ve always looked forward to being a ‘proper grown-up’, and am excited about what my thirties may bring. But for every time I’ve practised saying my new age out-loud (does anyone else do that in the run up to their birthday?), I’ve thought of another reason why, actually, I may have emotionally reached thirty some time ago…
So here are thirty ways (see what I did there?) in which I’ve been feeling a little more ‘mature’ of late. It’s tongue in cheek, of course, but I’d be very interested to know if anyone can relate… or if I’m just thinking way too much in to this. I may regret hitting ‘Publish’.
1. On the high street, I’m not entirely sure where I belong any more. River Island and Topshop (once staples of my wardrobe) feel way too young and trendy 99% of the time. I’m not quite ready for M&S, whilst Dorothy Perkins has the tendency to be a little mumsy. Which is slightly disconcerting seeing as half my wardrobe is from there.
2. Cheap fashion no longer appeals. Whilst I used to think, ‘Woohoo, I’ve got £20- I’m hitting Primarni and New Look!’, I now consider the ‘more affordable’ end of the high street cheap and nasty and try to avoid. Sadly my £20 doesn’t get me very far in the shops I’d like to be spending my hard-earned cash in, like Whistles or Reiss.
3. I feel I should whisper this one, but John Lewis is now on my clothes shopping circuit… namely for brands such as Mint Velvet and Somerset by Alice Temperley. However, purchases in these concessions are rarely afforded (see point 2).
4. I have never and don’t think I will ever embrace body con.
5. Ditto crop tops.
6. I never thought I’d say it, but whilst there was a time when I lived in heels, I’m now way more comfortable in flats. I still love a heel for a night out, sure, but they have to be on good quality, well-cushioned soles and not a millimetre higher than 4 inches. I don’t do platforms.
7. I’ve found myself venturing back in to Clarkes. Frequented as a child for the foot measuring machine and the shoes with the key in the sole, I’m back aged 29 and 364 days- this time for the cushioning and the comfort.
8. I’ve dubbed my go-to weekend outfit (turned up skinny jeans, converse, tshirt and long cardigan) ‘school-run chic’. I don’t do a school run.
9. A bit like the high street, when it comes to magazines I’m not entirely sure what I should be reading. Once a magazine addict getting through 2 or 3 a week, I now steer clear of my old favourites and those aimed at ‘young women’, such as Company, Grazia and Glamour. If I have a long train journey I’ll occasionally pick up a copy of Marie Claire or Red… but I often find myself staring longingly at the covers of Good Housekeeping and Psychologies instead, wondering if I’m old enough to buy them yet. (Until now the answer has always been No. Who knows if I’ll feel differently tomorrow??)
10. I no longer buy Heat magazine every week, scour the Showbiz section of the Daily Mail website, or generally give two hoots about celebrity gossip. And for someone who was once OBSESSED, that’s saying something.
11. Gone are the days of drinking three nights on the trot á la my university days.
12. Ditto necking two bottles of wine and suffering a ‘slight headache’ the next day.
13. I’ll still dance your Nan off the table, but only if it’s to pop music, and preferably nineties pop music OR what is now lovingly referred to by everyone over a certain age as ‘old school club classics’. I’ll be having none of this dubstep malarkey, thank you.
14. I don’t actually know what dubstep is. Nor can I differentiate between artists such as Sam Smith, John Newman and James Blake. (Athough the latter point can more likely be attributed to the fact I no longer devour celebrity magazines.) I do actually still listen to the ‘young’ radio stations but my grip on the music scene is fast-fading.
15. If I was in this year’s Big Brother house, I’d be the third oldest there. (WTF?!)
16. I have no desire whatsoever to go on a Club 18-30 holiday. Nor will I be allowed to very soon.
17. Given the option of going home from a night out early, or partying late and crashing at someone’s house I’d choose the former every time. Nothing beats your own bed and shower.
18. I no longer feel like a fraud when referring to ‘my husband’.
19. Making my house a home is fast becoming my favourite hobby.
20. We’ve taken up gardening. I say ‘we’, I mean Paul’s taken up gardening… I mainly shout directions from the back door but I am interested.
21. Last week the arrival of a compost bin was considered an ‘exciting delivery’.
22. Same with the steam cleaner the week before.
23. …And a dust buster the week before that.
24. I have food shopping down to a fine art. I menu the whole week, know the aisles like the back of my hand, and group my purchases on the conveyor belt in to their designated bag categories: Dry, Chilled/Frozen and Fruit/Veg. Uh-huh. No-one be messin’ with my conveyor belt.
25. My body is ageing. It’s subtle but noticeable in that my skin is drier, I seem to grow a new freckle or mole every day and I bruise more easily.
26. I own a Ped Egg.
27. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve physically changed in the last year, or because I feel older, but I hardly ever get ID’d any more. Seeing as I’ve legally been allowed to drink/smoke/gamble/play the lottery for twelve years plus, I’m actually enjoying this recent development… but ask me in a few years time and I’m sure I’ll feel differently!
28. I no longer seem to be able to bend down or stand up without saying “Ooof”.
29. Nor can I bend back in to bridge. Although to be fair this was always tricky and thoroughly awkward to watch.
30. And finally, erm, how can I put this… It’s become apparent that my pelvic floor muscles aren’t quite what they used to be. Last weekend I went to a BBQ with a trampoline in the garden. Three bounces in and I had to scurry off to the toilet, and I HADN’T EVEN BEEN DRINKING. I’ll say no more.
Mature or practically senile? I’ll let you decide. Tomorrow I’m heading down to Kent to have my first taster menu experience with my Ma, and getting thoroughly sozzled on Saturday when we throw open our doors for a birthday/housewarming bash chez moi. Much fun is going to be had; I’ve bought a swingball set and everything.
These amazing images are all from Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style blog in which he spends his days photographing the fabulous, style-confident older women of NYC. LOVE.