The Time

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It’s happening. I know I’ve said I’ve been worried about it before. But it is actually happening now:

Engagements.

Weddings.

House Warmings.

Wanted pregnancies.

At what point did it become not-okay to turn to someone who tells you that they are with child and whisper ‘Jeez, what are you gonna do?’ Oh yeah, when I turned 25.

Not to be crass about the whole thing but when the bloody hell did this all start?! I’m still not sure what’s allowed to go into a dish washer yet and people are cracking right on with diamonds and breast pumps. Not at the same time obviously; I am not friends with Kim Kardashian.

It’s funny though, when these Facebook statuses began to crop up on a daily basis and paper invites were flying through the door, my initial reaction was to panic and whip out the wrinkle cream. Then I began to realise that less and less was I hearing of sloppy one night stands; regales of nightmare house-shares and trips to the STI clinic. Instead, I was watching my friends grow up and find happiness from stability: albeit a little scary, it’s also quite lovely.

Last week, I attended an event at my old school. I had a new found appreciation for the architecture which made feel a little decrepit when a group of girls, five years below, almost pushed me over the edge. I overheard them say, ‘I wonder if I’ll be like that when I’m older’ (I’m assuming by ‘that’, they meant ‘bearing an uncanny resemblance to a younger Kate Moss, with the sass of Beyoncé and the successes of Barack Obama). Actually what they probably meant was simply, ‘I wonder if we’ll be okay?’ Of course, on the surface we can all seem fine and even the happiest of creatures have a chapter of their lives that they don’t wish to read aloud, but it made me realise: we’ve all turned out alright, actually.

I’m not saying that everybody, at the age of 25, or even 45 for that matter, should be forcing themselves to take the next step in work, life or love. With a boyfriend who has a similar mental age to my own and me being, shall we say, a little uncertain in terms of my career, I am far from there, but it’s actually quite cool that I get to be a guest at my best friend’s wedding next year, and I am over the moon for my pal, who after years of doing long distance, is moving into a home with her lover. Equally, I am enjoying my friend’s stories of dating, their successes at work, and my brother and his girlfriend’s decision to go travelling at 27. It seems like people are finally getting their shit together, in one way or another, and I like it.

I refuse to let these changes scare me. I will, instead, wear something completely ridiculous on my head to this wedding next year and toast to her happiness, with one or ten glasses of Prosecco. And the same will stand for every social occasion for the next five years.

Here’s to our late twenties!

GULP.

The Twenties

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In my final year of secondary school I was asked where I’d like to be in ten years time. I had pictured that, at 25, I’d have a tall, dark, handsome non-stranger and a job that didn’t involve autism and nits. Now, almost halfway through this decade of not-achieving-that, I’m contemplating exactly where these ideals were lost and when it became wrong to desire a pristine portrait of a life?

A 24, I feel a little too old to be getting with randoms in clubs, a little too poor to be dating all the time and a little too young to be contemplating picket fences and the perks of Peter Jones. But at the same time, I want babies eventually and that clock is, believe it or not, ticking. This probably means that I should at least be attempting to find The One before my face crumples with age; but where? Everyone is far too drunk in bars in Brixton for me to decide whether they’re going to be the love of my life and I’m having too much of a good time to care.

I look at my friends who are blissfully in love and can’t wait for them to get hitched. But the thought of me being more than a pissed bridesmaid makes me want to throw up in my own hands. In fact no, if it scared me that much, I wouldn’t be writing this post. It’s the very fact that I don’t want for either which is the problem.

And that’s when I realise: It’s just not a priority of mine right now.

Gone are the days of Mrs Bennet frantically marrying off her daughters to men in mansions; I’ve moved into the twenties which means that I actually own my own uterus. I’m allowed to be decadent, free and drunk; for now at least.

Until I absolutely have to, I’m going to stop worrying about it.

And worst comes to worst?  I’ll freeze some eggs.

Too much info?

Never.

The Friendship

Is it possible that mixed- sex- friendships are restricted to being made during our school or university days? Post-education, it seems to me that it has become increasingly hard to meet someone with a view to pursue a friendship, rather than a love affair. And I’ve learnt recently (the hard way) that male/female friendships made in your twenties are actually rather few and far between-something I’ve grown to resent.

I understand that when socialising, most are on the hunt for a sexual partner. I get it, balls and boobs are heading south and you’re panicking. But shouldn’t we just slow down when we meet someone and get to know whether they prefer jam or marmalade on their toast first? After all, some of the best sexual relationships are based upon friendship. And some of the best relationships are simply just friendship. I’m always up for meeting new people but I’m also very aware that when my company for the night is a member of the male variety, sex is always on someone’s mind.

Maybe I’m too presumptuous and assume that guys are always after one thing? But as of late, it has been proved that, in fact, the majority of the time, they are: and my assumptions have been confirmed. When asking my guy mates about this issue, I’ve been labelled “naive” to think that an invitation to have coffee could be strictly platonic. They themselves also suggested that men don’t tend to read signals; instead they read your chest. So when it comes to finding friends of the opposite sex, I must hold my hands up and admit that I’m hopeless at it. Maybe I’ll just leave it and stick to the guy mates I already have who pick their noses and tell me I look like shit, when I really do, look like shit. But even with my male mates from way-back-when, there’s normally a point in our friendship where we’ve asked ourselves whether we fancy one another, or whether something could potentially happen… and have even enjoyed the odd vodka-induced-snog. It seems as though it’s quite difficult to remain platonic rather than playmates.

Personally I’m not shy and don’t mind letting someone know that the most they’re getting is a pint bought for them but why is it that “I only like you as a friend” is such an insult? It seems as though spitting in one’s face is likely to be far more pleasant-being fancied is apparently more important than being funny, charismatic or interesting these days. People search for ‘the one’ for years, by-passing potential friendships and pushing them to one side because they don’t pass the marriage test. Think about how many people you’ve got along with and disposed of because you didn’t fancy them-you’ve missed out on having both a wingman, another insight into the male/female mind and someone new to quite simply have a laugh with.

I’m starting to think that maybe it’s impossible to be friends with the opposite sex. Take the world’s favourite TV show. It might be entitled ‘Friends’, but how many of them actually are just friends? It might be fiction but take a look at your own “friendship group” and count how many people around you have dated, fumbled or dabbled.

I rest my case.