I think it's taken me until my mid-thirties to realise I am finally a grown-up. Or at least slightly more grown up than I was.
And it all started yesterday when I found myself telling someone that my favourite two shops were Holland & Barrett . . . and Lakeland. Followed by me spending a happy half hour trying to buy a group housewarming gift for one of my colleagues in the latter store. Oooh-ing and ah-ing over all the muffin trays and fancy schmancy gadgets there were on offer. And vowing to come back to buy myself the stuffed burger press because apparently I must have it in my life and sooooonnnn!!!
(I suppose it all actually started going downhill when I bought a julienne peeler in there last year. But I needed that in my life too. How else was I going to make courgetti???)
I found myself wondering what had happened to the girl who could spend that amount of time trying on clothes in Miss Selfridge (always a thoroughly depressing - but necessary - experience). Or hours on asos. I spent an hour on asos last night, still buoyed up on Lakeland joie de vivre (£10.99 at the counter, y'know!), and then closed the site down without buying the stuff in my basket because I wasn't sure where I would wear it!!!
What has happened to me? When did I become practical? When did I start worrying about wasting money on clothes when I think it's okay to spend ten pounds on a device that solely makes and stuffs home-made burgers??? How often do I even make burgers?
But, you see, now I cook too. I have no idea when that happened either. One day a couple of years ago, I couldn't cook and making spaghetti Bolognese using a jar of Dolmio was an achievement (I mean, I cut up onions and mushrooms and added them to the sauce, so to me that was cooking) - now I cook nearly from scratch nearly every night. In fact, I found myself saying to the boyfriend last week "we're no longer wasting money on processed ready meals, if we want to eat crap and I can't be bothered cooking, we'll just get a takeaway from now on." I won't lie, it felt like I was outside my body watching myself talking and thinking to myself "who is that eejit?" Yet I still kinda stand by what the eejit said.
Instead of asking my brother for four bottles of wine for Christmas, as is my usual request, I asked for a slow cooker.
Oh, and I don't necessarily buy the cheapest wine in the shop now - I go by the type of wine. I used to drink any old white or rose shite as long as it was in the less than a fiver section. Now I'll pay more if it's only the chardonnay which is less than five quid a pop. And I'll look to see what % of alcohol is in it. And I'll say things like "Oh, I'll have the 11.5% instead of the 12.5% tonight, it is a school night after all." Not because I'm more sensible, but because I still want the wine buzz without the dull headache the following day when I need to concentrate on a computer monitor for seven hours in office lighting. Wait . . . maybe that is more sensible!
But if this is what being a grown-up is like . . . I think I've made my peace with that. There's a lot of crap that comes with being a grown-up, like paying bills and watching yourself and everyone age around you, and your metabolism slowing down, and just daily shite that you never expected back in the day when you wished you could be older and make your own decisions . . . so I guess if I now get excited about a stuffed burger press, make my own food from scratch and drink good wine . . . well there's far worse ways I could have changed!
Plus . . . I still talk to my hedgehog doorstops like they are human, and also I got really drunk at a gig and inexplicably fell asleep on the floor outside my bedroom door last Friday night, so there's definitely still a lot of the non-grown-up me still in there. She's just hiding behind a julienne peeler and a slow cooker now . . . ;-)