A couple of weeks ago I turned 27 years old.
27. If 27 was a weekday it would be Tuesday. It’s not good, it’s not bad. It’s just there, shrugging with mild indifference whilst probably texting Wednesday. It’s a tiny silent sneeze of an age. Just a sniffle to remind you of the impending hayfever that is thirty. The big 30. Never did an age fill people with so much fear as thirty. For this is the age where you are deemed to be officially ‘grown up’. The finishing line to the egg and spoon race that was your twenties. Which was messy, fun and went much faster than expected.
It’s all rubbish of course. Age is quite literally a number. I have friends that were born middle aged. I have middle aged friends that never seemed to get past the age of eight. Personally I think I’m going to be seventeen forever. I can drive and do basic sums but I’m pretty much a massive child. If I didn’t have my boyfriend I’d be covered in plasters and probably be shitting lego.
I’m putting this down to being the youngest of a big family. My brothers and sister were much older than me so I’d was used to being the ‘nipper’ (as I was fondly nicknamed) to them and all their friends. For years I’d been the youngest in various social/work circles. Then the other day I realised for the first time in my life, I’m the oldest within one of my circle of friends. By a good couple of years. This realisation coupled with my impending birthday unsettled me rather a bit. *Stamps both feet and eats lego*.
Actually when I think deeply about it, I dunno why i’m bothered about getting older. The older I get the happier I seem to have become. I am much happier in my skin than I was at say, twenty. I titter (yes I’m nearly thirty I say titter now) at the insignificant things that caused me sleepless nights at that age. And when I recall the outfits I wore, good Lord the outfits. Who knew wearing one yellow high heel and one blue high heel with pink fishnet leggings wouldn’t catch on? If I think about it, I spent the majority of my early twenties looking like a one woman hen do. The theme seemingly being ‘Blackpool illuminations.’
Birthdays are funny. As a comedian I’m gaining a real hatred of them. Not of mine but of other peoples. There’s always a group of punters in a comedy club celebrating their mate’s birthday and thus believe they should be the centre of attention for the evening. They seem to forget that the other 150 people in the club really couldn’t give a toss if Joanne is thirty-four. In fact with every arsey reply Joanne gives the compere, Joanne seems like a massive bell end and doesn’t really deserve any attention whatsoever. Sometimes I feel like I might as well be an actual clown, stood on stage making balloon animals for the badly behaved toddler that is Joanne and her shouty, red calippo stained friends.
After a few weekend comedy clubs you begin to hate not only birthdays but BRIDES AND BRIDEGROOMS. Social dictators. If Emperor Nero was around today he’d be called Darren and be the groom of a rowdy Stag do that continual interrupts the acts during a comedy night. He’d high five the other Stags all dressed in multicoloured ‘Morph’ costumes. Then after the comedy, grubbily grind himself up against the female clientele during the inevitable ‘disco’ part of the evening.
We live in such a fast paced and consumer society of want. We want to have that, we want to look like that, we want to be like that. Sometimes I feel like I’m constantly not living up to expectations and I don’t even know whose expectation I’m trying to live up to. I guess that’s my problem with birthdays. Every birthday feels like a little pebble reminder that I’m not where I ‘should’ be. I should have at least one pulitzer, three Oscars, a couple of Baftas, some Comedy awards and P.Diddy on speed dial by the time I’m thirty. Maybe not P.Diddy, I’d settle for Rita off Corrie.
But we all place unreasonable expectations on ourselves. Human nature I suppose, even though I am dead happy I think I’ll always have a pebble in my shoe.
But a friend of mine asked me an interesting question recently. Did I think the eight year old me would be happy with who I was now?
I like to think yes. I think she’d be surprised that she hadn’t become the new ‘Jet’ on Gladiators or a lifeguard or Cilla Black (my career aspirations stemmed from the Saturday night tele of the time. With the advent of reality panel shows, I can’t imagine what an eight year old want to be now. A cock?)
Actually I think she’d be pretty chuffed. I like to think she’d be pretty proud. Which actually makes me feel pretty okay about my birthday.
Because hey, I bet even Cilla gets a pebble in her shoe sometimes.
Mostly watching: Game Of Thrones. It’s amazing. Like a filthy, Magaluf version of Lord of the rings. And Sean Bean. I LOVE SEAN ‘CONNERY’ BEAN. As just like Sean Connery he seems to always play the same character with the same accent but beautifully. Only two episodes in but digging the little tomboy girl and Peter Dinklage.
Mostly Listening to: 80s Synth Pop. All over Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, The human League and Roxy Music at the mo. Dunno why. It’s a bit grubby too. Like you’ve put pop music on a whitewash but with a pair of black knickers.
Put in My face: Mary and Archie’s on Burton Road West Didsbury in Manc has an amazing Chorizo Ciabatta. Like a dead posh sausage sandwich.
Belting audience member: Brendan. The student from Oxford at the Preston Frog last Wednesday. Who was basically giving me a blow by blow review of my comedy as i did it. Imagine an 18 year old boy with a lisp version of Kate Copstick. He might as well have been brandishing a quill. Big fan of Brendan.