Walking around Port Aventura on a fortuitous day off, last Tuesday, I was struck by a new found appreciation for my mother’s necessity for coffee breaks every hour on the hour, whenever we went on a trip or day out when I was a kid.
Whilst I wholeheartedly wanted to be buffeted around at 1000 G of G-Force at the age of forty (erhermmm *tiny voice* six): the trip to Catalunya’s Alton Towers was primarily part of a peace-keeping mission, with the long-term goal of stabilizing diplomatic relations. Between myself and the teenagers. Having attended a wedding with the family a few days earlier, it was clear that a little (lot) more time and effort was going to be necessary.
In searing heat, we waited in queues for up to an hour to be battered by the equivalent of one hundred and twenty five million Mike Tyson fists beating us for approximately sixty seconds. After the first ride, Dragon Khan, I was ready for a sit down in the shade and a natter. I needed a sit down in the shade and a natter because my legs had stopped working. This however, is not how adolescents function. After four hours of marching around, standing still, being launched at high speed into metal frames and soaked wet through, we took a time out at the cantina in the Mexico zone…..
I was dragged from the audience by the dancers in the show, chatted terrible Spanish and gratefully threw an ice-cold beer down my throat. Sporting soaking hair and panda eyes from the log flume (because of course you put your normal face of make-up on to go to an amusement park), it was here that the penny dropped. My other half’s children were looking at me, as I remember looking at my parents and older relatives all those years ago: with a heady mix of disdain, mild amusement, confusion and exasperation.
Dear lord, I was an adult!
In my mind, I’m closer to them than I am to my peers, but I realised in that moment that I was a little bit silly, a little bit boring, a little bit of a drag……. and no amount of willingness to get on the rides and despite genuinely enjoying every moment, I. Was. The. Enemy. A *boo, hiss*…… grown-up. What did I know about, well, pretty much anything. Because of course I was born this age and had at no point been an adolescent myself, or experienced almost half a century of life….
I found the discovery of my adultness mildly nauseating and I must admit, I swooned a little. I do not behave like an adult, ever. I still pierce things, experiment with my hair and have a Pinterest board of tattoo ideas. I still act like a prize plum after a few glasses of wine, have never learnt when enough is enough and have absolutely no self discipline. I just about make ends meet, have no savings and no plan for the ‘future’ (which I discovered on Tuesday, was a damn sight closer than previously thought). I know who Deadmau5 is for Christ’s sake!!
The only thing that identifies me as an adult is the number of years I’ve been on the planet and the epic amount of time it takes me to recover from a hangover. But I can’t fight the fact, that I might just have to start acting my age. Finally.
And I. Do. Not. Like. It. One. Bit.