Do you ever want to run away from being grown up? I do. I do all the grown-up stuff - I have a Proper Job (with accompanying intensive study course to prove I'm qualified to do it). I rent a pretty spacious flat with magnolia walls and pine bookshelves. I pay the bills on time. I can't wear a short skirt without trying to pull it down over my knees approximately every 1.08 minutes. I get my hair done at the salon very six weeks, instead of roping in a mate for an evening where we dye all the bathroom sinks (and our ears) dark blue.
And yet, every so often, I look at my life, and feel kind of nervous. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for all the many good and lovely things in my life, but sometimes I feel that this is all a bit too grown up. A bit too much of the belted three-quarter length office coat, and a bit too little of the hoody thrown on over vest and combats. A bit too much of proper meals eaten at a table, and a bit too little of smoked salmon and fruit eaten straight from the packet while I read. A bit too much getting to bed at a sensible hour, and hardly any of the picnicking in Endcliffe Park at midnight witha bottle of Blavod.
And at those times - maybe it's springtime, I don't know- the sap rises, and I feel like doing silly and quite innocent things, like getting legless on a school night, just to prove that I'm still in control of my own life, not fenced out of my own freedoms somehow. Just to prove that it's still up to me what I do and why. A kind of teenaged instinct, but there you have it. A poor thing, but my own.
I haven't yet done it though. The nearest I've got so far is having one more drink than I think I should when I know I'm at work in the morning, spending stupid amounts of money on beautiful but utterly un-sensible shoes, or staying out too late. But even that I've done with that attitude of "ooh I shouldn't, really" which characterises middle-aged women treating themselves to a verboten tiramisu. God, even my rebellion's middle-aged. There's clearly no hope for me. I'm off to buy some sensible sandals and a beige cardigan, ready for my exhausted slump into the menopause years.
I might take a bottle of Midori and some lip gloss, too.