If you want to feel suddenly ancient, do what I did on Friday and go late-night shopping into town right before a One Direction tour date.
The plan was a good one. The Teenager was at a sleepover, the builder was in town and we were going to hit the shops, followed by a drink or two, perhaps a bite to eat. How cosmopolitan and smart I felt as we left the house. Hmm.
Lots of traffic on the way in, got parked, went to the lift. Hordes of tweenagers jumping up and down squealing at each other, comparing glittery eye-shadow and nail varnish.
Swarms of them flooding the shops and restaurants, clutching banners ‘I’m Mrs Styles’, ‘Marry ME Harry’, ‘One Direction – Over Here’. In an instant, I felt very, very old and very dowdy as I remembered Harry was only 19 (19!!) and was born in 1994, two years after I left high school. I was old enough to be his mother.
The builder wanted to buy a new duvet, and as we were standing feeling up different togs and feathers, working our way up and down the row, I felt even older. Duvet shopping. On a Friday night. Where did it all go wrong?
I bought some cards (ooh, they do a lovely selection in John Lewis), vitamins and a new wallet. Exciting. Prematurely old? We decided to cut our losses and head to the bars. We wandered around, checking each of them out. Too trendy, too dark, too small, too many doormen, too big, too loud, too scary. We were a walking, talking Dr Seuss poem.
I stopped outside one of them in horror. ‘Retro Bar – 90′s Music’. Since when were the 90′s retro? Dispirited, we sat outside a fake Spanish tapas bar, glumly sipping our wine (me) and gin and tonic (the builder), watching the skinny, mini-skirted women teetering past on high heels, hair sprayed into submission, faces glowing with anticipation. We muttered to each other, ‘she must be freeeezing’ and ‘why don’t they put a warm jacket on?’
We finished our drinks and went home. I put the cat out, popped my slippers on and settled down for a nice night in front of the telly, the lyrics of ‘Those Were the Days My Friend’ running sadly through my mind. I think it’s time to shake things up a little…