Our world leaders are, seemingly, all a little unhinged, the planet is about to implode and I genuinely know people who lose sleep as a result of the stress of Brexit. I, however, have no such fears or concerns. It’s not because I have a cast iron grip on world affairs and, having sorted the wheat from the chaff, formulated my own informed judgements based on a measured analysis of the current status quo. Nope, although that would be amazing, it’s either that I suffer from heady mix of next-level pragmatism combined with a generous helping of menopausal brain fog or, much more likely, it’s just that I’m really, really childish. Obviously, just at heart, but I’m still the most immature person I know and, seemingly, unable to take anything seriously. I’m not trying to be coy and all Marilyn Monroe like, it really is how I am; from the moment I open my eyes in the morning until I climb into bed at night. I don’t wake up singing the hits from Calamity Jane but I am, well ‘Rock’ might use the word ‘maniacal’, I though, prefer ‘effervescently chirpy’.
I find serious conversation particularly taxing, having to constantly fight off the urge to say something silly and, preventing my eyes from glazing over is, quite frankly, exhausting as I genuinely do not understand the thought processes of other grown ups. Sometimes my worst fears come to life and someone will, unwittingly, attempt to start up a conversation with me about politics; just talking about politics as if they were discussing their holiday plans for next year. I am, though, simply unable to interject with anything useful or relevant and, in the end, will attempt to don my clown shoes to brighten up the overly serious moment with, perhaps, my top 5 Boris Johnson gaffes as, in my mind, surely, secretly, no-one actually wants to converse on this level; they must just feel coerced. Surely it can’t just be me can it?
So, in an effort to engage with my peers and converse at a higher level than ‘village idiot’ I have tried to increase my grown up ‘chat’. I have been listening to talk radio all day in an attempt to broaden my views and garner opinions from other adult humans so that I might refer to these musings later on at, perhaps, a dinner party or soirée. However, firstly, I tend to tune out if someone talks for more than 2 minutes on a subject that I either don’t understand or don’t have any interest in, so ‘talk radio‘ is now becoming mere background noise. Secondly, background noise or not, it’s making me feel slightly more aware of my adulting inadequacies; listening to people calling up, in droves, with their staunch opinions on everything from the political situation in the Middle East to cycle lanes in Venice, is an absolute eye opener. I’ve even started to be able to name some of the regular contributors, just by their voice alone, as a result of their, seemingly, hourly outpourings. Some people have an opinion on, basically, everything.
It’s not that I’m stupid…at least I don’t think so but, I suppose, by nature stupid people might not be aware of their affliction. No, I’m assuming that my cerebrum has prioritised, without mandate, what is important in my world. For instance, I don’t think you need to be the sharpest pencil on the desk to know that President Trump is not actually suited for high office. The man lumbers out of his oval, satin covered bed of a morning, scratching his hefty, wrinkly flanks and begins to ready himself to preside over one of the most powerful countries in the universe; he tucks himself into an expensive suit, carefully checks the hair is the right side of demented, the tan the right shade of burnt and, seemingly highly satisfied, off he waddles. The thought process behind the look alone, without the words, is enough to conclude that he is clearly deluded and the delusional should not be running the asylum. Putting wheels and a bell on my mum’s head doesn’t make her a bicycle and wearing an expensive suit doesn’t make you a statesman – I don’t need a two hour debate to figure it out. Our own main political parties? One lot say things to make the rich vote for them, another lot attract the poor people and then there is the party that mop up the ones who don’t really know who to vote for …oh, and then lagging behind (too busy writing placards) there are the tree huggers. All playing a strange game of “well, what about you then! / na,na,neenana” as they, oh so politely, point out the apparent shortcomings of the chosen opposition of the moment. There, that’s that all put to bed….see? That took all of 30 seconds.
It’s not just my attitude to the world at large; even my diet is fairly infantile. If you are what you eat, as is told; and if I were to have a little peek into what it is I ‘am’ today, I am very bright orange cheese flavoured corn based crisps and granola, as that is all I have consumed. My eating habits are, admittedly, singularly bizarre and, in fact the only reason I’m not featured on one of those Channel 5 programmes on freakish eating disorders, is that, as a responsible parent, I try eat ‘normally’ in front of my younglings, but the rest of the time, if I were to analyse it, I’m probably certifiable. I have even explained to my youngest that, if I could choose, I would only eat granola, Wotsits, roast chicken (thighs, skin on) and chips, BUT we have to look after ourselves and be healthy so it’s important to eat all the other things too. The rub of it all is that I actually do live on the aforementioned list when I’m not around my youngest youngling. I have found myself now, though, caught at a junction between two camps: those of “you only live once” and “make time for health today or make room for illness later‘ (That last one is not verbatim but it’s close as damn it).
A fairly accurate barometer of my state of mind is that I still, after 30 years of, biologically speaking, being one, can’t comfortably refer to myself as a “woman” without inwardly sniggering. No, “girl” is my preferred noun, but, I’m not a buffoon, I’m fully aware that my date of birth is a fairly strong indicator of my actual stage in life but I just cannot use the word “woman” when I’m referring to myself, it just sounds downright fraudulent. I feel like I did when I was 6, clomping along in my mum‘s high heels, real fur bolero (it was the seventies, don’t judge) hanging off my minuscule shoulders and lipstick smeared across my mouth like The Joker; pretending to be all grown up. I wish I could find a solution to my disinterest. I feel that I’m missing out on conversations and relationships that other adults enjoy but, I fear it is too late. It’s not me. I just can’t pretend to be grown up any more. It is with great regret that I feel I must resign.
My laissez faire outlook is not for everyone and I’m not advocating my attitude as one to be encouraged as, if people didn’t engage, debate, challenge and scream from the rooftops, the world would simply be run by a collection of megalomaniacs in fancy suits. Oooh, hold up…