I’m thirty years old now. I have been for several months. Now that the shock has worn off, it occurs to me that a certain section of my behavioural patterns are no longer appropriate. I’m posting a list of them here, hoping to publicly shame myself into stopping them before my wife refuses to acknowledge me as her spouse at social gatherings, or my family disown me from sheer embarrassment.
1.) Whenever there’s a clear space in the aisle at the supermarket, pushing off with my feet and riding the trolley down the alley while making “Wheeee” noises. This problem is severe enough that Tracey no longer allows me to have control of the trolley, relegating me to little more than an autonomous fork lift.
2.) Spiking my hair. Remember that gelled, spiky look that was popular for men in 1998? The one that Angel had in the first series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? I still have that. Whenever I leave the house, the gel goes on and the hair takes on a certain electrified look. In spite of the fact that the look is no longer stylish, I never suited it anyway and that there’s a HELL of a lot of salt mixed in with the pepper these days, I persist with Sonic the Hedgehog cut.
3.) Indulging in imaginary Lightsaber™ battles, complete with noises, when I think no-one is looking.
4.) Giggling like an eleven year old boy, when I’m in the baked goods section of a supermarket and see a loaf labelled as a “Crusty Bloomer”.
5.) Wishing my cat was named “Chairman Meow”, instead of “Oscar”.
6.) Using the “You know the word ‘Gullible’ isn’t in the dictionary?” trick. Almost all of my social circle are my own age, or older. Anyone who falls for that at this point in their life deserves pity, not scorn and laughter.
7.) Laughing out loud at couples who wear matching t-shirts, jackets or what have you. At this point in my life, I should have better impulse control. These people obviously have enough problems, without the scorn of people in their own marketing demographic to worry about.
8.) Asking people to “Pull my finger”. I still find this deeply amusing, on a level so fundamental it’s almost profound. This unnerves me slightly.
9.) Trying to grow a beard. It doesn’t come in properly, there are bald patches all over my face, my wife won’t kiss me while I have it and it’s unhygienic. I look ridiculous with it; and let’s face it, if I can’t get the full on Billy Gibbons look by now, I’m not going to. It isn’t like there’s a bit more of puberty left to go, or anything.
10.) Thinking of gardening as an unpleasant task, that happens to other people as a punishment for sins in a past life. When you’re twenty-two and the view from your kitchen window is indistinguishable from the view from a tent pitched in the middle of a bramble patch, the neighbours think “typical young ‘un. Too busy having fun to look after the garden.”. When you’re thirty, they think “When will that shiftless bastard tidy up that embarrassment he calls a garden. It’s making the whole street look bad.”.
11.) Blowing spit bubbles, or “silver bells” as I like to think of them. This isn’t dignified at any age and I really must stop. I certainly mustn’t occasionally drink milk, to achieve the correct consistency for longer lasting bubbles. Not that I’ve ever done that of course. Ahem!
There, I’ve declared my secret behaviour for the whole world – or alternately the half a dozen people who view these pages regularly – to see and revile, hopefully forcing myself to stop. These are serious problems, people. I need your help to break the chains of habit. If you catch me doing one of them, point it out to me and deliver a cutting remark to me. It’s for my own good.