I have come to the sad realisation that I am a premature Grandpa in disguise. Today I got home from school at 4.30. The first thing I did was take off my suit and get into my one-piece (this in itself is unacceptable and I know it makes me a dick but it’s so comfortable that I simply won’t hear a bad word said against it.) I proceeded to watch Masterchef, which I had taped from last night- (hope Tom wins,) have a bath (no candles, but bubbles did feature,) eat a Chinese (plus a few bags of crisps) and read a bit of my book (for about 5 minutes before tuning in to New Girl and other shit telly.) You may be a very liberal individual and believe that this behaviour is totally acceptable- I appreciate your tolerance. However, the upsetting thing about my routine is the fact that 16-year-old Callum would be turning in his grave (metaphorical obviously) if he could see my actions (metaphorically again, because he is me and- as such can see everything.. Sorry if that’s confusing.) From the very day I turned 16 I was simply waiting to be 18, when my real life would begin. During the two intervening years I was patient and stoic, as I knew in my heart of hearts that they were simply “transition years.” For me ‘18’ was synonymous with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll; it was a symbol of freedom and liberation from constraint as one entered the world of adulthood. Then I hit 18 and I realised that I’m not actually a sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll kind of guy. In actual fact, I’m the guy that is excited for the next series of Downton Abbey and finds it difficult to go out two nights in a row without a midday nap to keep me going. In short, I am a premature Grandfather.
What’s worse, I love it.
At 16, I longed to be a member of Skins, with “delirious highs and inevitable lows” (that’s the official tag-line of the show- how pretentious is that) characterising my lifestyle choices. Now, when I watch the programme, I am more concerned by how little revision they are doing for their exams and why they are seemingly oblivious to the fact that they clearly need a good bath. When I go out, I enjoy frequenting Halo, where the most hectic thing I have hitherto experienced was their free giveaway of santa-hats in a fit of festive good-will. The music isn’t dirty, grimy dubstep, but a mixture of whatever is in the top 40’s chart and a variety of 90’s hits. I dance like my Dad and at a recent party, I moved on to a cheeky Smirnoff Ice when I felt I’d had too much vodka.
The funny thing, is that all the time waiting to grow up so I could do all the grown-up things that looked so cool, provided me with the opportunity to actually grow up and realise that I’d rather actually have fun than just pretend to. Sure, it’s probably quite lame that I’ve spent tonight (a Friday night) with a cup of tea instead of a glass of jaeger, but at the same time, the occasional Friday-night is completely necessary, crucial even- to maintaining your sanity. The most dangerous situation I have put myself in is almost spilling a bottle of soy sauce all over my bed, and the closest I got to vomiting was unnecessarily finishing my prawn curry, having already wolfed down prawn toast, spring rolls and sweetcorn soup (man it was delicious.) Ultimately, being a Grandpa every now and again is good for your mind, body and soul, so there should be no stigma attached to it. It is nothing to be ashamed of, but something to celebrate!
I am an 18-year old Grandpa and proud (but then again, the chav at the bottom of the road can boast the same, though in a slightly different context.)