The evidence is irrefutable: you’re turning forty

tea or coffee

Dear reader,

Does 2002 feel like just a few years ago? Does your GP look like Kevin Arnold from The Wonder Years? Does something in your body click? Do you find yourself having to explain references like The Wonder Years? Do you wee more frequently than you used to wee? Do you remember when snaggles of audio tape in the street were a frequent occurrence? Do you only bend down to pick something up if it’s really important, and when you do bend down, is it with a little ‘oof’ sound? Do you say ‘ah that’s nice’ when you sip a hot beverage? 

You might want to sit down. Oh, you’re already sitting down. Okay, well, here’s my diagnosis. Now don’t freak out but…you’re turning 40.

Don’t cry! It’s okay! I recently turned 40 too. I know, I know: you don’t understand how this happened, you still feel 25, etc etc. Listen, denial is pointless. It’s definitely happening. Here’s how I know:

Your hangovers are more epic than the night before

Remember when you turned 30 and your twenties hangover state (giddiness, slight dehydration and an enthusiasm for more booze) turned into a murderous desire for solitude and cheese? Oh, those were the days! These days, my hangovers are violent, vaguely surreal and span about ten weeks. Essentially, they’re like a series of Game of Thrones if it was made up entirely of that moment at the end of Episode 8 Season 4.

You haven’t listened to any new music since 1998.

One minute, I was open to all that indie music had to offer. The next, I realised I’d had Billy Bragg’s Brewing Up With Billy Bragg on repeat for five years. In your late thirties and onwards, you don’t so much scorn new music as refuse to acknowledge its existence at all. Good work. Keep it up. If we continue to ignore Kasabian, maybe they’ll go away.

You can’t pull all nighters

In previous years, if I had lots of work to do, I’d just drink seventeen cups of coffee and hammer it until dawn. It was fun, like an A Team montage (minus the chicken wire and cigar in all but the most unusual of commissions). Alas, not anymore. These days, if I try to cajole myself into working hard, I immediately want a cup of hot chocolate and an early night. I can only presume that my biology is readying me for retirement, where the ability to be happily indolent counts as an evolutionary edge.

You do a massive jaw drop at the price of a cinema ticket.

And then another one at the concessions stand.

You are more confident in who you are. What I mean is, you’re rude.

Fact: our inclination to be pleasant is inversely proportionate to our proximity to the grave. Remember when you used to be nice? Hahah, what a dolt! From 40 to death bailing on events, telling your colleagues what you really think of their ideas and refusing to take on new friends until an old one emigrates/dies are all perfectly acceptable pursuits. The clock is ticking, people. We just don’t have time to be polite. (NB. This explains your nan).

You wouldn’t swap your current self for the twenty five year old you.

Unless you were really, really, hungover.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I need a little lie down.