I just got engaged and I feel SO grown up. Flicking through a bridal magazine (that also doubles up as a 1950’s ‘how to be a good wife’ guide) I can’t believe just how much of an adult I really am.
I’m aware that a few weeks shy of my 28th birthday I probably should have transitioned into feeling like a grown up a few years ago – that way I wouldn’t have to cringe when people point out that I’m tottering along the edge of my fertility peak.
Whatever, I’m still SO young. I’ve really got the balance right, I tell myself.
This week, whilst enjoying a couple of days off I set about actually cleaning my flat after a month of rejection in favour of working. I even polished.
After another tireless day of tidying I was getting ready for bed.
My fiancé yelped from the bedroom. ‘You know when we’re married, we’re going to have to grow up!’
HARK! What is this nonsense?
I appear from the bathroom in my University netball jumper that I’m wearing for bed (want a North London flat in Zone 1 that doesn’t mean you have to turn tricks to afford the rent? You must accept windows that don’t close properly. Brrr!)
‘How are we not grown up?’ I ask peering at my beloved currently lying on a linen-less duvet with the spare duvet wrapped around him. ‘We can’t go through life with one set of bed linen. At least not when we eventually live near family or friends that pop round unexpectedly’
‘Oh, yeah’ I say glancing at the bed linen limply drying on a clotheshorse I’ve had, again, since university. (There isn’t any outdoor space and the breeze from the gappy windows keeps them smelling FRESH)
As I return to the bathroom contemplating whether it’s worth buying another linen set, I notice that I still have towels from 5 years ago (they’re from frigging John Lewis and they kind of double up as a nice exfoliator)
After a moment of panic that I’m not as grown up as I think, I soothe myself in the fact that, as usual, my best pals from University will be in the same boat. I consult WhatsApp and ask; does everyone have 2 sets of bed linen? A unanimous ‘um, yes you scrubber’ is the reply. Then it hits me…
Out of the 5 of us in the WhatsApp group 4 have houses WITH gardens. 2 have children and/or are pregnant. 1 is renovating the house she owns and I’m the only one living in London with my scabby towels and only one set of bed linen. The conversation takes on new life as they recommend Dunelm and tell me to invest.
‘BUT I’M TOO YOUNG TO WORRY ABOUT THAT KINDA SHITE’ I plead.
I can’t read the rest. I’m looking at my life in a new light. I basically live in a student flat. But it’s just me and my fiancé and I only have two pans. There are 3 stripes of paint on the wall from when we first moved in and then decided we weren’t adding value to someone else’s property. We only really own a TV and a picture of Beyoncé that hangs over the random mark on the wall!?
But we have loads of books? Like LOADS. And the fish shower curtain. Yes, the shower curtain. We’ll always have that.
Just as the sight of my fish shower curtain with matching nautical boat bathroom accessories begins to calm me, I look back at my phone, which has a stern message for me. ‘Holly!’ it reads ‘you can still be young and have a spare duvet set that doesn’t scratch you when you roll over.’
I get into bed (well on to the everyday duvet minus linen and under the ‘guest’ duvet that doesn’t cover our toes)
‘What’s up?’ Asks fiancé. I note that he’s wearing his University cricket tracksuit bottoms and it makes me smile.
But then I get serious.
‘Look, I think we need tell people we want vouchers for an engagement present.’
‘Ok. For where?‘
‘Dunelm’ I say pulling up the hood on my hoody.