My friends: I have a question for you. What makes a grown-up a grown-up? I’m 37 with three children and a mortgage and a job and a propensity to write VERY STERN complaint letters, but I still feel like I’m playing at the whole grown-up thing. It surprises me when people ask me grown-up questions involving the square metreage of my house, or the timing of my reticulation, and my inclination is still - STILL - to say, “Ask my mum.” And, to be honest, I still do ask my mum. My mum is a proper grown up, and I am but a fool.
Sometimes I think it’s all to do with the shoes. And maybe the jeans. My mum (there she is again) certainly seem to think so. More often than not I’m in skinny ripped jeans and converse, and my mum - and even my nan - and even GRANDAD, who’s had a STROKE - all roll their eyes and ask when I’m going to start dressing properly. (Those weren’t my nan’s exact words. Her words involved swearing about “modern fashion, and cold knees”.)
Here’s the thing: I did try to do the whole dressing like a grown-up thing, once, just after Ben was born, and I moved back to Perth from London. I was all, like, let’s DO THIS, and bought clothes from Sportscraft and Country Road (or rather, I let my mum buy my clothes from Sportscraft and Country Road) - I may have even worn SLACKS - but it only lasted about a year, and I felt weird in my own skin, and very un-Lisa like. Mum-like, yes, but in a “let’s talk about appropriate child restraints for toddlers” kind of way. (As an aside, I hear those conversations ALL THE TIME amongst grown-up mums in cafes and playcentres and grown-up mum locations. When did mums get so shit boring? I heard a grown-up mum tell another grown-up mum about the convenient and functional spout on her daughter’s drink bottle the other day. A fucking SPOUT. Wouldn’t you rather talk about Orange is the New Black? And drinking?)
As such, I tend to avoid grown ups, and instead seek out the slightly dishevelled humans in teenager’s trainers and novelty t-shirts. And children's underwear. It might be said that one will never feel like a grown-up while they’re wearing teenager’s underwear. That’s certainly the case with me and Paul. Yes: we wear children’s underwear. By which I don’t mean that we wear underwear belonging to children - that would be weird, and in all probability illegal - but rather that we wear underwear from the children’s section of popular retail chainstores. Go with me on this! LARGE teenager’s underwear is the same size as SMALL adult’s underwear. They’re the same SIZE, but cost LESS. Hence Paul wears large boy’s underpants and I wear training bras. Who’s laughing now, eh? Eh?
So yeah, I’m all for not acting your age. Look at our neighbour, Peter. He’s nudging 50, but more often than not can be seen whizzing past on a skateboard, or listening to Weezer with a beer in his garage on a Sunday afternoon. Peter is my ‘don’t grow up’ idol, and as long as he’s skateboarding down our street, I’ll be wearing ripped jeans and converse. Don’t grow up! It’s a trap!