In four weeks and one day, I will turn thirty two years old. When my mother was thirty two, she had been married for nine years and gone through four pregnancies. She had been working in the same job for more or less eleven years and she was seven years into a mortgage on a semi-detached suburban house in an up-and-coming area.
She was most definitely, most indisputably, most surely and certainly an Adult.
I sometimes manage to approximate adulthood. Tomorrow, I am giving my first ever lecture. I will be a lecturer. I remember how old lecturers were when I was doing my first degree. They were definitely adults. And now I’m one of them. An actual adult. A grown-up. A lecturer. At Ireland’s oldest university. Not only will I be lecturing university students, I will be lecturing postgraduate trainee secondary school teachers. The kind of lecturer who lectures teachers must be even more grown-up than your average common or garden lecturer.
I must really be an Adult. And yet, sometimes, I’m really in no way adult.
A few weeks ago, I got an email from the accommodation office, asking me to ask one of the students in the house I’m responsible for to remove the “obscene graffiti” from their window. I looked, and there was indeed a picture of an abnormally large penis drawn on a bedroom window. I called to the door of the offending apartment. These are the words that I heard coming out of my mouth: “You need to clean off the cockpic on your window.” The boys looked at me really strangely. And I realised, “cockpic” probably isn’t a word that adults use when disciplining students. In fact, “cockpic” might not even be a word that straight people use. Basically, instead of being an authoritative adult, I went into a nineteen-year-old boys’ flat and spoke to them in the language of gay pornography.
And tonight when I arrived back in Hall, I went to reception to collect a parcel that had arrived for me. You see, the last time I got paid, I had gone a little insane on the internet, and I bought something that only a fifteen-year-old girl would buy.
In their last music video, One Direction, finest boyband that ever there was, dressed up in sailor suits. Like proper, nineteen-fifties, gay porn, sailor suits. I searched the internet until I found a very high resolution photo of One Direction in their sailor suits, and I had this photo enlarged and printed on canvas.
The package waiting at reception was as tall as me. I couldn’t wait to bring it to my flat, so I enlisted the two second-year undergraduates who were also at reception to help me open it immediately.
It’s over four feet wide, and I think it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever owned. My heart rate literally goes up when I look at it.
And I know you might say I have enough One Direction paraphernalia, between the One Direction calendar in my bedroom and the One Direction calendar in my kitchen, the One Direction carrier bag, and the One Direction diary, the collection of One Direction bracelets, the One Direction mug, the One Direction bookmarks and postcards, the One Direction poster and the One Direction phone case, the One Direction cover photo on my Facebook account and the One Direction cover photo on my Twitter account and of course, the One Direction duvet cover and pillow cases.
But this is different. I made this. And I can’t stop giggling.
Feck adulthood. I choose my sailor boys.