(Me and my boyfriend when we were 18. 10 years on we're reminded that we've grown up. A lot.)
There is a moment in your twenties when you realise that you are quickly approaching the big 30. Until recently I have frequently been mistaken for a person younger than my years. I'm not saying that to come across as arrogant or obnoxious, more rather to state the fact that for better or worse I have not felt quite like a real grown up most of my adult life. Sometimes the mask of youth has it's benefits such as child bus tickets and the ability to buy clothes from the children's section (If you can do this I suggest you do as it saves a ton of money and you don't pay VAT), but it does also have it's drawbacks; for instance, I can count on one hand the amount of times I have not been asked for ID at a bar or a shop when buying wine. This even led to me once asking the cashier if they really thought that a child under 18 would be buying themselves an overpriced bottle of Sauvignon Blanc on a Thursday night. Last night however, whilst waiting for entry to see a rock show I had my first wave of real 'adultness'. For someone who is notoriously crap at adulting this was not only unnerving but made me question to some extent my own mortality.
Here are a list of reasons of how I realised I was old whilst queuing for a Don Broco gig:
1. I was cold
I think that the older you get, the less that you are able to withstand the cold. The entire crowd was full of teens/ uni students wearing next to nothing in freezing cold weather. I was wearing a camel overcoat. David Corrigan from the series Peep Show was providing me with an internal monologue moaning about how they were going to get ill and that they shouldn't all look so happy about it.
2. I really wanted a chair
Flash back to 10 years ago and 18 year old me would have had too high of an alcoholic blood level to even care about needing to sit down at any point over the remainder of the evening. My partner asked me what I was thinking about and I replied "chairs... you know we are going to be standing for the next 4 hours." I then saw the fear flicker behind his eyes.
Yes I know, naughty word and all of that but Dickheads are an actual thing. Anyone my age and at University in London around the same time will remember the 'Dickhead Song' on Youtube. Dickheads are not your normal hipster; they are a special breed of adolescent that can only be described as insufferable and pretentious. We stood in front of a group of Dickheads whilst waiting for entry to the show. Whilst they mocked hipsters and how Dalston is now unliveable (as was the case in 2011) they then in classic Dickhead style stroked their own egos by outdoing one another with stories of their tattoo's. One said that they bled so much that the tattooist had to stop because they could no longer tell what was blood and what was ink (amazing emo song title in there somewhere). The other replied in a very blase fashion that they felt so little pain that they slept through the entire of thing. They then all proceeded to exclaim how 'wasted' they were all going to get and question what 'world music really was anyway'.
4. The gender neutral toilets there made no sense to me.
Now hear me out before you all go thinking that I'm narrow minded and un-progressive. I'm all for people being whatever gender they choose, hell be a unicorn for all I care, but do not install 'gender neutral' toilets where there is still a separate room for urinals. It's a complete juxtaposition to the entire idea that you are supposedly trying to advocate. 'Oh but people need their privacy' I hear you say; well if that is so then make sure that they are all cubicles where people have to lock the door. No, it is not acceptable for you to leave the door ajar and unlocked when you pee. I did not swipe right on you therefore I do not wish to see your winkle.
5. I am willing to stand up for myself
During a gig everyone gets squashed. If you cant deal with that then you probably shouldn't attend one. What is not acceptable however is for a guy to think its acceptable to invade you personal space and use you as a human leaning post when there is other space for him to go. I called out the man-spreading and I'm not sorry for it. I also had the best vantage point of the entire room other than the sound desk and shot some amazing pictures. There is still a young part of me though that would have been down in the mosh pit if I could stomach enough alcohol to give me the nerve to do it.
6. Bringing me on to... alcohol intolerance
Two glasses of wine spread over 4 hours left me with a raging hangover similar to if I had downed an entire bottle. I remember the days when I could party in that venue into the wee hours of the morning dressed as a smurf and not be thinking about my new hotel quality pillows waiting for me in bed.
Despite coming across as a massive moaner (which I'm not...all of the time, honest) the show was pretty darn incredible and if it wasn't a school night I would've been right down there at the front. Rob the lead singer and the rest of the band were spot on the entire time. It was also pretty cool to stand with my boyfriend outside the gig venue just how we had done ten years prior when seeing Alter Bridge as 18 year old mates. The nostalgia was real, as was the big hug we had when we finally got in the front door of our house. We'd been through an ordeal. We're nearly 30. We needed our beds.