Age is a funny thing.
Many of my hobbies are plagued by an attitude that you get too old to do them. Comics and games are for kids surely? How can an adult get thrills from wrestling shows? When are you going to grow up and start taking life seriously?
Statements like the last one make me really angry....REALLY angry. Like, instant loss of temper angry. You see I take life very very seriously indeed. I have a wife and two wonderful children, a house and a cat. I have a job and as part of a relatively small team, my actions in that job can impact on everyone else in that team. Thats a lot of responsibility and serious concentration.
And THATS why, when I have some spare time, I like to do something completely different, like play games or read comics or watch wrestling.
There is another reason, more deep set in my psyche. I downright refuse to embrace the banality that I have seen sweep over some of the other people I know. There really is no logical, personal or societal imperative that I have come across that justifies the need to abandon friends and interests as your years advance. How can I play pretend games with my children if I have abandoned the imperative to have an imagination? How can I relate to their ideas of the world if I have no idea about the music or culture that they are surrounded by (I still listen to Radio 1 and watch Childrens BBC with them)? What possible harm does it do to the world if I can play Boggies with them when needed?
And yet to many people, this makes me somehow less of a man, less of a husband and less of a father. I abandon my children when I play games and I have under-developed skills that are needed of a man (like my not being a mechanic when I cannot even drive!). It's utter madness, in my opinion!
Or is it?
One idea has settled in my mind over the last few weeks and thats that as a 35 year old man with an 8 year old daughter, spending some of my social time with 14 year olds playing cards or going out on boozy nights with 18 year olds might seem slightly suspect? Might seem a little out of place? Yes, it might - and that probably means that I need to look at how I carry myself at these events.
I also recently had a curious reaction to something online. I was offered the chance to by a black Cthulhu branded silicon wristband (ala the Lance Armstrong ones) for only £1.60. I thought 'wow, how cool is that?!' and even added it to my paypal basket and then.... I thought, where the HELL would I use it? I would never wear it during the day or at night...it would just sit there. The only time I could wear it would be when I was out with the lads and that would just be like some sort of 'away day uniform' - something I am trying to avoid.
So I didn't buy it. Does this mean that I am growing up (God, how I hate that phrase. At 6' tall and 23 stone, I'm ALL growed up thanks!) or does it just mean that I am hauling in some of my activities?