The other day I had lunch with my father, who was in London on business. He took me to his favourite pub and somewhere between the tomato soup and the mains he started a conversation that he has, until now — miraculously — avoided.
He glanced nervously at the waiter and sank his glass of wine before launching in, asking me what my plans are for life: Did I see myself settling down and starting a family? Am I saving up to buy a house? What is going to be the next step in my career?
There was a pause as I looked at him blankly and shrugged, before muttering that immortal phrase, loved by teenagers across the land: ‘I dunno.’
Except I’m not a teenager. I am 34.
|Refusing to grow up: Those adults who do not acknowledge responsibilities like marriage, children and their career have been dubbed 'the Peter Pan generation'|
In short, all the usual trappings and responsibilities of a middle-class man of that generation.
I, on the other hand, live in a rented flat with my youngest sister and have few savings to speak of. I certainly don’t have a pension.
As for the idea of marriage and children, well, it’s exactly that: just an idea — it’s no closer to being a reality than it was when I was 23.
My ‘life plan’ as my father so sweetly called it, goes as far as this weekend.
‘Don’t you think you should start thinking about these things?’ he asked. ‘You do know you’re not 20 any more, don’t you?’
I’m not sure that I do.
While I am a fully paid up member of adult society in many ways — I pay taxes, cast my vote and give money to charity — in other ways, I am in hopeless denial about my age.
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