Friday, 7 August 2009

Missing: Rosy-cheeked children

Things are getting serious. We’ve talked about moving. Starting afresh, building a co-existence. This ought to be Brilliant News. Is clearly akin to A Big Step. But it isn’t. It’s bloody terrible, because now I’m face-to-face with my future I realise I haven’t quite planned that far.

I went to the bank to arrange some unemployment insurance yesterday. Frankly, not as exciting as it sounds. However, the conversation with my bank manager startled me slightly as it threw into question some of my fundamental, if slightly naïve, assumptions about life. And it went something like this:

Bank Manager: So, shall we take the policy out until age 65?
Me: What?
Bank Manager: (Slower, and slightly louder). So, shall we take the policy out until age 65?
Me: What?
Bank Manager: (losing patience and wondering if I need a guardian to fill out the forms). So, shall we take the policy out until age 65? Retirement age? Yes? (Looks to check for signs off alcohol consumption in my eyes).
Me: What? No, sorry. I mean, no. I really don’t intend to work until I’m 65.
Bank Manager: (Smirks).
Me: No, I’m sure 35 will be fine.
Bank Manager: What happens when you’re 35?
Me: I’ll probably be living in an idyll with my adorable rosy cheeked children and a Labrador.
(Awkward silence).
Bank Manager: You can always cancel…
Me: (Horrible dark realisations start to surface). Ok, until 65. I’ll probably just cancel though.
Bank Manager: Yes, yes, of course, yes cancel whenever you’re ready.

But I’ll never be bloody ready will I? I have no savings, no property and no plans. My freak-out levels are dangerously high. So are those of my boyfriend who now thinks he is dating a wannabe lady wot lunches rather than an equal partner in crime. I don’t suppose my suggestion that we had “the talk” before agreeing to move away together helped matters. It was around that time I said “"In the old days, women wouldn't even put out without a ring on their finger." Someone should gag me.

Is it possible to create a life where one can stop working at 35 to
run in slow motion on pretty beaches without being a “kept woman”? I’m thinking lottery win, porn, or Big Brother.

Clearly I need to make some mature plans. Set in motion a journey towards the idyll, and as far away from traditional retirement ages as possible. I should create a career plan, start saving up, buy a set of coasters to put a stop to those dastardly coffee stains.

But that isn’t how it works. What do middle aged men do when they realise life is short and they’re wasting their shot at it? They buy a
sports car and wink at teenage girls.

Following this trend I’ve had some nail extensions done, booked a trip to a
paradise island near Bali and started to bid on a campervan for my forthcoming road trip around France where I shall write the best-selling novel that will save me from a life flitting between marketing meetings and trips to Sainsbury’s.

Progress towards life’s goals: None.

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