Peter Pan Syndrome

As I prepare to move seamlessly from an afternoon of sanding and varnishing furniture in a nursery to an all-night fancy dress (Halloween-themed) techno rave with twenty friends, it does occur to me the life I lead is sometimes a dichotomy of considerable proportions.

I’ve talked about my (late onset) love of fancy dress on this blog before, and have also touched more than once on my deep-seated fear that I should start acting my age. But the problem is this: I don’t want to. Yes, I’m thirty two now and yes, there is a palpably strong argument to be made that it’s time to slow down, rein in the partying and (wait for it) “settle down.” And yet the counter argument of thirty two no longer being ‘old’ in a society where everything is increasingly happening later in life is just as compelling.

There’s also the fact I have a boyfriend who is five years younger than me, which means that even if I wanted to tone down my social life I would struggle to do so without being labelled the ‘boring older woman.’ Not that I really care what I’m labelled these days (that being the only obvious benefit of growing up, as far as I can see).

Reading the above one might assume I’m out on the town every night. This, I’m happy to report, is very much not the case. I worked out the second I hit thirty that mid-week drinking in this decade and beyond would only bring me pain-not that I always manage to remember that, mind, but at least the slip ups are fewer these days. When I do go out I simply like to make sure that the occasion is steeped in fun-and how much more fun can you get than fancy dress? I’ll tell you: No more.

It could be argued that I have a severe case of Peter Pan Syndrome, and that may well be right, but you know what? When I’m old and grey and lying on my death bed I will never have cause for concern that I didn’t make the most of being young(ish). Come to think of it, I wonder if they do fancy dress parties in heaven…

Rave face

Stumbling wildly through the crowd, he searches without seeing for a familiar face. His heart is pounding in his chest due to a combination of the drugs he has ingested and the heavy bass line of the music booming out of the vastly oversized but nonetheless inadequate speakers.

Acutely aware of the sweat pouring down his face he pushes past girls with pink hair and dark eyeliner, boys in high tops and damp motif tee shirts. All of them are smiling, beaming even, almost unnaturally so. Fleetingly he catches himself thinking the world’s problems could be solved if everyone just popped an ecstasy pill once in a while.

His mouth is dry. This needs addressing instantly. He stops in his tracks and fishes deep inside his pocket, from which he retrieves a soggy packet of chewing gum. As soon as the gum hits his tongue his taste buds come alive, like a thousand nerve endings hooked up to ten thousand volts. Satisfied with this sensation he continues on his path across the dance floor, heading for the exit that will take him to fresh air.

Once outside he bums a cigarette from a sweaty wide-eyed boy in a wife beater vest with a whistle around his neck and neon paint daubed on his cheeks. He takes two drags, inhaling deeply each time, then coughs and throws the cigarette to the ground. It wasn’t what he wanted. And now the sweat is cooling on his skin and he is cold. Maybe he doesn’t want to be outside after all. But inside was so hectic, what should he do?

Then suddenly, she is there; real and solid and perfect in every way. His mouth hurts for smiling; such is his relief at finally having been found. This is what he wants, he’s never been more sure of anything as he is in this very moment.

She takes his hand.

And he is free.

Writing this made me think conversely of the best experience I’ve ever had at a club, and it hands down has to go to this night in Pacha, Ibiza, in 2009 – I’ve no idea what was happening with the beams of light and the dancer’s dress, but it created the most incredible effect for the pic! A great memento of a fabulous night 🙂