I have posited here, many times, that all human beings are either X Factor or Strictly.
There is no in-between.
I’ve always been X Factor – through and through, in my blood, my soul – until it became like it is now. So for the last few years I’ve just been… nothing.
But on Saturday night, I accidentally ended up seeing a programme where people who had been on Strictly talked about what it was like being on Strictly , with lots of clips of highlights. Suddenly something I’d never understood – why would anyone watch Strictly? – became clear.
Strictly is people dancing either really well or really badly – both of which are fun to look at. Finally, I got it.
I’m now at a point I never thought I’d reach – I am seriously considering watching Strictly this year.
As with so many televisual decisions, this has triggered a major existential crisis. Moving from X Factor to Strictly is huge.
It means something. It’s a milestone in life, that is simply undeniable. It seems, despite my best efforts, I have now entered Middle… Youth.
Yes, that is a thing, actually – Google it.
To be fair, Strictly-gate wasn’t my first clue that the wild days of youth are firmly behind me. There have been quite a few others, like:
■ I buy things before I need them. Not only do I have an increasing array of things in stock – loo roll, light bulbs, batteries, greetings cards – but also having an increasing array of things in stock brings me genuine happiness.
■ I like nice views.
I now use the same eyes I used to roll at people boring on about them to look at, and, like, appreciate them.
■ I’m suddenly super interested in the washing. I really care about keeping my whites white. Recently a friend explained the difference between biological and non-biological tabs and I found it far more gripping than Bodyguard .
■ There is more food than alcohol in my fridge.
■ I was given a hand-held Hoover as a birthday present, and I was thrilled instead of outraged/insulted. Take that, crumbs!
■ Not only do I know how to bleed a radiator, I find doing it extremely satisfying.
■ Cliches are becoming ever more true. But only because the music actually was better when I was a teenager than it is now.
■ Receiving post isn’t exciting. At best, boring. At worst, scary.
■ I tut. At things on telly, and the actions of other people once they’re far away enough not to hear and possibly hit me, just to myself in my head, semi-constantly, at life.
■ I say tedious stuff my parents said to me. Things I swore would never pass my lips pop out automatically, eg “Because I said so”, “There are starving children who would be so grateful for that”, “I don’t care what anyone else is allowed to do.”
■ My social life priorities have changed. The lighting is SO much more important than the menu.
■ I remember to bring my bags for life out of the house with me sometimes.
■ It’s the little things.
Being able to get a cup of tea somewhere I wasn’t expecting to be able to get a cup of tea = high point of the week / news I definitely consider worth sharing as widely as possible.
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