I’ve just got back from one of those night-time trips to the local Co-Op for cat food that also resulted in me now sitting here eating a family pack of Haribo Star Mix, evil little buggers that lie just on the wrong side of moreishness (is that a real word?)
What really irritated me about the visit was I stumbled on the store workers stacking a whole wall’s-worth of Christmas confectionary and other stuff: selection boxes, sweet mince meat and advent calendars.
I had spotted the first little bits and bobs in another supermarket in late August but let it go because it wasn’t much, but this is the first overt Christmas theming I’ve seen this year and, quite frankly, I’m disgusted. Not so much because of the indecent haste with which summer has been consigned to the past, nor the clash of pagan Hallowe’en masks and Christian festival (since when did the British celebrate Hallowe’en anyway?).
No, what really pisses me off about this is that I’m thirty-four in three weeks’ time and my “Christmas gets earlier every year” mental tirade makes me feel really, really old.
Thirty years ago I would have started aching for Christmas round about now (after my birthday of course) and it would have seemed an age before it arrived, all the worse for the shops, the TV ads, the smell of bonfires on November 5th that seem to linger right through to the end of December, and the itch of glitter used in school to make cards and decorations but that somehow gets everywhere except on the paper and the glue.
But now I think “Bugger. I’m old”
I think I’m actually dreading this one because next year I reach the average age for marriage in this country, as well as the age where I become a member of various “at risk” groups – heart attack, stroke (these sweets are helping me on the way), several different types of cancer that – god fordbid I should offend here – see far more men off than breast cancer does women but go realtively ignored, and suicide. Presumably it’s all the cheery news about being “at risk” that leads to suicide if the others don’t get you.
So next year beckons already, thanks to the confectionary industry, and with it the prospect of premature death due to some ailment or by my own hand, or marriage. It’s not much to look forward to is it?