Remember when you had crushes and lived in permanent fear of embarrassing yourself?
In my case, having a crush tended to mean I would turn the colour of a tomato, and blurt out something that sounded really funny in my head but actually sounded completely idiotic the moment the words left my lips. Then I’d try and make a dignified exit, only to trip over something and bang my head on the doorframe.
Thank goodness those days are behind us, right?
Except, I don’t seem to have grown out of crushes, at all. Or spots on my chin, but that’s a rant for another day.
In all other areas of my life, I can pretty much pass for a functioning adult. I have a mortgage, a car, a pension (sort of) and a grey hair that appears to grow 10 times faster than any other hair on my head, so that by the time I notice it, it’s 6 inches long.
But I must confess that I can still be reduced to a stammering, blushing fool by my decorator, the guy who fixed my car last week, some random PR dude I met in a training session recently, and – most mortifying of all – my dentist.
What makes these crushes especially horrifying is the realisation that in some cases I am LITERALLY old enough to be their mother. I mean, for it to have happened, I’d have had to get started with the procreation business fairly early, but technically? It’s a possibility. Which takes my crushes out of the realm of ‘a bit embarrassing’ and well into ‘horrifying and flat-out wrong’ territory.
Except here’s the problem: no matter how many times I read that Nigel Havers or Liam Neeson are supposed to be God’s gift to womankind, I can’t help thinking they’re old. They probably have false teeth – which given my recurring nightmares about teeth falling out would instantly rule out any sort of physical contact with an older man.
I once asked my Mum if, when you got to 40, you started finding men aged over 40 more attractive. “Not really,” she sighed. Which was a sort of depressing conversation, now that I’m within a half decade of turning 40 myself.
So I figure I have another five years of not feeling completely mortified about the inappropriate thoughts I harbour about Robert Pattinson and James Franco, before it gets too weird and embarrassing. And after that, I am basically doomed to become that weird old woman who can’t be allowed out in public unsupervised. Please tell me it's not just me…