Apparently fun ends when you’re 43. Really?
PUBLISHED: 15:13 21 September 2018
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Stacia Briggs says being young isn’t nearly as fun as being over 40. Do you agree?
A new survey has revealed that people have the most fun at the age of 23 and that by the age of 43, most of us are leading boring, predictable lives.
According to research by Virgin Holidays, the game is up for all of us before we even reach our mid-40s, by which point 49 per cent of us have admitted we’re bored, tired, overworked, under-valued and that a good night now involves little more than not slipping into a tedium-induced coma.
Really? I can’t remember much about whether I was having fun at the age of 23 (which kind of suggests I was having TOO MUCH fun) but I definitely don’t think I was having as much fun as I am now.
It’s hard to throw yourself into unfettered fun when you’re worried about money and your future and a lack of jobs and Brexit and falling fertility and pay stagnation and the fact you’re more likely to dance on the moon than you are to get a mortgage unless someone rich who really likes you dies.
When I left university back in the mid 1800s, my student debt was £500, Norwich Union was still giving anyone with opposable thumbs a job, I got housing benefit to live in my flat flat and I had actual choices about which career in the media to take.
Facebook hadn’t been invented. The internet was something that happened to other people. If you wanted a takeaway, you had to go and collect it yourself.
I appreciate that I sound like I am 9,000 years old.
If I went to a party and behaved like a complete idiot, images of me face-down in a plant pot wearing only a pair of pop socks were not beamed across the world on various social media channels – even if someone did have a camera, they’d have to take a roll of film to be developed and it would cost a million pounds, so no one did.
Holidays, pubs and cinemas were cheaper and no one I knew EVER ate out more than twice a year – my parents literally never took me out for a meal, not even once, when I was a child. It simply wasn’t a ‘thing’.
These days, I’d argue that unless you’re under the age of 11, when everything is awesome fun, if you’re young you’re probably less likely to be having fun than some of us old gits. Let’s weigh it up.
Going to nightclubs = not fun. My daughter summed up going to a club in Norwich last weekend in a message to me: “Identikit men with immaculate hair all wearing trousers that aren’t long enough and loafers standing around looking bored. Identikit women with immaculate hair all wearing leather skirts, high heels and crop tops standing around looking bored. Everyone looking determinedly miserable and serious, as if enduring a terrible ordeal, people dancing as if it’s a trial.” Well that sounds fun.
Looking for a job/having no money/having a job and still having no money = not fun. Getting practical presents for Christmas/birthdays = not fun. Thinking about pensions = not fun. Wondering if you will ever get on the housing ladder = not fun.
Expensive education, high unemployment, having to live with your parents because you can’t afford a place of your own = not fun. The horror of endless judgement on social media = not fun. Donald Trump having an actual effect on the actual world = not fun.
I, however, have lots of fun these days, none of which I would have been able to do when I was insolvent/living with my Mum/wracked with worry about the future, in other words “when I was 23”.
This admission of fun-having will, of course, now cause some kind of fun recession in my life to punish me for being smug about having more fun in my 40s than I did in my 20s. I can almost sense a fun drought approaching in the form of a tax form in the post, or an NHS letter inviting me for an invasive examination.
But honestly, let’s not let the fun be over at 43. I’ve still got the Grandchild Embarrassing Years to look forward to - it’s only just beginning.