By Miss Pollyanna, 5th January 2017

When Do We Get Set In Our Ways?

When Irritations Morph from Annoying Quirks to Daily ARGHS!

When Irritations Morph from Annoying Quirks to Daily ARGHS!

When I met my husband we were carefree, late twenties, full of spontaneity, more than capable of nursing a hangover two nights in a row, travelling to far flung corners of the world several times a year and dining out with wild abandon. Then again, at that time we hadn’t had our kids…

But I am reluctant to believe it is simply the K word that changes everything. And many are those of us without children who would probably be quick to agree. You see, it seems there comes a time, an un-pin-downable millisecond in our existence when our behaviours cross the very fine line from full on full of zest get up and go… to the beginning of the end: the dawn of the new era that is being set in our ways.

And I am not afraid to admit I find the whole thing terrifying!

And quite ludicrous in equal measure.

Below are a few of my bugbears. Feel free to chime in with your own, the funnier the better!

Whistling and humming
No. Just no!
Hell, I cannot profess to being completely oblivious to the hidden “trap” of the hum. On the (very, very) odd occasion I have caught myself whistling Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” (or something equally cool). But since when did my husband turn middle-aged enough to pace about the house whistling and humming from dusk til dawn?


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Now you’re starting to feel sorry for me, aren’t you? 

The worst thing is… nobody warns you about it. I mean sure, you see it with your own dad – I know I did and continuously do with mine. But unless I am seriously mistaken, I do not recall being wooed on the dance floor in an Irish pub in Bath little over a decade ago by a man (hot as he was and still is – tooting aside) whistling the anthem to a Fat Boy Slim/Keane/Muse or Madonna track (or whatever was in the charts at that time). I mean if my before-he-was-my-husband husband had thought that was remotely clever/attractive/cool I can tell you now, he wouldn’t have made it past first base, let alone be married to me!

Watching the news
And since when was the news ever part of our agenda in those chilled out days of fun, frolics and freedom?

Never. Ever.

So when does that whole game of seriousness start? And I have to own up… prior to my own discovery of the Law of Attraction, I was just as charmed by the fear mongering DONG of the daily news as my husband now is. It’s hard to believe in hindsight, but not so very long ago at all and I too was sucked into the news’ vacuum of dread (not to overlook the token “happy” story thrown in at the end so as not to give us too many nightmares).

I wont Watch the News

But my question is: when does this all begin?

Clearly we’re too busy having a good time and creating our own lives in our teens… and early twenties, although many of us will sit down for an occasional glimpse then – particularly in the aftermath of a huge disaster.

What I am talking about though is when does the constant hunting for news begin? When do we hunger for it to the point it becomes more important than eating our breakfast (including coffee!) upon waking; to the point it has us glued to the ticker tape’s flicker on the TV screen in the background of the kitchen when we’re gathered to eat a family meal; to the point it has us tearing our hair out on holiday because the local Greek kiosk doesn’t sell any English papers, goddamn it – not even The Sun, and to the point it has us scrolling down our mobile phones at night so the biggest stories of the day are the last things infiltrating our poor brains as we attempt to switch off and zone out of this crazy world.

That’s the kind of set in our ways I am talking about…

Regimented eating and drinking tea times
Just why? What happened to excitement and spur of the moment grazing, munching, brunching, quaffing and boozing?

Okay, admittedly too much alcohol is never a good thing, but you catch my drift.

I recall how my mum would laugh at my nan and her very precise (I kid you not, we are talking to the second) tea drinking rituals. Afternoon tea at 3pm sharp and the last cuppa before bed at 9pm and not a tick of the clock’s hand past it!

Well, what do you know, my mum has only ended up doing exactly the same?!?! In a way that is worryingly bordering on OCD…

To which my dad will often ponder aloud “Will the Earth stop rotating if you make it today at 2:55 or 3:10?”

Clearly so.

It really is the oddest thing. But I (you) will know gazillions of people between us who are the same. Not only with their beloved cuppas, but every morsel they tuck into too.

How? Why? When? Just when does this curious behaviour take a hold and not let us out of its grip? I am baffled…

The depressing hum of the radio in the background
Admittedly, Mum and Dad, listening to the hits of the 60s as the Sunday dinner did its thing in the kitchen and I was a hormonal teen; that was a happy memory. Much as we couldn’t bare all of the songs at the time, my sister and I can see them now for the quality they were then. Not hard in today’s era of mass-market teeny bop cheesy crassness, mind you. However, that was all good and well until the beat of the Beatles’ drums stopped. And then cue the monotonous voice of a boring presenter rabbiting on and on and on about utter crap and nonsense in the background.

Just no.


I didn’t like it then and I don’t much care for it now.

Except it has invaded my kitchen now… in the form of Talk Bloody Sport.

What began as my husband’s “cave” (aka. him listening to Talk Sport in the kitchen with the volume very low… or pacing about the house, instead of whistling, with his earphones in) has now, somehow, taken over the whole lower level of my abode. And the decibel level is something else.

But I have a solution: Prince music. His absolute favourite!

You see why I have such a bugbear about these middle-aged tendencies creeping into my marriage now? They have instigated a war… of music… but a war all the same!

Talking about ailments
Now I will at this point give my poor husband a break (this is all in the innocence of good humour anyway… please don’t anyone read this too seriously). Luckily, when it comes to ailments and illnesses, he’s not one to chat on about them too much.

But something happens to most of us the day we hit 29 I reckon… in the build up for the BIG 30 (you know… that age where everything apparently “falls off” and “stops working”). And so no matter where you are, once you have hit your thirties, you find yourself slap bang in the middle of conversations where people are talking about every ailment from the common ache and pain through to coughs, colds and piles – and everything in-between. We begin to prematurely and unnecessarily age ourselves by zooming in on doom and gloom.


We would never have stood for that in our teens and twenties! It’s time to shake up these preconceived images of life as a “proper adult” and get back into the swing of fun. Which in itself is a sure fire way for all of us to feel better, be and be healthier.

Talking about the weather
There was a time when we ran out the door without coats and brollies. Such rebels! Nowadays though, many of us not only put plans and life in general on hold because of the rain, the sunshine and the hailstones… but we also yak on about them all day long (and not in a complimentary way)… in every conversation.

Let’s refer ourselves once again back to our teens and early twenties. We simply didn’t give a rip! We got on and did stuff, went places, experienced it all. To the point that I swear what most of us need now is a good stint at a rain soaked and mud-encrusted Glastonbury to give us something to really grumble about. It’s amazing (and perhaps just a British thing, I don’t know), but post thirty and the weather is never right for us!


If it’s not too hot, it’s too cold.

If it’s not too thundery, it’s too breezy.

If it’s not too humid, it’s too snowy.

It if’s not too icy, it’s too dicey.

Are these kind of atmospheric complaints pre-programmed into us, like sewn into the fabric of our DNA? Or do we suddenly feel that the time has come to start injecting these juicy pieces of data into our daily conversations?

I know I am far from immune… especially when it comes to an ice breaker (‘scuse the pun). Yet, if we were time travelling flies on the wall, with the ability to zip back and watch ourselves making new friends (and alienating people) in our late teens and early twenties, practically none of us would have used these kind of “chat up” lines!

And there my pondering ends.

I’ve got myself all hot under the collar, time to take my cardigan off… it’s a scorcher today for the time of the year. I’m also seven minutes overdue my eleven o’clock cuppa.

What did you think?

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