There was no stand out moment when things changed. No anniversary for when it all went out the window. No marker from which we waved goodbye to so much.
For, in one moment our weekends are hedonistic, nights fold into days and most Sunday’s are spent coming to on our mate Katie’s sofa in amongst an array of other bodies, hanging around on floors and armchairs resembling people you think you know, to the smell of fags and secrets.
Our summers are spent in denim shorts rolling from one Tesco tent to the next in muddy fields in god forsaken English villages that had sold their souls to travelling music festivals. Your diet consists purely of Strongbow, cheesy chips and the occasional drag on something herbal.
Every evening poses an adventure. No Tuesday night is complete without a tale of debauchery, happy hours and 3am noodle feasts in Won Kei before braving a night bus journey and a day behind our reception desk.
We are the first and last at every party, living by the rules of “only Monday” – when first night of the week is the only one we stay in and do our washing (everything else is up for grabs). We haven’t been at home long enough to watch a TV programme since we watched Neighbours religiously in 2004.
We’ve got endless stories of snogs, sambucas and sunny Sunday’s spent boozing in the garden of someone we don’t even really know that well, but who has outdoor space in Peckham so is where we’ll be spending every weekend until October.
We make new friends every week in the smoking area of some hell hole dressed up like an All Bar One.
And then one day we wake up, and something has changed.
Weekends are now a hedonistic mix of early starts to exercise because all the wine we’ve absorbed for ten years has now formed a ring around our middle, exercise that needs to be out of way before getting over to meet friend’s kids and squeeze in baby shower after engagement drink after 70th birthday.
Our summers are spent darting from wedding to wedding, taking annual leave to clear out the cupboard in the hall and going to the BBQ of the mate’s that have just bought the four bedroom house.
Our evenings are spent late in the office, or in the gym, or anywhere that doesn’t pose the risk of spending any of the money we’ve squirrelled away for a house deposit or a wedding or something less fun than Peroni and pork scratchings.
We’re watching ITV dramas through choice, eating avocados through choice, having conversations about ISAs.
We don’t end up at random house parties in Clerkenwell anymore and stories of snogs and spliffs have been replaced with stories of ovulation cycles and baby led weaning.
We’re trying to stop smoking because a mate of a mate has a singular wrinkle on her lip and we’ve all lost our minds.
We have friends who’ve had fillers, who are having small humans on purpose and who “don’t do weeknights” on the piss anymore because they can’t hack it.
And there we stand.
The inbetween ones.
Who are saving for the house, the wedding, are punctual to 1st birthday parties and have become very good at masking a hangover at a christening.
Who are trying really hard to accept it.
Accepting the change.
But who, deep down, are still very much wearing a pair of short shorts in a field somewhere, can in hand, Mayfair in the other, singing our titty kakas out to Arctic Monkeys and talking about what a riot last Tuesday night was, feeling like adulthood is a lifetime away.
All whilst looking at your calendar, realising you don’t have a free weekend until October, and having the harsh reality check that it’s very much here.