Watching England play football is an act of sado-masochism. I now have a genuine reason to support them, even if Steven Gerrard is no longer on the pitch looking gorgeous as he fucks up penalties. You know, angrez se shaadi karo, unki sub-par teams ko support karo. Obviously, I draw the line at rooting for that most gloriously mediocre football club, Tottenham Hotspurs. I have enough North London to deal with anyway, I am happy to continue investing my emotions in the perpetually underwhelming Liverpool. And of course, the Indian cricket team. My wedding started with the India-Pakistan world cup fixture and I could not think of a more shubh-muhurat. Even more that the open bar at the sangeet which our 100-strong contingent of friends destroyed while my relatives and uncle-aunties looked on in horror.
So really everything is the same. Slight cosmetic changes, better apartments, new jobs in new high-rises, new countries with their new work visa stamps in battered passports, diamonds and earnest promises (as if the two are meant to have any correlation, (my love for you is as solid as this diamond? My love for your has turned from black to glittery over time like this diamond?)). Because as much as I'd like to say otherwise, I am really just the same fucking person. Nahi hota mujhse change. Not to say there haven't been lessons learned or thoughts thought.
A certain amount of vodka sodas, and a certain amount of certainty that you're turning 30 in less than six months is all it takes to turn after-work happy hour into a post-mortem of your spectacularly well-lived 20s.
I spoke well of my past. I treated it like you would an ex-boss who you may run into again because man, fashion is a small industry and you really respected him. Learned so much! Good times! But really, really happy that that's over.
And so I share with you what I shared with the mid-20s girls last week. They were so fresh-faced despite their Thursday nights out and they were so earnest, it broke my heart a little.
- Live a little, flirt a little, play with hearts a little - you never know when you've just had your last fling. Who would have thought I'd end up marrying the jewtiya?
- Start saving money. Not a lot, because everybody needs to buy leather leggings and everybody needs a pissed-up weekend in New Orleans but put aside something every month at the same time as you pay rent.
- No Class A drugs. The occasional pill - sure! You'll feel like shit for a week afterwards anyway. No chance you're doing that again for a long while. Weed is semi-legal so pass.
- Have one, and this is important, only one female friend who isn't in your immediate circle who you can call at any given time on any given day and confess to your darkest fears and secrets. Be that friend to her. She will last you a lifetime. Mine is BM/OTP, and I am hers and that's all I've needed for 10 years.
- Allow yourself to dwell on miserable moments. But only with a time-limit.
- Know your worth. Always ask for more because they're definitely low-balling you.
- Know your worth. Always let a boy know exactly what you expect and if he still falls short, run and don't look back.
- Figure out what works best for your personality, but find a way to accept praise well.
- Also, learn how to accept criticism and bounce back. Bouncing back is often more important than not making mistakes.
- Call your parents. Even if you don't want to. Don't text, don't email, call. Once a week - that's all they want.
- Learn how to cook one thing well and take it to every pot-luck. Make good friends with people who can cook and go to all their dinner parties. Always with a bottle of wine that cost at least $20 because your friend just spent her Saturday making a roast chicken while you lay on the couch, scratching at your dry skin distractedly while watching Sherlock again.
- Never cancel on people last minute unless there's an emergency. You're an adult, show up when you said you would show up.
- Don't trust everyone. If your gut says no, follow that feeling to the end of the rainbow. Not everyone is inherently nice.
- And finally, eat carbs. Eat lots of carbs. Savour every bite. Marvel at how they seem to do nothing to you. Everything ends at 28.