According to a list I recently saw of major life milestones and the age you’re expected to reach them, I should have been a bridesmaid at 23. Coming from a culture where bridesmaids are not part of a wedding, I grew up listening to tales of my friends who had been bridesmaid for aunties or cousins and gazing at their ‘fairy princess’ outfits.
As I grew older, my desire to wear lovely dresses didn’t abate and I still hankered for my ‘fairy princess’ outfit. But since our wedding, my craving to be a bridesmaid disappeared.
However, like a bolt from the blue, my sister called me and asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. “Me?” I asked in stupefaction. “Am I not too old?” But after my sister assured me she definitely wanted me to be part of her big day my childhood excitement resurfaced.
Even when one of my colleagues told me that technically, as I was married, I wasn’t going to be a bridesmaid but a matron of honour, I defiantly replied: “I don’t care! My sister asked me to be a bridesmaid so I am going to be a bridesmaid!”
My sister organised a wonderful wedding in the stunning grounds of safari park with every possible extra touch you can think of, and a few you could probably never imagine. With the excitement of the big day over, I looked at the list of life milestones to see if there were any I’d done on schedule or still had left to do.
The list dictates the age you should pass your driving test is 20. Well, I actually managed this by the age of 19. Although it did take me several attempts.
Buy first car at 22. Again, earlier than schedule as I bought a £500 banger a few months after passing my test. Get married at 27. I actually managed this at 23 – the same year as getting engaged.
Have first child at 28. Wow! Bang on deadline. Only I went one better by having twins!
Although I might have met some of the deadlines, looking through the list made me realise we all do things at different stages and times and there’s no right or wrong time for doing them. Or indeed a need to do some of them at all.
Oh, one more little milestone I’ve met? Writing this column before deadline!