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You prefer a night in with a cup of tea and your Dinnerladies DVD to going out. It reaches 9 o’clock and you just can’t be bothered. Disco naps are sure sign you won’t get out of bed at all, and a shot of espresso gets your heart pounding like a speaker at a German techno night. Instead you fold yourself up in your comfiest dressing gown, turn the gas fire on, and wiggle your toes into a pair of fluffy slippers.

You start having dinner parties instead of house parties. You swap coke for coq-au-vin and sambuca for a nice, chilled Sancerre. Instead of your neighbours coming round at 6am to complain about the banging music, they come round at 7pm to taste your new vegetarian quiche. You give up muscle Marys for spinach and chickens for low-fat Moroccan grilled turkey. Though you like to think you’re cutting edge, and strive for a Come Dine with Me theme, you’ll end up with a balding queen called Terence criticising the needlework in your doilies.

You start referring to boyfriends as ‘partners’ and fuck buddies simply as ‘friends’. If you have neither, and that’s far more likely, you’ll have a rent boy and refer to him as your ‘companion’. You’ll get married in matching white suits with a dyke in black to give you away, and absolutely no one will have sex in the back row at the church. Those days have long since passed.

You go on holiday to Gran Canaria, and instead of staying in a cheap hotel, stay in the local sauna complex instead. However you don’t have sex. You simply stand on the sidelines and watch everything, tutting about how young everybody else seems and how tasteless all that rimming business really is. You’ll spend your evenings watch drag acts mime badly and actually only use the jacuzzis to relax. Should anyone take a dip beside you, you’ll cross your legs, look resolutely in the opposite direction and keep your sphincter tightly clenched. To take it at your age would only result in prolapse.

Your chest looks like a magnet dipped in iron filings. Meanwhile, your knees buckle and your belt won’t, and your ears are hairier than your head. This, in itself, you might put down to bad genetics, but the desire to wear corduroy is no one’s fault but your own.

You buy a house instead of renting a city-centre apartment. You reason it’s time to have a study and a bookcase and a pantry full of red wine. You get a golden retriever and call him Sam. You eat paella and muesli, and find Top Gear bloody radical. At Christmas you ask for a matching cutlery set because you feel it’s all you need to complete your life.

You pay attention to the news, rather than simply having it on in the background. Whenever a young person comes on TV you tut and blame the parents.

You wake to feel like it’s the morning after—only, you went to bed at 9pm. Tetley’s tea is usually enough to give you a hangover.

The gleam in your eyes is from the sun hitting your spectacles. The spring in your step is caused by a dodgy pacemaker and not too much Viagra, as it used to be. The colour in your cheeks is because you passed out on a park bench, too blind to read the sign that said ‘Caution – Wet Paint’.

You turn out the lights because you’re tight-fisted, not because you’re horny. This is the same reason you know what ‘equity’ means and get into heated debates about pension plans. Because you don’t trust banks any more, you prefer to store your money beneath a mattress, and you sit in wait for the day you no longer have to pay a TV licence.