Once loved, now loathed – 7 things I used to enjoy

once loved Rosemary Mac Cabe

I was just watching a Pixiwoo tutorial, where Nic was talking about how much she hates swimming with her kids, and it got me to thinking about all of the things I once loved, that I now cannot stand. It’s funny, isn’t it, how things change?

My friend Ella (owner of Siopaella and all-round wonderful human) and I were talking the other day and she pointed out that she thinks I have quite a fickle personality. That sounds really critical, but it was in the context of fashion (not an unsolicited character assassination!). I was saying that I wished I had a more definitive style, and didn’t just wear things that fit me out of ennui, and she pointed out that I’ve changed my style every year or so, ever since we met. So maybe this is all just a symptom of that personality glitch that has me liking and disliking things in the blink of an eye.

Anyway, I digress – here are just a few of the things that the Rosemary that existed between 1989 and 1995 (4-10 years old) once loved, that the Rosemary of today (age 32) really, really does not.

1. Swimming

Nic’s not alone in this one; I once loved my weekly swimming lessons, even though I never felt like I was getting anywhere and always came last in races. It might have had something to do with the vending machine privileges I got afterwards, as we waited for our lifts, but it was also just something I really looked forward to each week. Even now, the smell of chlorine brings me right back to those weeknight swimming lessons and waiting for my Mum in the lobby, still damp and slightly cold and starving (despite the vending machine treat).

Now? I still like to swim, but I hate the palaver that goes hand in hand with swimming. You know what I mean: the dressing and undressing and showering and drying and packing your damp towel into your bag. No matter how many times I do it, that will never not feel wrong. It doesn’t help, of course, that I exhaust myself within about 15 minutes (if even), so the whole thing feels like much ado about nothing.

2. Lent

I received a snap the other day from someone who said they were giving up chocolate for Lent. I was really shocked – is Lent still a thing? I was definitely hugely into it in primary school, pouncing on an opportunity to excel at abstention (not my strong suit, generally), and then the ultimate gorge-fest on Easter Sunday. Now? There is no way in hell you’d get me to give anything up for Lent – partly because of my loathing for organised religion, and partly because I hate to feel deprived. Blame No 1 Bootcamp.

3. Scary movies

I think I have my parents to blame for this one, too. They stuck rigidly to the notion of age certificates on movies, so any kind of scary movie was 100% out. Luckily, I had some friends with irresponsible parents, who would leave us alone to be terrified by Gremlins and Halloween. I adored them. It wasn’t so much the content of the movies, obviously, but the fact that I was deviating so boldly from my parents’ wishes gave me thrills.

Now? I am the jumpiest person you’ll ever sit beside in the cinema, and I spend 75% of the film peering out from between my fingers. That is when I’m not jamming my fingers in my ears to block out the creepy-as-hell soundtrack. I just can’t cope.

4. Crunchies

As a child, I thought only of the taste (sugary and delicious). As an adult, I can’t think of anything but the fact that I’ll be attempting to suck Crunchie out of my teeth for the next 24 hours.

5. Being in charge

My Mother talks about my formative years as if I came out of the womb with a ruler in hand, ready to boss everyone to oblivion. I probably did. I used to set up clubs (treehouse club, animal rights club) and elect myself chairman, before doling out menial tasks to the other poor children I convinced to join ranks with me.

It wouldn’t have been a reach to suspect I’d end up in some kind of managerial position, bossing people around with dictatorship-worthy vigour – when, in fact, I strongly dislike being in charge. I like being my own boss, but I hate telling other people what to do (I swear), mostly because (a) it’s exhausting and (b) it’d be quicker if I just did it myself. I’m not a good delegator.

6. Crisps

No one ever believes me when I tell them I don’t like crisps. (I don’t really like popcorn, either.) I don’t know what it is about them – your fingers get covered in salt or crisp dust or something, and they stick in your teeth, and my tummy always feels sore afterwards.

It’s funny because I once loved crisps. I mean, it would never have occurred to me not to love them. I loved going to O’Brien’s sandwich bar with my Mum, because they would put crisps on the side of your plate and you could eat them first, before you got around to the business of your sandwich. Delicious.

7. The colour yellow

I once owned a pair of yellow jeans by United Colors of Benetton. They were bright, canary yellow, like the sun, and they made me feel so happy and bright and optimistic. (Maybe the day I got rid of those jeans was the day it all went wrong…)

It was only when I got older and started learning about makeup and how some colours just didn’t suit some people that I realised yellow was not for me. It made my sallow, slightly yellow skin tone look almost jaundiced. I looked tired and slightly ill. I could draw some pretty deep comparisons between my realisation about the colour yellow and my realisations about sexism and my role as a woman (to not look tired or ill or jaundiced), but I’ll just say this: I once loved the colour yellow.

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