If you do any of these things then you’re probably a uni ‘Flat Dad’
‘Mate, you sound like such an old man!’
Though thought of as a rare breed, most of you will have been in contact with one. Some of you might even live with one. The 'Flat Dad' – the shining beacon of sensible practicality, lover of checked shirts and chugger of Brewdog IPAs – is alive and well, roaming the streets, making sure that the bathroom mat is clean and that the gas bill has been paid on time.
Thoroughly settled into the role, Flat Dad is perfectly accustomed to being labelled an 'old man,' 'old soul,' and 'old before his time.'
He knows that all of these terms are more pleasant ways of saying 'act your age, you pretentious tit,' but this doesn't bother him – Flat Dad is perfectly content, just as Manny from Modern Family is, to turn his middle-aged dreams into reality.
The road to middle-aged nirvana is long and beset with difficulties, and so, in the interests of all the budding Flat Dads out there, here is the definitive guide to knowing whether you too should don the dressing gown of middle age:
You Listen to 'Dad Music'
We've all been there. Somebody's hooked their laptop up to Spotify and are letting people take it in turns to pick the songs that are playing next – cue a seemingly endless stream of Kanye, Kendrick and maybe a few Eminem crowdpleasers, followed by The Beach Boys. Or maybe The Eagles.
The room quietens. Some people recognise the song – wasn't it on Radio 2 in the car on the way to uni? – but many don't. Turning round, the culprit is clear for all to see.
Standing over the laptop and lost in the midst of the Hotel California guitar solo – possibly even breaking out a bit of classic air guitar – Flat Dad is loving life, free from the shackles of his headphones and enjoying a 6 minute journey into the past, 'back when they made real music.'
Nights out don't do it for you
While the appeal of a good night out might never truly die away, for the middle-aged souls amongst us there exist far better alternatives to the traditional Hive 'til Five experience.
Think of a place you can go to with your mates and actually hear what each other are saying. Where you can enjoy a few pints and yet still return to bed in time for seven hours of glorious sleep before your 9am the next day, without stinking of sweat and stale beer.
Say you're feeling adventurous, why not throw in a few games of pool? Fear not, Flat Dad – the Teviot Sports Bar, your new social hub, has you covered.
Had enough of drinking Tennent's? Figure life's too short to keep on choking down mouthfuls of Glen's?
Welcome, budding Flat Dad, to your new taste in alcohol, a place where the risks of sounding like a pretentious arsehole multiply exponentially, but are more than equalled by the improvements in taste and quality over your previous drinks.
Simply replace that Tennent's with some of Brewdog's finest Punk or Elvis Juice IPAs, and swap out the straight Glen's for some refined G&Ts, and you are on your way to middle-aged sophistication.
You love a good checked shirt
Going to a lecture? Checked shirt. Going out for dinner? Checked shirt. Can't be bothered putting a new outfit on? Yesterday's checked shirt.
Available in all sorts of colours and styles, it's a paragon of smart-casual versatility, and an absolute staple of the Flat Dad wardrobe. If you've got one or more of these, you're on the road to middle-aged life.
Does the job of making sure your flat is organised fall most often to you? Do you always end up having to make sure everyone's paid their share of the bills or loaded the dishwasher properly? Does everyone always want to use your heated clothes rail? Perhaps the ultimate indicator that you have taken on the role of Flat Dad comes when you find yourself performing these mundane but very necessary tasks for your flat.
The role may have fallen to you through a lapse in concentration, (such as through foolishly nominating yourself to be the lead tenant) but once it's yours, you will struggle to escape from it.
So why not just knock back a few Brewdogs, stick Hotel California on again and embrace it?