Dating at 18 -v- Dating at 28
A little disclaimer before I start: I don’t actually remember what my 18-year-old self was like. I was a binge drinker in my teen years (which partly explains my appalling memory.) So basically, if my attempt to speak as my 18-year-old self doesn’t come across as very plausible, it’s because I simply don’t remember my 18-year-old self… and the lack of smartphones at that time, is something I am eternally grateful for.
Situation: Random dude approaches you at a bar
18-year-old self: Heeeyyyy, this guy’s alight looking, I wonder if he’ll buy me a drink? (random dude offers to buy drink) Better keep it classy… ‘one bucket of fruit tingles please.’ Oh my god, is that Fergaliscious? I love that song! It’s totally a sign! (pulls random dude who possibly spiked drink onto dance floor) I’m totally going to bust my sexiest moves and this guy’s gonna want me so bad. Even better, I’ll go dance on the stage and every guy will want me! (proceeds to trip up stairs, spill bucket of liquor down white shirt and dance like 3am Vegas Brittany)
28-year-old self: What the fuck am I doing here? Stupid loud music. Wish I was at home by myself watching ghost busters. Stupid friends. Maybe I can pretend my dog’s sick and go home… damn it, don’t have a dog. (random guy looks over) Don’t look over here, don’t look over here, definitely don’t come over here, definitely don’t…. (ohhh hey… what’s you’re name?) This guy smells weird. And he really needs to re-think his facial hair. I bet he has a collection of toe nails he keeps in a pickle-jar by his bed. (I’m just going to go to the bathroom… don’t go anywhere) I totally reckon I could fit through this bathroom window…. (Hey, lady in the pink top, can you give me a boost?)
18-year-old self: O.M.G. So many eligible hotties! Why haven’t I met any of these guys at one of the many parties I frequent every single Friday and Saturday night, because I’m young and irresponsible and my body bounces right back from alcohol, like I assume it always will. I don’t know why people say true love is so hard to find. I bet my future husband is just, like, a few swipes away. It will totally be just like the modern-day Romeo and Juliet. I hope he likes Eminem, skate shoes and sculling goon from the clothes’ line as much as I do. (Tinder wasn’t actually around when I was 18, hard to imagine, huh? Neither were smartphones, thank the lord, or I’d probably still be chasing that suppression order on one or two.)
28-year-old self: Well done Leah, this is officially the most bored you’ve ever been. Let’s see what we’ve got here… loser, loser, wanker… hmmm, this one’s good looking and has a job… so I can only assume he’s a massive womaniser who’s cheated on every girl he’s been with… loser, dickhead, ‘helping mother earth’ is not a job, loser, loser. Well, I guess that’s that. At least I can tell mum I tried to find a nice man. Maybe there’s one at the pet store, with all the cute cats…
Situation: on the way to a blind date
18-year-old self: This is so exciting! Do you think he’ll like me Brandine? Is he cute? Is he funny? What colour eyes does he have? I wonder if we’ll kiss… and then he’ll send me romantic notes and buy me flowers… and maybe he’s the one! And he’ll get a job as a super-rich pilot one day and we’ll jet-set around the world, and he’ll be super supportive of my career as a model/actress and we’ll have our wedding in a castle with doves and a horse-drawn carriage.
28-year-old self: What the fuck did you go and do that for? Do I really have to go? Can’t you just tell him I’ve got massive haemorrhoids or something? But seriously, this is the worst idea you’ve ever had because here’s what’s going to happen. He’s going to be an arrogant douche bag, or a weirdo, or an escaped felon, and no, not the hot kind, the meth-addicted, no teeth kind. At the very least, you have to help me with an escape plan. How about, if I prank you, you call me and tell me your car’s broken down and you need me to come and help you change the tyre or some shit.