You think more about the weather, the next time you’ll get to sit down and how much washing you need to get done, and less about about parties and hair glitter and whether you’re ready to take the dance routine you made up to Picture Of You by Boyzone to a wider audience.
And I guess it’s inevitable now that we’re responsible for more than just our social life and our cassette collection – there are bills to pay and gardens to weed and conversations about the benefits of online grocery shopping that just have to be had.
And this change of focus affects pretty much everything – our approach to going out, to seeing friends, to deciding what type of surface we’re willing to sleep on…
And even though we’re not so old that we’re not still presented with some of the same opportunities as there were when we were younger – there are still parties (weddings), and gigs (YouTube) and even sleepovers (cohabitation) – when they do come up, our grown-up brains will think about things that wouldn’t even have occurred to us when we were younger. Allow me to compare – though please note that, as a person who was young in the nineties and early noughties, my concept of what a young person thinks about may be slightly out of date.
Scenario 1: Going to a party/pub/wedding/on holiday/on a train/leaving the house to do anything whatsoever
Young person thoughts: Will there be booze? How do I get the booze? Will he/she be there? Is this the right occasion for me to wear my skirt-trouser?
Adult thoughts: Will I be too cold? Will I be too hot? Will water be readily available? Will I get a seat? What is the toilet situation? Is there a lot of walking involved? Will there be dickheads?
Scenario 2: Selecting a new dress
Young person thoughts: Is this something Baby Spice would wear? Do my platform trainers go with it?
Adult thoughts: Does it have a pocket that will hold a tissue? Can I wear proper pants with it? Is it dry-clean only? (Because if it is, you can forget it.)
Scenario 3: Choosing a new handbag
Young person thoughts: Is it big enough to hold this inexplicably enormous ring binder I insist on owning? And this tin pencil case I’ve covered with my initials written in Tipp-Ex?
Adult thoughts: Does it have a good zip? What is the pocket situation? Is it so deep that I’ll never be able to find anything? Is it big enough to hold an umbrella, cardigan and Tupperware box? Does it have a good handle?
Scenario 4: Somebody coming to stay at your house
Young person thoughts: Is it a boy? Does he smell? Could I beat him at Street Fighter II?
Adult thoughts: Are they clean? Do they respect bathrooms? Will they notice that I haven’t dusted the television?
Scenario 5: Going away for the weekend
Young person thoughts: Will there be a TV? Can I watch Gladiators?
Adult thoughts: Will I be back earlier enough on Sunday to do my washing? Will there be dickheads?
Yes, we think very differently now.
I don’t remember when things changed; when antibacterial hand wash started mattering more to me than my mobile phone, or when I first wanted to bail on a trip to the cinema on the off-chance that somebody might sniff during the film… but now that we’re here there’s no turning back.
But thankfully it doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun, we’re just a little more prescriptive. If you can find us a wedding party with comfortable chairs, a steady supply of H2O, sparklingly clean toilets and with a minimal number of dickheads on the guest list, then you’re in for quite the party.
And if there happens to be some Boyzone on the playlist then that’s even better. I’ve been working on a little something I think you’ll enjoy…