Scintilla Project, a two-week storytelling extravaganza that encourages bloggers to share stories based on a shared set of prompts. Click the link to visit the site and find out more, or to sign up! Visit the blogroll to find other blogs that are participating and to read their stories, too.
Prompt: Tell a story about a time you got drunk before you were legally able to do so.
I was always... how shall we put this... a bit of a goody-goody. I followed the rules and spent my formative years avoiding anything that would get me in trouble. I was mortified when I got my first speeding ticket because it meant a black mark on my record, and, worse, it meant I had to tell my dad. To this day, I'm convinced that the best parenting technique is not to get mad and yell - oh, no. It's to get quiet and express disappointment.
That said, I never got drunk before I was 21. I didn't even get drunk when I turned 21, in most part due to the fact that I was one of the first in my friend circle to do so, which meant I had no one to go do a ridiculous amount of shots with. For which my liver and dignity will be forever grateful, I'm sure. I also don't even remember the first time I got intoxicated enough to be considered "drunk" - not because it was such a hazy drunken night of shenanigans that it all got blacked out, but because it was probably boring and uneventful and I was probably in bed by eleven. Wait, no. I think I'm confusing my college self with my current self. LOL, right?
I don't have a pile of drinking stories - my best story is actually the one where I helped my friend home on her 21st birthday. That one, I think, we'll still be entertaining ourselves with when we're little old ladies.
I can remember exactly two instances where I consumed alcohol before the age of 21, and in both cases, I was well within the bounds of the law.
When I was 17, I took a class trip to Spain. The legal drinking age over there is 16 (or at least it was at the time), a fact that most of my classmates took advantage of in the evenings when we weren't under the watchful eyes of the parent chaperones. Despite it being legal in that place at that time, I still felt a tremendous amount of guilt at the idea of it. Admittedly, because I had never had it, the mere thought of it made me uneasy, because I had no idea what to expect.
However, one of the last nights we were there, I reluctantly let myself be led into a bar. I drank half a glass of sangria that night (I couldn't even bring myself to finish it, so strong was my anxiety over my perceived rule-breaking) - enough to earn me some cool points with my peers. One even made a comment about the fact that she never expected to see me drinking any sort of booze. I think she was proud.
The second time was over summer vacation when I was 20 - mere months from turning 21 anyway. I was staying at my mom's that particular night and she had gotten home late from work, and needed to pick up some groceries. Night owls that we were, we hopped in the car and headed to the nearby 24-hour grocery store. I'm not sure how it came up, but we got a wild hair to pick up some wine coolers.
You know the kind.
I was strangely excited by this tiny act of rebellion, even though it wasn't really a rebellious act at all because I was with my mother.
We went to check out and the cashier refused to ring them up - not because I was present and technically a minor, but because Iowa law prohibits the sale of alcohol after 2am and we had just barely missed the deadline. (This is also why all the bars close at 2, but of course I didn't know that yet. Iowa bars are also 21+ only.) It was oddly funny because, aside from the fact that it was probably 2:05 or something ridiculously close to it, for all of my mother's years of legality, she had been unaware of this rule. So I learned something very useful that night about our state's liquor laws. Life lessons, guys.
So now we were on a mission, and we went back the next night (at a more respectable hour of 8pm) and picked up a pack or two, and I sat at the kitchen counter with my laptop, sipping a basically-nothing proof wine cooler. I might be completely wrong here, but I think it's legal to drink underage if you're with your parent/guardian. Maybe I just made that up. At any rate, I was in my mom's kitchen, and I didn't even have the slightest of buzzes.
So, that's my super exciting tale of juvenile delinquency. Stunningly lame, I know. And I've kind of come full circle on the whole thing, because I barely drink anymore at all. It's not worth feeling crappy over, and the excitement is long gone. I'll have a girly cocktail or a hard cider or a glass of wine from time to time, but really, who needs the calories?