The big 2-1! Every teenager counts down the days until legality, freedom, and of course, shots. Naturally, I checked off the days on my calendar, wondered what shenanigans would be pulled at 11:59pm on October 16th, and pondered if I wanted to buy champagne or white wine as my first legal alcohol purchase. But my 21st didn’t start off with a bang…
It came without tequila.
It came without ale.
It came without vodka, martinis, or an embarrassing tale.
Instead I was cozy, all up in my bed,
Reading and relaxing, without a tipsy head.
What if 21 came quietly, while I was sober?
At least the next morning,
I wasn’t hungover.
You see, I was at home on fall break when I celebrated my 21st. Of course, the ONE birthday you want to be at school to party the weekend away with friends, I was stuck at home in my quiet, sleepy town. At first I was bummed. Like extremely bummed. Every time I told someone how many days until I was FINALLY legal, I followed up with a saddened caveat: “oh yea, but it’s over fall break.” Even with the promised celebrations when I returned to school, I was still upset that I wasn’t going to have that stereotypical night of blurred memories and poor decisions that somehow you laugh about when you’re old and gray. Twenty one is young. Twenty one is supposed to be reckless. Instead, I slipped into twenty one in the comfort of my childhood bed.
My mom knew I was upset to be home on this momentous birthday so she tried to make it the best day should could. She treated me to a pedicure and bought me new boots. That night, my parents and I went out to dinner and I ordered my first legal glass of wine. While I felt grown up and super fancy with my new legality, my birthday ended as subtly as it began. Back in my bed.
With a new (horizontal!) license in hand, I returned to school two days later to celebrate with my roommate, who had also turned 21 over break. A few friends decided to go out that night to give us a “true 21st celebration.” I made my first liquor run that afternoon (I chose white wine) and didn’t get carded (anti climatic), only to realize that I didn’t own a corkscrew at home. After a few failed attempts with a knife and some scissors, my roommate decided that tonight was more of a champagne night, after all. Under the streamers and birthday signs in our apartment, we took pictures and smiled too big. We were going out, we were 21.
Unfortunately, our mood was dampened (literally) by the pouring rain as we ran outside to catch our cab. Even though we laughed about how great of a memory this would make, our hair was slightly ruined which slightly displeased us. No matter though! We were going out, we were 21.
We got to the bar. It was entirely empty except for a few townies, a nice bartender that I mentally named “Rick,” and the Red Sox game. But hey, we didn’t care! We were there to have fun, to have a “true 21st celebration.” We had our group of five, our pitcher of “juice” and an empty bar to play darts and dance like fools.
However…as the night wore on, I started sipping less of the pitcher and more of the free water. Something wasn’t sitting right with me, and I think it was more of a stomach bug than the alcohol. After a quick trip to the graffiti filled bathroom, I was back in a car with a friend and suddenly snuggled in my bed. My birthday celebration lasted a total of 2 hours. I was 21, and I was back in bed.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. This chick is the LAMEST 21 year old around. And I agree with you. I am the lamest 21 year old around. I remember my 21st birthday perfectly. I didn’t spend my whole night in a bar showing off my new “crazy-drinking-legal” status. Instead, I’ve spent the most of my 21-year-old nights in bed, wonderfully happy. You might think my birthday was lame, but I actually think it was perfect.
Here’s the thing. Most of the things I do in my life are big. My mom says I live large, and I do. But the idea of a sloppy blacked-out night of binge drinking didn’t really appeal to me. What can I say? I’m more of a casual wine girl than a party-lovin’ salt-shot-lime chick. (No offense to those who love tequila. You do you.) My 21st birthday actually fit me perfectly. I have enough “big” exciting life moments, and a barely memorable 21st birthday doesn’t need to be one of them. Instead of piecing together a story of crazy (probably made-up) memories, I can confidently say that I spent my birthday relaxing, enjoying some alone time, reflecting on my year, and sharing a glass of wine with the two people who probably love me the most. I’m not sure how it can get better than that.
Call me lame. At least I didn’t get a hangover ;)
Here’s to less tequila & more memories. Cheers!