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Finally 21

By Nicole Pierick
On October 19, 2018

Photo by Nicole Pierick

For the past two years, I have been guilted into being the designated driver. I’ve sat at the table at El Mez and watched my friends enjoy their dollar margaritas on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’ve heard all about all the funny things the townies did to at O-Town but have yet to actually see them in action, all because I wasn’t 21. But I turned 21 this past week. And now, things are going to be different.

Going out for the first time on my 21st birthday was not what I expected. I sat down at the table and the waitress asked me what I wanted to drink. Instinctively, like I have for the past 20 years, I asked for a water. My friends looked at me with raised eyebrows and asked why I wasn’t getting an alcoholic drink. Then it dawned on me: I could get whatever I wanted, so I asked for a drink menu.

I tried to play it cool, like I knew what I was doing, but honestly, I had no idea. I saw beer and wine and drinks I’d never even heard of, like Blue Lagoon Sunrise. What the heck is that? My friends asked what I was going to get, and I started to panic. These drinks cost eight dollars! What if it was gross? The waitress came back over, and I wanted to act like I knew what to do so I played it safe and ordered the drink of the month: The Zombie. She asked to see my ID, and I proudly pulled it out to show her I was 21. I wish I could’ve just taped it to my forehead so everyone would know I’m legal to drink now.

When my drink came, it was bright blue and cloudy. Goodness, what had I gotten myself into? I took a sip and sugar filled my mouth; it was so sweet I almost choked. My friends looked at me for approval, and I nodded to signal it was good. I mean, it was better than I had expected.

We had a great time, enjoying each other’s company and the drinks. When the night ended, my friends tucked me into bed, plugged my phone in and set a big glass of water on my desk for the morning.

Now that I’m 21, I feel like I have to order a drink every time we go out, just so I can prove to the waiter, and the world, that I really am 21. However, I’ll probably be sticking to water for awhile because paying eight dolalrs for an overly sugared drink that left me with a raging headache was almost not worth it in the morning.

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