Last night I ventured out for the elusive “night out.” Now that I have young kids, these nights are few and far between. The last one was a good five months ago, and the one before that was a year before that. To be honest, I’ve lost track about anything before that. I only have specific recollections then from 2008 and prior.
We started out at a nice Chinese restaurant because we were celebrating four birthdays, working our way to a bar and then a cocktail lounge and casino after that.
I ordered my White Russians at the bar, as that is my favorite drink (a close second being an Amaretto Sour, which this bar was sorely lacking in bar sour… ) One of the party mates asked me what I was drinking, so I explained it to her.
“When was the first time you ever had one of those?” She asked.
“Hmmm… when I was about seventeen, I think.”
“Seventeen? You can’t drink until you’re twenty-one in the States, yeah?”
“I went to high school in Sweden. The age is eighteen to buy in the bar in Sweden, but you can drink earlier than that if your parents let you.” At that moment, I didn’t think much about how young I must have really been back then.
While we saw a few youngin’s at the bar, they didn’t stand out much to me as the place was pretty packed with all ages. It wasn’t till we reached the casino and had a wider view for people watching did I notice the relative babies in the establishment.
“Is…Is that a child on the dance floor?” I asked my friend.
“I think it is… they look no older than twelve!” She replied.
We discussed amongst ourselves with a couple other friends saying they must be eighteen. Then these alleged adults walked off of the dance floor and passed right by our lounge. “Nah, she’s eighteen for sure,” our one friend said.
“But how can you tell? She looks twelve, for real!”
“Well, she has a tattoo for one – and you have to be eighteen to get a tattoo here.”
“How do we know it’s not a temporary one??”
We continued with the people watching, commenting things like “I learned a loooong time ago not to wear heels that big for a night when I plan to drink…” and “You can see her butt cheeks in that dress… Well, I guess if I had that body I might wear that too…”
“Look at that guy – I swear they’re all twelve!”
I then mentioned to my friend that when I was eighteen and partying at such establishments I would look at the guys thinking they were so good looking and so grown up (since I also thought of myself as so grown up like the teeny boppers we had already observed) and now I look at them and just cannot believe that the man-boys I would eye at the bars in my day were ever this young. Surely they actually looked cool when they swaggered through the establishment? Surely there were no other older patrons looking at us disdainfully thinking we were much too young to be out drinking and flirting?
I may have to pull out some old pictures and investigate this.
As a postscript I also want to note that an eighteen year old I know called me this AM about something unrelated, but he knew I was out last night… so he advised me to drink plenty of water.
“I am not hungover.”
“Suuuurrrreee, I saw the pictures, Emma.”
I really am not hungover, and this exchange made me laugh because… oh…hun… I’m relatively certain I have had much more experience in this area than you. How sure of our maturity and knowledge we were at eighteen…. Don’t you think now, at thirty-two, I’d know how to A) not get hungover, and B) handle it if I did? 😉