It’s August, 2001. I’m about to be 30. We’re at my friend’s birthday party in the backyard of our apartment complex. It’s a great time. Food, booze, cake, friends. It’s a warm night in the San Fernando Valley. We’re sucking back margaritas and laughing our asses off. And then we run out of margarita makings.
Russ and I volunteer to walk to the liquor store on the corner. We’re definitely too tipsy to drive. It’s a quick walk, but it feels long because of the drunkenness. We get to the store and there are two boys dressed a little too well standing outside. They’re trying to look older than they are. They’re trying to look successful. One of them says, “Excuse me, would you guys…” And before he can finish his sentence I blurt out, “ABSOLUTELY NOT! AB-SO-LUTE-LY NOT!” They were clearly going to ask us to purchase alcohol for them. I was almost 30, but really I was 70.
Then Russ and I walk into the store and I start laughing my ass off. I think Russ said something like, “Jesus, Lisa!” But he was laughing, too. “I’m so old”, I said. “I didn’t mean to snap at them like that, but they’re too young to drink. What’s wrong with them? What’s wrong with me?”
We made our purchase (which we were old enough to make) and took the back exit so we didn’t have to pass them again. The thing is, I’ve always been this person. At the age of 12, when my friends had make-out parties, I was literally taking beers out of people’s hands. I didn’t mind the making out. As a matter of fact, I voraciously participated. But the drinking? I was not a fan of the drinking. I never understood why people needed to be “altered” to have fun. And yes, I realize that in the first paragraph of this post I said I was tipsy. I’m not saying I never get tipsy. I just don’t have to get tipsy. And I certainly didn’t have to before I was of legal drinking age. (Yes, I hear myself. Geez.)
I rarely did anything so fun that I could get in trouble for it. I was always very tame. And I guess I thought every one else should be too. It’s not that I’m no fun. I’m fun. Remember the girl who was voraciously making out at junior high parties? That was me! But I never went too far. No, sir! Just far enough.
So you’d think I would rebel at some point. You’d think I’d be dying to just “get out there” and “tear it up”! But I’m not. I’m just not a “living-on-the-edge” kind of girl. (Although I obviously live on the edge of using too many quotation marks.) I don’t feel like I’ve missed out or like I never had my youth. I had it. It was just sober. And fantastic. So what if I was yelling at 19-year-old boys when I was 30! They deserved it! And yes, I’ve been a grandma for most of my life. And yes, in case you’re wondering, there was that one night at the age of 16 when my friend and I raided the liquor cabinet and each did a couple of shots of kahlua or frangelico or something. Wild times.
I’m just praying to God that G has about the same level of thrill-seeking that I had. And that he enjoys it just as much.