CAN I SEE YOUR ID?

There are several key birthday milestones that you count down to growing up. Your 10th birthday, for sure. I mean, double digits! You remember getting so excited to be double digits without really realizing that there’s a good chance you will never leave the double digit range … think about that for a second. What was so great about 10 anyways? That’s a whole extra candle your parents had to buy for the cake. 10 is selfish is what it is.

Plus then you’re on the verge of the pre-teen years which are fun for absolutely nobody. Not your parents. Not your friends. Not you. Not your teachers. Nobody. It’s a phase that is frustrating, stressful, and confusing. And that’s all before you hit the joy of puberty. Which is also frustrating, stressful, and confusing. But also scary and sad and exciting and you realize you’re nearing the next milestone which is the sweet sixteen. Ironically, the only sweet thing about being 16 is the ability to drive. Which is expensive so once again who’s really winning here?

Then there’s 18 and you’re finally an adult! Again, though, not as exciting as we hype ourselves up for. You can buy cigarettes so I guess it’s a good way to learn about consequences. Although you only partially get treated like an adult. You get to go to college, which IS an awesome milestone. Even there though, it’s not quite the same as the monotonous, expensive, and exhausting world that is post-college.

Among the birthday milestones that we trick ourselves into getting pumped about, the 21st one is the best day of your life. No more worrying about getting caught with a fake, or having to bribe your older friends into getting you some bottles, or swiping extra liquor from the very back of your parent’s cabinet hoping they don’t use those. You can waltz into the grocery store. The liquor store. The gas station. The club. The bar. Wherever and slap that ID card down and get whatever your little heart desires.

While being an alcohol drinking adult has its perks, like most good things, there are downfalls. That downfall is being asked to show your ID. Don’t get me wrong, that first day you reach purchasing freedom, you want to brag about it! You want everywhere you go to ask for that card so you can whip it out. Then wait awkwardly for them to have to triple check the date to make sure it’s the very minimum legal age. A powerful feeling.

During the post-turning-21-hangover, having to pull your ID out of your wallet every time becomes … annoying. Especially as you start to age towards your mid and late 20s. How young do you have to look to be closer to 30 than 21 and be asked to prove yourself. There’s always the one friend who will get carded, even when nobody else in the entire group does. I am that friend. I could go out with my parents, and only I will get carded. Not even my younger, not even 21 year old, sister gets carded. She just gets drinks. But I’m the one who looks underage. Ok.

If everyone in the group gets asked to prove their age, that’s one thing. The server is just protecting their job. And probably the whole establishment. But to single one person out, what is the purpose of even asking? Why waste both of our time? What was the thinking going into this? If one of them is at least 21, all of them must be 21? How does that work? Some of my friends have even decided to take No Shave November all the way through the pandemic and look like they belong in a frat house. And still I’m the only one who gets carded.

Clearly I’m unbothered by my young face. If I still look like a high schooler maybe I’ll look like a 20-something in my late 40s so there are perks. Eventually. So they tell me. Once you hit 21 you get a few consecutive solid exciting birthdays, though. Taylor Swift year, Jordan year, Kobe year, rent a car year. And then you’re in your late 20s and it becomes less exciting from there. You have to wait for 30 and by that point the over the hill jokes are coming out. So you’re excited on the outside, but sad on the inside.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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CHEERS TO THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE

Drinking and fire is a combination. Not an ideal one, but one nonetheless. Probably because alcohol and confidence go hand in hand. I have found, though, that confidence and cockiness often get confused and I think the real issue is that alcohol and cockiness go hand in hand (more on that dilemma in THIS POST). Enter the 4th of July. America’s Independence Day. Which, at some point, was probably a historical celebration. I’m not sure when that changed, but now it’s a bonus day off work and yet another excuse to drink (because who doesn’t need another one of those?!).

Official, and unofficial, drinking holidays are essentially the modern calendar. A millennial edition, so to speak. When you know that a giant cookout themed with the American flag, and its respective colors, is this weekend, you understand exactly where you’re at in the year. No question. Beginning of July. Over halfway to Christmas. One month into summer. One month until school starts … but not for me because I’ve crossed into the “adult” realm and have, wait for it, another month of work. Three months until Fall starts, which is obviously the best season of the year. Since alcohol usually leads to a fall at some point. Thus, more drinking!

And obviously, once one has started drinking, the pack mentality kicks in, and everyone else follows. Unless you’re at a party with children, in which case, some are allowed to have fun and others are stuck “parenting”. This brings one main question into my mind, which, of course, is was there no babysitter available? If not, is there no allowance-dependent pre-teen in attendance who would gladly take your money to sit in the same rooms as the children and watch TikToks all night? Because I feel like the latter is always a great bailout. 

Thanks to Heineken, everyone can drink, but not all drinks have alcohol. And this is perfect for Independence Day. Specifically for the designated person, or group of people, known as the fireworks lighter. Because, have you ever considered that maybe the person in charge of lighting the fireworks should not be the same one holding an open beverage? Seems like an interesting decision. I’m not really a fire fan in general so I definitely don’t trust others with flames. Especially when I don’t know the sobriety levels of said individual(s).  

No matter, though, fireworks are but a small portion of our celebratory weeks / weekends. An optional one. Sometimes an illegal one. The main draw here is clearly the ridiculous use of American themed decorations. You can buy anything in the flag pattern. And I do mean anything. Feel free to use your imagination on some of the most extravagant, questionable, straight up weird, items and I guarantee they come themed specifically for this day. Flag leis, flag solo cups, flag swimsuits since it is summer after all and clothing is not mandatory, but masks are. Luckily you can also get themed masks.

Never has there been a holiday where the Red Solo Cup is a more appropriate addition, or acceptable drinkware. Outside of anything planned / scheduled prior to your quarter-life mark. That’s one of three colors done automatically, if you’re opting to decorate sans actual flag decorations. A chance to flex your creative side. Which just leaves blue and white to round out the festive atmosphere you’re trying to create. If you happen to be attending a celebration on some sort of water, blue is in the bag as well. If not, will there be clear skies? Still no? You’ll have to get creative with one of the food dishes, or table accessories. White is the same color as napkins so as long as you’re not treating guests like cavemen, a third strike! 

If this sounds like any weekend at the lake, day at the beach, party at your friend’s house, that’s because it probably is very similar. The only real difference is a free PTO day with which to either recover, or pre-game. In other words, we love Independence Day so much we celebrate it constantly. Year round to be exact. Sometimes we swap the flag for pumpkins, or trees, or hearts, but deep down we’re still celebrating the same thing. Freedom. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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