#179 Getting your ID checked when you’re way over the legal age

Hey, sometimes you’re in the mood for a few drinks.

Big bottle of Merlot over a romantic spaghetti dinner, clinking beers floating in an icy cooler beside the tent, Jello shooters before the bars in college, or bubbly flutes of champagne for the big New Year’s bash.

Whatever your pleasures, whatever your poison, that’s cool with us. But before you get down with the booze-filled pour, you need to get out that door, and run down to the liquor store. Word to your sister.

Now, if you’re like me, you go through four distinct phases when you get your ID checked and they go a little something like this:

Stage 1: Underage Rage. Okay, you’re not quite at the legal limit but you’re close enough to push it. Problem is that the pimply dude at the cash ain’t buying your fake ID so you get busted at the scene. So close yet so far. You storm away with your Friday night plans dashed burning with a bit of underage rage.

Stage 2: New Booze Buzz. When you hit the legal limit, it’s time to fight for your right to party. You wheel your shopping cart around the store with pride, picking up a bit of this, a bit of that, and beaming like a schoolgirl when the cashier asks for your ID. “Why, no problem at all!” you say loudly, grinning widely at the tired, bleary-eyed folks behind you in line as you present your wallet like a newborn baby. “Thank you so much for asking!”

Stage 3: Jaded Twentysomething. You’re four or five years over the limit and the novelty has worn off. Now it’s becoming a pain to dig through your wallet to find your driver’s license before scooting home with a six-pack for the game. Can’t the clerk clearly see you’re twenty-six? Do they think you could have grown that goatee five years ago?

Stage 4: The Fountain of Youth. After a while, the gray hairs add up and you start buying white wine for the backyard barbecue instead of lollipop-flavored vodka coolers for the all-night rager. You know your way around the store, you smile warmly at the clerk, and suddenly you get asked for your ID when you least expect it.

Oh baby, when it hasn’t happened in years getting your ID checked can be a full body buzz. You fish out your card excitedly, peeling its faded face and dog-eared corners from your bag, and your eyes twinkle as you take a sip from the fountain of youth.

Sometimes it even happens on your birthday.


Photos from: here and here

37 thoughts on “#179 Getting your ID checked when you’re way over the legal age

  1. What’s also nice is being barely over the limit and not getting carded…and having the friend you’re with say “It’s because you look so sophisticated,” rather than “Ha, they think you’re old!” I’m almost 23 and have been served without being carded twice and it’s pretty exciting.

  2. I’m at Stage 3, but it’s okay, because when you live in a small town, you rarely get asked. (:

    On a side note – I’ve never been pulled over by a cop. Can you believe that? I’ve been driving for four years! I figure they see me coming, and think, “Huh. That chick wears glasses. She must be smart; she wouldn’t drink and drive”. And then they take their finger off the siren-button and sit back, pleased with their skills of deduction.

  3. except of course when they’re carding you because they think you might qualify for the senior citizen’s discount :-(

    1. Four weeks ago I was asked for ID at a bar, granted it was dark and I’m certain most in there had heat stroke…I was amused… REALLY!
      Two weeks ago my husband was asked for his seniors discount card at a restaurant, pot lights and overcast…that’s what I told him…REALLY!
      We were both born within a few years of 1960.

  4. Excuse me, but that’s stupid american laws ! It’s awesome when you go to the hiper-marche and choose your vodka/red wine/scotch/beer/pailnka/etc/etc/etc and stack it in the cart between the sugar, and the milk and the cereals an so on… :D


  5. I’m a tad confused here… don’t you become an adult at 18? Why would a 26-year-old fit into the 4-5-years-above-drinking-age bracket then?
    In other news, aside from drinking, it wasn’t cool at all when my friend, a Year 12, had to be checked to get into an MA movie and she’d forgotten her ID.Everyone around her vouched that she was over 15 and her Dad even drove down and bought her a ticket but they wouldn’t let her see Hangover 2. So I guess it’s really un-awesome if you’re asked for ID and you don’t have it on you.

        1. 15 w an adult in the car. 16 alone.

          Im in stage 3. Im 28 but i still get carded at the movies and buying super glue at walmart.

          On a slightly inappropriate note, im a tutor at an all boys hs and i always get hit on by the teens who think im there to pick my brother up!

        2. Oh and while the legal age to drink is 21, anyone who’s been to college can tell you that law is a joke and is treated as such by the students.

        3. It depends on the state, in new york it is if you are 16 you need a parent and can test for liscense after 6 months of having your permit and have your license at 17, in florida it is 14 w/ parent and 15 by themselves, etc… Though to travel between states you need to be 18 with your license due to other state laws.

          1. Silly BC. I went to Europe when I was 18, was weird coming back and being not-drinking-age again.
            And in BC, you can get your Learner’s at 16, have to have it for a least a year (driving with someone over 25, only one other person in the vehicle… not sure if it’s changed with taking Driver’s Ed so that you only have to have it for 9 months… they constantly change it, like every year it feels), then your New Driver’s for at least a year and a half, or two (only one non-family member in the vehicle…once again, not sure about the length of time you have to have it), and THEN you can finally drive by yourself, with as many people as there are seatbelts. And perhaps put a person or two in the trunk :P

            1. Wow all that trouble just to drive and make full use of a whole car!
              I know another province’s legal age is 19 too.. Perhaps Ontario? I could be wrong though.

              1. Whoa! So many different laws to keep track of! In Australia we can get our L’s at 16, doing driving lessons I think for a certain amount of months or hours driving… then there’s the practical test and you get your logbook for a certain amount of months… then you get your P’s. But you know I’m 15 so, not completely sure of everything. But yeah what really amazed me was Florida! 14! So young!

                1. We can get our Learner’s at 14! And then drive by 16 I believe. It may have changed but I know a few people who got theirs when they turned 14.

    1. You have to be 21 to legally purchase alcohol in the US. Most states card until you are about 28 or are a regular customer. Some stores such as Shop Rite and A&P are legally mandated to card whether you are 21 or 80. It’s quite ridiculous really. In my opinion if you are 18 and can sign up for the Armed Forces than you should be able to have a couple of beers with “the buds”, but then again this is the US and nothing will ever make sense. Before you know it they will be carding children for gum!

  6. You’d think a lot of people would love this, but back when I worked at a convenience store they were quite offended and upset when I asked for ID. We had to card EVERYONE if they bought alcohol and only if they looked younger than 30 for tobacco. You couldn’t imagine how many times I got yelled at that, “I’m old enough to be your grandpa! How dare you ask for my ID!!” I don’t care if you ARE my grandpa, you’re still getting carded. It was policy.
    I don’t usually get the chance to buy things in order to be carded. I was excited on my 21st birthday when I first got to show my ID, but my chances of getting carded these days are slim. But I’m still at the age where they are going to card me no matter what any way.

  7. Hahaha.. yup. When we’re young, we want to be older. And once we’re old and look way over the legal drinking age, we want to be carded again..

    To some people, the first time you DON’Tget carded marks a huge milestone: The point where you start looking old to bartenders.


  8. I was in the US recently and I was surprised at how often they asked for ID just when I wanted to buy a bottle of wine. I mean, I’m thirty and I don’t look that much younger!
    I have never had my age checked in Europe when I wanted a drink!

  9. This happened to me last month! My husband and I had spent an afternoon shopping for new mattresses in a town we didn’t know well, all the while wishing that we were at the lake with the rest of the family. By the time we hit the liquor store I felt about 85 years old instead of my usual 35. The clerk there asked for my ID. I felt like leaping over the counter and hugging her. When she saw my age on the ID, she said I looked like a kid. It was the best compliment ever, and it was just when I needed one!

  10. I’m in the couple years past drinking age group and I don’t mind that…but when I’m on an airplane sitting in an exit row and get carded because the flight attendant thinks I’m questionable for being 15 that is really old. I’m almost 25!!!!!

  11. Yeah, I’m definitely in Stage 3. Jaded indeed but no goatee =p. Apparently I still look like a teen because when I say I’m in school people think I’m talking about college, geez. Maybe eventually I’ll be flattered…

  12. In Nova Scotia at back-to-school time (aka Frosh week), the liquor stores (all government-run) as everyone for ID. Yep, the 90-year-old ladies even get asked for their cards! If you’re clearly old enough and have just forgotten, they don’t turn you away, but I’ve heard a lot of older ladies say it’s the best campaign they’ve ever seen!

  13. the last time this happened to me I was thirty something at a Violent Femmes concert! they wouldnt accept my Age of Majority card ( said it looked too old. Well, duh, it was likely 15 years old..or more) So I couldn’t drink that night. sadly, now I look my age……

  14. Whenever I get ID’d, I always take the cashier’s name and address and put them on my Christmas List. I also send their boss a handwritten letter commending the great service of that particular employee. Sometimes, I even dash over to a nearby Walmart and pick them up a little “thank you” bouquet.
    Stage 4? Uh, yeah!

  15. Probably the reverse of this is to realize in your 40s that you can get the Senior Discount at the movie theater because the kids working the booth think we all look old.

  16. It is SO awesome! Last time it happened just happened to be my birthday. Never thought I would say with so much pride and confidence (and a little one raised eyebrow), “I’m 30!”

  17. It feels good to know others question how young you are especially in other countries. Best compliment ever on those gloomy days..

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