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.