"Tin Roof... and My Singing! Rusted!"

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The weeks leading up to my 21st birthday were filled with much anticipation. My friends kept asking me if was going to partake in the ritual of drinking 21 shots, and I told them quite frankly that I would not. They would then proceed to call me derogatory terms referring to the female anatomy.

You see, the weeks leading up to my 21st birthday were also filled with lectures from my mom, who told me that if I partook in that ritual, she was going to kick my butt. And although I doubted her physical strength would allow her to do this -- she sometimes needs help opening her soda bottle -- I felt perhaps some rush of anger would cause her strength to multiply -- like those stories you hear of moms picking up cars off their children due to their adrenaline rush. Except in my case, replace "picking up cars" with "throwing mini-van on."

The birthday came and went without a hitch. I was not arrested.

I didn't pass out in a gutter.

I didn't drunk-dial Speak Out and say how beautiful I thought the moon looked that night.

I did, however, sing karaoke after several beers. And by several, I mean enough to make me think I could entertain an entire bar full of karaoke regulars. When my song ended, it was quite obvious I would have received a more favorable reaction had I burned the American flag.

Now that a week has gone by, the novelty of this age has worn off. I don't have any more pivotal birthdays to look forward to. I have my driver's license, I can go into strip clubs, and I can buy alcohol -- all the ingredients for a disastrous lifestyle if I'm not careful. I hope I can control my sinful urges.

Not taking 21 shots was certainly a smart choice, there's no doubt about it. Sure, my transition into a 21-year-old may not be complete, but if I had taken those shots, there's a good chance I would have sung The Gettysburg Address instead of "Love Shack."

There are a lot of underage drinkers out there looking forward to this age of legality, but it really isn't all what it's cracked up to be. Because if you're already drinking alcohol, turning 21 will only give you a false sense of security. Remember, you'll only be legal to buy it, not drink mass quantities of it and run down Broadway naked. A scenario like that would not only cause your arrest, it would also cause your friends to cut out the police report and hang it on their fridge.

So here's to anyone celebrating their 21st birthday, or any birthday for that matter: Try to preserve your dignity. If you plan on drinking, don't do it in public.

If you really must drink in public, try taking one or two sane friends along so that they may guide you through your inebriation.

I urge you to not make the same mistake I did. Don't drink and sing.

Contact Sam DeReign at sdereign@gmail.com.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: