When I was a kid, I always had a looming suspicion that I was older than my birth certificate said. I was the same height and reading level as my older sister, which logically meant that I must be the same age as well. The following years held my hitting puberty before all of my classmates, buying my first bra before all of my friends, and thanks in part to my italian heritage, once again being the first to wax my eyebrows and co. From the very beginning I've always felt that my physical age was a year or two behind my internal age.
To this day, as a nineteen year old who, depending on the outfit, could pass for 25, my physical self often gets in the way of doing what my internal self loves most: drinking. My ID deficit never affects me when I go out to the fraternities or apartments, but whenever I want to flock to the bars with the mature crowd my physical self prevents that from happening. Thankfully, a bar on campus recently opened that's 18+ to enter and 21+ to drink. So this past week, my girlfriends and I decided that there was no better way to celebrate the last night of Mardi Gras than to hit up the bar in our festive attire of beads and beer goggles.
After a significant amount of pregaming, we stumbled our struts over to the 18+ bar. The atmosphere was vibing, the place was full of our peers and everyone was dripping in both beads and booze. My friends and I walked in, made our rounds, and after a brief lap around the place I arrived at the drunkenly determined decision that I was going to get a drink by whatever means necessary. I walked up to the bar bearing no ID and no money, only my most seductive eye contact. I set my gaze upon the bartender and unleashed a look that could have constituted sexual harassment. But by some metaphysical triumph, the bartender obediently gravitated over to me.
"What're you drinking?" He asked with a smile.
"Vodka tonic," I replied, still raping his soul with my eyes.
I watched as he made my drink, but before I could even slur out an excuse to free me from paying for it he just placed it on the bar and walked away. Stunned, I picked up the drink and turned to my friends. I couldn't believe my womanly powers were capable of waiving both currency and photo ID! My breasts are much more powerful than I thought, I internalized.
"What! How did you get that?!" My friends were jealous, which only made my success taste sweeter.
"The bartender just gave it to me!" Even saying it out loud I couldn't fully believe it.
"You're so lucky!"
"I know!!!" I felt on top of the world; I couldn't believe what I'd achieved with just a single look. I love being a woman.
I had a winner's thirst, so I took a sip of my vodka tonic to quench it. The taste of my drink was just as delicious as my victory. I swallowed my sip, and a second man immediately gravitated over to me, only this time it was a bouncer.
Shit! My heart dropped. No longer was I feeling sexy and confident.
"Do you have a wristband?" The bouncer didn't address me with the same grin the bartender had.
"I'm just holding it for a friend!" I tried to rape his soul but his eyes were deadened and mechanical.
"Let me see your ID." In lieu of a fake ID, I handed over my genuine 1992 license with the hope that he would be too distracted by my picture to look at my D.O.B.
He squinted his robotic eyes and shook his head. "Come with me," and with that he escorted me outside. "Don't let her back in," he said to the bouncer at the entrance, then went inside.
Within one minute I'd gone from feeling like the sexiest girl in the bar, to feeling like the biggest loser standing outside of the bar alone with the exception of a bouncer who wouldn't make nice despite my best efforts, all the while pathetically covered in sequins and beads.
"Pleeease let me back in, all of my friends are inside!" I didn't know whether he'd be more susceptible to crying or flirting.
"Can't do that," he said without even looking at me.
"Babyyy, pleaseee!" I guess I was taking the flirting route.
"Nope," he remained stone cold.
"Puh-leaseee, I promise I won't drink! Just let me back in, baby!"
He'd stopped answering me.
Now he was just ignoring me.
"Fine! I'm gonna get raped walking home all alone and it'll be your fault!" Now I was angry, no one puts this baby in a corner.
He just shook his head, still unswayed by my new angry approach. However, I wasn't done ranting.
"You don't even understand how stupid this is for your business! Do you even know how many drinks I would've gotten bought for me tonight?!" I was trying to put on the air that I was "the shit," but in actuality standing outside alone foolishly in my costume at the absolute mercy of this fat, aged bouncer, I had never been less of "the shit" in my entire life. My womanly powers had fleeted me, and I was left outside in shame, standing there like a little girl who'd been put in the time-out corner.
Absolutely defeated, I realized that this was a battle I wasn't going to win regardless of how seductive or angry I got. I turned away and walked myself home, stuck in the awkward limbo between ages 18 and 21.