21 and Up

As I write this I’ve been 21 for over 72 hours and aside from the happiness and joy of everyone wishing me happy birthday and giving me gifts I don’t feel any different. The only thing I’ve done differently this week was eat cake and go to a 21 and over show, although that’s probably going to change tomorrow.

Tomorrow I’ll be having my birthday roast and there I will have my very first drink four days after my actual birthday. Some people have been stunned and a little frustrated by the fact that I’ve never tasted alcohol and that I didn’t have a drink on my 21st birthday, because that’s the holy ritual that comes with your 21st birthday: drinking in public. I didn’t for a number a reasons and I’d like to explain them to you.

My “First” Drink

I’ve had a few friends who went out and celebrated their 21st birthday so they could get their first drink even though they’ve already drank before, and those friends are a bunch of liars. You are a foolish or weak human being who is sapping the good will of your friends and taking advantage of a bar’s 21st birthday special. I actually waited (plus four days) until I was allowed to drink. I muddled through my awkward teenage years in high school and took shit from the world my early years of college without the help of booze. Think that’s lame? Think that I had a boring child hood? Well I waited and now I can drink and enjoy my birthday like a man should because I’ve actually deserved it. I know most of the population drinks before they’re 21 and I’m speaking as a minority, so I’m not going to ask you to stop celebrating your birthday, I’m just hoping you’ll look back on it or celebrate with the knowledge that you’re a pussy who couldn’t wait.

Fear

My upbringing got interrupted by an alcoholic asshole who missed my 11th birthday and also happened to be my Mom. My Mom had a lot of problems before she died but one of them was definitely drinking from wine boxes all the time. The main reason why I’ve never drank is because I promised I never wanted to be her, I used to be so convinced that alcohol ruins lives and hurts people but after all these years I’ve come to realize that I was exactly right. It does, in more ways than most people imagine, but what I have also come to understand is that it takes two to fuck up a childhood. Alcohol was the first dance partner and it made my Mom dirty dance against it’s tiny dick. So as I move forward I hope I can keep this conviction of drinking for fun and never hurt an innocent with it. Honestly I am a bit afraid of tomorrow, I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I do know that I’m surrounded by friends who care about me and have taught me that drinking doesn’t always end with a child crying it can end celebrating with your friends or with an adult crying (probably me.)

The Fryin’ of Brian (ME)

Believe it or not I wouldn’t be having this roast tomorrow if I had already drank. If I couldn’t take my first drink in front of all my friends at my favorite bar in the world then it wouldn’t be nearly as special. This roast is a way point between who I’ve always been and who I’m going to become. Maybe drinking won’t change me or maybe it will, either way I’ve made a lot of meaningful friendships with all these awesome people and I want them to be with me as I do this exciting/frightening thing.

It’s funny how I already have a home bar even though I’ve never drank, that just shows you how great Shrunken Head is and how funny the weirdos who go there are. It’s also funny how I’ve bartend on two separate occasions for five minutes while the real bartenders went out and took a smoke break. Also it’s funny how many shows I’ve gone to, how many things I’ve seen, how many things I’ve done without drinking, but now it’s time. Well actually it’ll be time Saturday April 4th at 9ish, but point is I’ve arrived to a point in my life where I can tilt my head back and take swig without having any regrets to enter a life that’s 21 and up and filled with lots of regrets.

Thank you Ember, Andreas, Adrian, Stephanie, Dave, Nick, Tyler B, Ian, Sommer, Erik, Danny,  Tyler M, Jameson, Chad, Natalie, Gilli, Becky, Doug, Chris, Tyler S, Shrunken Head, and everyone else. I’ll see you tomorrow.