Monday, July 18, 2011

The night I turned 21

I am sure you all remember when you turned 21.  Personally I had a new friend who had just moved into the house.  He would become one of my best friends in life and it all starts the night I turned 21.  Mike had moved in less than 2 weeks before and had turned 21 a few months before.  We called Mike, The Dr.  His last name was Rose and we were enamored with the movie Fletch.  There is a scene where Fletch is impersonating a Dr to check some medical records and uses the name Dr. Rosenpenis as his alias.  Mike's nickname was born!  Even having known the Dr for only a couple of weeks he baked me a cake and took lead on organizing a whole birthday night.  Mike is a stud.

To my great luck my birthday fell on a Wednesday.  The thing about a Wednesday, no one has plans so they all attend your event.  Seeing how as I was in college we got started early, probably something like 4.  I figured this was a good idea seeing how as soon as I hit 21 shots I could go to bed right?  Right.  Here is how the night went, by the time 9pm rolled around, time to hit the bars, we already had chocolate cake smashed on the vaulted ceiling of the dining room.  Not to let that daunt us we jump on a bus and head to the Hill where all the fun will be happening.  We hit the first bar, the Tul.  Here is where things start getting bad.  Go back several weeks, perhaps even months and there is this woman, Karen, who had taken to trying to hook up with us.  Lets review, I am 21 and completely self centered.  Karen is not attractive, smart, or funny and is a little over weight.  But, because she might have friends, I was always nice to her, so she figures she has a chance.  She learns its my 21st and you could not pry her off me with a jack hammer.  First bar, really, on my 21st and I already have this skank in tow?  Hmm heading the direction of the Hangover

Well, you cannot let that ruin the party, and since every bar offers free drinks to the party boy, off we go to the next stop.  I end up drinking crazy stuff, boilermakers, fuzzy navels, stop lights, sex on the beach, something with raw egg tequila and whisky, clearly we are heading down hill.  Literally.  By midnight we had hit all the bars on the hill so we are headed down to the mall.  Yes, Karen is still in tow.  So, after 20 shots, not including the pre-func shots, the guys realize I am toast, there is no getting rid of her.  The Dr steps in to save me.  He realizes this woman is going to be in my bed unless he does something to lose her.  That is a good friend, most would have just thrown me to the wolves.  He makes one last ditch attempt to make the block and suggests we hit the Bus Stop, the strip club north of town, for our last shots.  He is certain that will ditch her.  Yeah, no.

The guys are moderately enthused about this trip but Karen is ecstatic.  So we all jump in a limo and off we go.  When we arrive at the Bus Stop and I can barely keep my head up or my eyes open.  We are not there more than 2 minutes and Karen has me seated front and center at the main stage.  And she is on stage with the dancer and they are stripping for me.  Now I am in no shape to even understand what is going on but the guys, they of course think this is the greatest 21st ever.  Well sure enough we head home and she ends up at my place.  Apparently I have built up some karma because at first I am too drunk to perform so we pass out, then later I wake up sober enough to realize this is a bad idea and move out to the couch.  Talk about awkward, next morning is not so fun.  I have to drive her back to her place in arguably the worst car on the planet, a 1972 Subaru wagon that only turns right.  But I get Karen back to her place and apologize for I do not know what.

This is actually it, same color and everything

Over the years I would see Karen occasionally and I hope she is counting her blessings not hooking up with me.  She ended up marrying a very nice guy, not the greatest looking but a true gentleman I would say, and having a family.  It has been 20 years since I saw her but I have to assume things are going better for her than if she had ended up with me.  You see I was just not ripe yet.  I would not mature for another 10 - 15 years.  Women had mistreated me up until I was 20 or so.  Man did I get dumped on a bunch.  Then, when I turned 20 I had some sowing to do.  I wish I could make amends for the women who bore the brunt of my immaturity.  Some, after having a long relationship, I just never called again.  Some I pulled out all the charm to hook them only to lose interest.  Some I let believe there was a long-term chance when there was not.  I burned a lot of relationship karma in those years.  It would come back to haunt me though.  My first wife ended up leaving me for my best friend when our boys were 2 and 4.  It all worked out but the road was oh so painful.

Looking back on this it's a little embarrassing.  It's like I just went along with everyone around me and did what they wanted me to.  Its not like I look back on the night I turned 21 and say, damn, why didn't we have a camera, I am sure they would have been all bad.  I am sure if I had a chance to do it over again my 21st would be dramatically different.  Just a little less drinking and way more entertainment, something more like my 30th although I drank too much then too:-(  But, my Aunt did meet her future husband there and they have been happy for over 10 years so it was not all bad...  Really I just with I had figured out the true meaning of life  way back then. It would have made life one hell of a lot more fun and interesting.