21

I have been counting down the minutes to this day for well over a year. Finally, I am legally able to purchase alcohol. No more begging Jake to buy me a bottle of wine just to get me through the week. Those days are behind me. I am an independent woman who can buy her own goddamn booze. The irony of it all is that I’ve been selling alcohol for about three years now. I’m so accustomed to working with alcohol, that sometimes I would forget that I wasn’t allowed to buy it. There was one time that I was grocery shopping alone, and I went all the way to the check out with a bottle of wine in my cart. I only realized my mistake once I reached down to start putting my groceries on the counter. It was then that I noticed the illicit substance I was harboring.

Regardless, I wanted to celebrate my newfound abilities to purchase/consume alcohol publicly with a low key, dinner with my lovely fiancé, Jake. However, this goes against the gain of the traditional Wisconsinite coming of age ritual, which is to get black-out drunk. I had relatives calling me all day to warn me to be careful. They didn’t want to hear that I had to get my stomach pumped. Yet, anyone who knows me knows that I love a glass of wine. That’s it. glass. One. Singular. On my birthday I went a little crazy and had a glass and a half at the tapas bar we went to. That’s about as insane as I get when I go out. That’s pretty par for the course for me though. I spent my 21st birthday as I spend most of the rest of my days: unconventionally.

Moreover, I think that one of the best ways to understand how people perceive you is to see what kind of gifts they buy for you. For my birthday, I was gifted a drop-dead gorgeous, hardcover, embossed, gold etched copy of my favorite novel, The Great Gatsby, a luxurious, circular knitting set made of gray driftwood, and a simple grey notebook dusted at the bottom with golden stars. If that doesn’t capture my essence, I don’t know what does.

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