Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Age of not-so-Innocence: 21

Ahh, 21, good times, good times. Hard to believe it was 9 years ago, almost 10. Again, my memories will be of around that time period.

It was 1996. I was at the University of Texas in my 4th year of my 6 years I would be there, or my first senior year. I lived with my best friend in the whole world, Mel, and we went everywhere together. Many people didn't recognize us unless we were together. I think by this time she had already graduated, so our schedules were a little different now, but we still spent a lot of time together.

I was working in the bar scene as a manager for a contract shot company (shot as in liquor shot). I worked pretty much every week, Wednesday - Saturday. I worked all over Austin from country bars to 6th street and even a couple bars in San Antonio on occasion. We went out Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights, just about every week. We were party people, as anybody who works in the bar scene knows. I smoked and drank, a lot. So turning 21 was kind of a let down. Now don't get me wrong, I was happy to finally be able to drink legally, whenever and wherever I wanted and Mel was happy because now she wasn't the only one who could go to store and buy liquor.

We went to 6th street for my 21st birthday. I think it was just me and Mel actually. I was pretty sober that night, although I think I did get sick off a Yager shot, but Yager always made me sick. My shot of choice at the time was Goldschlager, which now just makes my stomach turn. I could drink like you wouldn't believe. Mel and I would go to parties and she would brag that I could drink anyone under the table. As long as it was beer, I pretty much could. Not so proud of that now, but at the time it was pretty cool.

I did a lot of country western dancing at that time and that is what kept me in shape through college. If it wasn't for dancing, my diet of fast food and beer and eating at 3:00 in the morning would have definitely caught up with me. I even was on a team for a short while.

We spent lots of time out on Lake Travis or Lake Austin, in the greenbelt or at Zilker Park. This was a time for spontaneity and we loved to just get up and go. In my sophmore year in the middle of spring break, Mel and decided we would drive to Taos, NM and we did. Just like that. The carefree feeling of that time I miss sometimes. No worries, no cares, a drink and a smoke and all was good.

I can't really remember, but I think I had a serious boyfriend at that time, but my years get blurry, especially around 21, if you know what I mean. When Mel and I were single, boy were we dangerous. We were called the kissing bandits. If we got enough alcohol in us and the boys were cute enough, well, let's just say, we weren't shy.

Mel and I went to as many football and baseball games as we could. The coach of the baseball team even knew us because we spent so much time at the field. Disch Falk was one of my favorite places to study and I still love that feel to this day. We would sit on the first base line right at the edge of the net and taunt the players. We knew every player and some of their stats. We got to know the TV crews. We went on a lot of great road trips to watch games. I still love watching the Longhorns play, whether it's football or baseball, Hook Em!

21 was an age where I was happy. I was still finding myself and had my share of hard times. I went to school full time and worked about 40 hours a week also. But I made good money and school came out okay, even though it took me 6 years to graduate, I did it. And I paid for it and will be paying for it probably til the day I die. I'm glad I went. College was a wonderful experience for me and I finally was able to be who I really was and enjoy that person.

And there you have The Age of not-so-Innocence: 21.

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