Confessions of a Sober Girl: Turning 21

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Yet another year has passed. I’m getting older, not much wiser and I think I might be getting wrinkles. And so in honor of the fateful day of my birth, I thought I would reflect on turning 21 as a sober person.

First of all, Madison is the greatest city for someone who likes the alcohol to have a birthday in. The amount of free crap you can get in this city is unbelievable. However, picking the right bars to go to on your 21st gets a little more challenging when you don’t drink. You have to find the places where you can get the most amount of free alcohol to give to your friends. Some places will give you free booze but you’re the only one that can take part. For instance, the Nitty Gritty. Great if you like to drink, but bottomless taps is useless for someone like me. I chose to go to Diego’s because I could eat many delicious tacos and also get a giant margarita for my friends to share. They expect you to share because if someone drank the entire thing by him or her self, I think they would be on the fast track to detox.

After making sure everyone else was decently intoxicated, for my own entertainment, I tried to choose bars where you could actually do things besides drink. We went to the Ivory room—it’s fun and interactive. When it’s your birthday they make you sit on the piano and sing a vulgar song about you, which is highly entertaining for all parties. Then we went anywhere were we could dance because I love to dance and, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m only good at dancing when the other people around me are fall-down drunk.

The most unfortunate part of turning 21 is that the alcohol pushing gets 1,000,000 times worse:


Me: “How about no.”

Random stranger: “Come ooooooonnnnnnn.”

Me: (insert ridiculous “I don’t drink” statement…you can read some of my favorite lines here.)

For my entertainment on my birthday, I ordered a lot of water. For some dumb reason I thought it was hilarious to order water on my 21st because everyone else’s goal is to remember all of  .5 seconds of that entire day. I eventually did have one drink since it was a very special day, but I regretted that one—very weak—drink about four hours later when I couldn’t sleep since my body decided to not co-operate.

I also discovered that there are other, lesser-known things that you can do when you turn 21. For example:

  • Rent a fancy hotel room (oooh, pinkies!)
  • Supervise a person learning to drive (this sounds like the opposite of fun unless you like living on the edge and don’t mind putting your life in danger)
  • Gamble (if you’re from one of those states that doesn’t let you at 18)
  • Adopt a child (who needs a puppy when you can get a kid!)

Overall it was a great time and it just goes to show that your 21st birthday can be pretty exciting, even without being buzzed.


Little Edie 

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