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My friend Kelly is a pretty good writer, and she participates in writing-centric blog parties and linkups every once in a while. I saw she joined the Scintilla Project, and was intrigued. So naturally, I signed up. Which puts me even farther behind her in the project, but honestly I joined for inspiration and skill building, so I don’t care.
What’s the Scintilla project?
It’s two weeks of writing prompts in your inbox. Write a reaction to the prompts and post it on your blog.
Simple. Right? Let’s get down to it.
Day 1 Prompt
A: Tell a story about a time you got drunk before you were legally old enough to do so. OR B: Tell a story set at your first job.
Though I have a handful of hilarious stories about my tenure as a grocer (and butcher), that was not my first job. My first job was working in the high school office, and all the stories I could tell are ones I’m not legally able to tell. So instead, you’re going to hear about my run-in with the law that happened a few weeks into my college experience at Iowa State University.
First I have to tell you that Iowa State University was not my first choice for college. In fact, it wasn’t even my first college. It was my third. I went to a small private school (a.k.a. grade 13 and worse cliques than a bad day in girl world), then took a few classes back home at my local community college, and then finally landed on my feet at Iowa State. I was going to art school, or as close to art school as I could get as a transfer student low on free money for school.
But, beyond finding a college that I could afford with the major that I wanted (and a great program to boot), what I was looking for was the quintessential college experience: A real dorm room that rivaled my parent’s walk-in closet in size, friends (and boy-friends / -toys) who lived right down the hall, and getting picked up for possession of alcohol under the legal age …
… oh wait.
That last part wasn’t part of the whole “real college experience” thing that I craved. But I got a possession anyway, wine cooler in hand — only a couple of weeks into my real college experience.
Rewind. This is what happened.
To understand the circumstance, you must know that Iowa State and University of Iowa are rivals. If you don’t, that’s okay, because neither school is particularly stellar at sports (though an avid Cyclone or Hawkeye fan might tell you otherwise). As you can imagine, Iowa vs. Iowa State athletic events are breeding grounds for tailgating, parties, and other forms of underage drinking and stupid decisions.
It was my first Iowa / Iowa State game weekend in Ames. Honestly, I can’t remember if we played here or there because I never go to the game, and I’ve only tailgated once and it was post-college. Anyway, I was out with some friends and friends of friends, and we went to a friend of a friend of a friend’s house for a party. And there was alcohol.
Mind you, I thought alcohol was the devil. I was a DARE role model in high school. I wrote my scholarship essay for the tiny-ass-private school about the evils of underage drinking.
But, when my friend handed me a delicious berry-flavored wine cooler, everything changed. And when only a sip and a second later I felt a tap on a shoulder, I knew there was no way my pig-tailed head was going to talk myself out of getting a ticket and a fine for that one sip of a $2.99/6-pack piss-poor-excuse for a drink.
Flash forward to the rest of the evening when my friend was drunkenly begging every guy she saw for spare change for her friend who just got a possession. In the following 30 days I basically did the same thing as she did that night, as well as signed up for a paying psychology experiment, just to make that $75 fine (it’s something like $350 now I think).
Finally, it was d-day. My fine was due on Halloween. And damned if I didn’t wait until the absolute last minute to pay it. In my Halloween costume. Which wasn’t even really a costume, but a gothed-out version of what I assumed a hooker might look like. With pigtails.
My friend Eric, who was basically my chauffer throughout my first few years at college, drove me to City Hall about five minutes til 5 PM. I walked in carrying my Spongebob Squarepants lunch box, in which I’d collected all the money necessary to pay the fine. I started to count out the change and the lady told me that she didn’t have time for that and that I needed to pay in actual money.
To which I replied, “This *is* actual money.” And continued to count out my change.
Twenty minutes later, my fine was paid, and I never, ever drank Bartels and Jaymes again.
Do you have a story to share about underage drinking shenanigans?
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Hi there. I'm Calee (pronounced CAL-e). If that's too hard, just call me Cal. Also known as chimes or the chimes. I'm 28ish, a designer, a runner, a self-proclaimed fitness queen, a craftster, a foodie, a music snob — some might call me a hipster. Here's the unabridged version.
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