Scintilla Day 1

I’ve decided to once again take part in the Scintilla Project this year, whereby bloggers are giving a prompt each day for two weeks. So my usual schedule of blogging will be a bit off for the rest of March. But it will do good for my writing skills. (And who doesn’t want that?)

Today’s prompt is…

Tell a story about a time you got drunk before you were legally able to do so.

I think it’s indicative of my personality that I in fact never got drunk when I was underage. For that matter, I haven’t often been drunk even as an adult.

It’s interesting that this is a prompt at all, for though not everyone (obviously) has gotten drunk when underage, the concept seems to be common enough that it would make a good prompt for this blogging experience.

Alcoholism is a problem at any age, and I don’t make light of it. At the same time, I think drinking laws in this country are too strict. If people want to get drunk at any age they are going to do so, but being more open minded about alcohol consumption, that is to say making it less of a forbidden, (but highly available and easily obtained) fruit might take some of the mystique out of it for underage people. Just a theory.

But we live in a country where you need to be 21 for now. And the law was a large portion of why I didn’t get drunk when I was underage. I didn’t go around reporting people who were drinking underage, but I did feel, even as a high schooler  that there were laws I could skirt, (taping a show from TV and watching it later) and laws, like drinking, that I should not.

Still, the law was only part of it. Somehow, (and don’t ask me how) I knew I wouldn’t feel much better when drunk. There were plenty of reasons and stresses in my life that would make getting drunk appealing to others. But even then, I didn’t think being drunk or even tipsy would change them, or even make them more bearable.

Then there is the social factor. I don’t deny that my views on this issue may have been tempered had I been around friends who drank. But in those years I wasn’t around friends much at all. I didn’t have many, and those I had didn’t drink. I was unpopular and rarely invited to anything. Drinking alone, as a result, was the only option much of the time, and that was not at all appealing.

And then there is the most practical reason of all; I didn’t want to puke.

Now even in adulthood, I have thrown up from drink once. But back then I wasn’t sure what the threshold would be, and there are few things I want to avoid more than puking. It really was worth not getting drunk, if it decreased my chancing of puking.

So there you have it. I never got drunk when I was underage. You can blame being lawful, understanding the futility, a lack of a social life or the fear of puking. In reality, it was probably a combination of all of these factors.

I drink now, and sometimes I drink enough to feel it, when with the right people. But even today, being straight-up drunk is uncommon for me.

I still hate puking, after all.


  1. Kim

    All good reasons not to drink at any age. And I feel like drinking alone would have been a hard thing to enjoy… so while I’m sad that you were alone during those years, I’m glad that things worked out for you so well. (Speaking as a true emetophobe, I feel you on the puke thing too!)

  2. Mom has said she’d rather give birth than puke, and I do believe she means it. (And you see where I get it from…)

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