Last week, I got a picture text message from my oldest nephew. It was of an empty watermelon liquor bottle. And my first thought was, “Oh dear God, please don’t let the first time he gets drunk be off of watermelon Pucker.” (Yes, he is 19 years old and a sophomore in college, and yes, I do believe him when he tells me that he doesn’t drink. He’s an athlete on scholarship, and for some reason, just isn’t into the whole underage drinking thing. Maybe it’s because he has seen his 11 year his senior aunt tipsy at Thanksgiving a little too often. Can you say drunk-dial your nephew’s girlfriend?) (and it wasn’t even Pucker, it was a brand that I’d never heard of, but I could see WATERMELON plastered on the front of a pretty label)
Any-hoo, I asked him to please tell me that wasn’t his evening the night before, and he clarified that he went to a party and his friend gave him the bottle. (and reiterated again that he doesn’t drink) Whew! Getting drunk off of any kind of Pucker-type alcohol makes for a killer hangover and a desire to never. drink. again. (however, he did think to send me the picture of an empty liquor bottle, so again, maybe I should re-think drinking in front of my nephews)
The picture made me flashback to my freshman year of college though. Not the Pucker, as by my freshman year I was WAY past getting drunk off of sweet 15% alcohol beverages. But something that happened probably the third week of freshman year. (this was before the resident advisor was shot and killed by one of the guys on his floor who just happened to be a coke dealer, so things were a little more lenient back then)
The summer before I left for college, I had decided that I wanted my dorm room to have an alcohol-theme. And the ONLY decoration I could come up with, besides writing on my loft, was empty liquor bottles. So we proceeded to save mementos from our nights out, and don’t even ask me where I hid them from my parents, as I couldn’t even begin to remember. I probably told them that they were my friends though; I tended to blame most things on my friends. They were the bad seeds. (sorry guys) I remember having a bottle of Aftershock (you know, that red stuff with the crystals in the bottom that you could eat?) Absolut, Bacardi, and who knows what else. I proudly displayed them on the top shelf above my desk; I couldn’t normally reach that high anyway, so it was useless to me. (pretty sure my roommate was scared of me when we met and I put up those bottles, but she got over it and decided she liked my friends)
After a few weeks, a couple of my new friends from the dorm got caught sneaking beer in. (it was a six pack!!) I wasn’t there, I can’t remember what was going on, (oh wait, now I remember, I think I was juggling dating three different guys…don’t recommend that) and I don’t really even remember the drama of the aftermath of the girls getting caught. I just remember that they went in front of the disciplinary board and while one of them cried (yes CRIED) and got out of making any restitution, the other one was punished and told that she had to make an anti-drinking display case. After some brain-storming with some of us on the floor, the bright idea was born to use my empty bottles in the display case.
I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I remember walking down the hallway of my dorm seeing the head lady walking with a cardboard box full of empty bottles. Which happened to look just like my bottles. Being the blond that I am, I thought not much of it, and the next thing I know, my friends are all up in a tizzy because the head lady tore apart the display case and my friend got in even more trouble for using alcohol in an anti-alcohol message board. Guess the idea wasn’t so bright. So what I wanted to know is… where were my bottles? I worked hard for them, both to buy and to empty. (At that point, it probably took 2 hours of working just to BUY one of those bottles. Not going to say how long to drink one.) I went to the receptionist, who just happened to be an old friend of the family who had known me since I was just a few days old. She was the one who got me my awesome roommate, instead of a crappy roommate, and got me on the even awesome-er 2 West floor. After complaining to her for a minute, I walked away, resigned to having to find a new theme for my room.
Next thing I know, I am called down to the head lady’s office and given a big long apology. (Apparently, having an alcohol themed room was against the rules in the dorm, even if the bottles were empty) I got an apology voicemail that was approximately 5 minutes long from one RA, and an apology gift basket from someone else. Meanwhile, my poor friend is on probation for bringing alcohol into the dorm and our other friend got off scot-free. Turns out the friend of the family went to bat for me, and pointed out that my stuff was stolen (by the head lady) out of the display case and I was just an innocent bystander and poor. little. Gail. My friend who got in trouble still can't believe that SHE got in trouble while our other friend cried and got out of it (yes, she did learn a very valuable lesson) and that I got apologies and gift baskets. These days, you get kicked out of the dorm on the first offense, and there probably aren’t any more parties like in the “olden days.” As much as you can party with a six pack.