Once upon a time, I went out for St. Patrick’s Day. I had on green soccer socks and a green red wings shirt, and I was, to quote GoldDust, three sheets to the wind.
The following picture was taken:
I admit, I may have been four sheets to the wind.
Anyway. I ventured to a bar with a friend of a friend. We knew each other vaguely from a few prior meetings, but had never really been out together. We went to a line for a bar I had been to thousands of times before and I pushed my way to the front where the surly bouncer remembered me and asked for id.
“Friend,” I called back to her. “Give me your ID!”
She passed her ID and it went hand to hand through various people until it got to me. The bouncer took our IDs, passed mine back, glanced at hers, and didn’t let me in. “Fake.” he grunted.
My jaw dropped. “It is not.” I argued.
“Fake.” he said again. “I know it is. You can go in. She can’t.”
I was so confused. “She’s my cousin! I’ve known her my whole life! I know she’s 21!” I don’t know why I was bothering to argue.
He didn’t respond to me.
Finally, I snatched my own ID back from him and stalked away.
We sat down at the curb in our demise and debated our next move.
“Hey,” I asked her suddenly. “Are you 21?”
I never had a fake ID. I never went out to bars before I turned 21, so I never had a need for one. It was so bizarre to me that people went to so much trouble for something that could just be taken away. After all, since I so often get that I look younger than I am, why would I have even tried to get in with a fake? I probably looked 12 when I was 19 and 20.
Case in point?
I’m 22. I’ve just started abusing the bar scene in downtown Grand Rapids, and I’ve recently been introduced to the bar of the $2 Dollar You-Call-Its.
“ID?” asks the [same surly] bouncer [from the St. Patty’s debacle]. I pass it over, he glances at it, he passes it back.
I take it, and move to go inside.
His arm is instantly out to stop me. “You’re not going in.”
“I’m 22.” I automatically reply.
“I know a fake.”
“Want me to get the scanner?” Apparently, that’s a scare tactic for people with fakes.
“Yes!” I’m about to cry. “Get the scanner!”
He’s taken back by my answer. “Look, I gave it back. Consider that a blessing. But you gotta get out of line or else I’m going to cut that thing up.”
“Fine!” People aren’t even going in anymore. The line has stopped moving to watch me and the bouncer argue. “Cut it up, and you can go with me to the Secretary of State tomorrow to buy me a new one!”
Don’t worry. I got in. Another bouncer that recognized me saw me and let me in. The bouncer on his power trip still worked there for as long as I was going to that bar though. He never checked my ID again.
I figured this was just a rite of passage. When you’re a fresh 21, you get ID’d more. The bouncers probably look out for you, because it’s their job on the line if you’re underage and get in. It makes sense. Anyone getting a fake ID would probably get one that says they’re 21 or 22, right? Which means the older I get, the less I have to deal with. Right?
I’m out with Alto and 56 for this big #saturDAZE party we’d been planning on going to for the past couple weeks. We arrive, and within thirty seconds of being there, the bouncer tells us we’re not getting in.
Disappointed and frustrated and running out of time, we head for a bar nearby. After all, it’s almost 1 am. We get to another bar that we’ve been to numerous times, figuring we’ll get in quickly and be able to enjoy the end of our night.
“This is you?” The bouncer holding my ID is looking back and forth from me and my ID. I’m debating already getting a new picture since apparently L.A. with contacts is very different from L.A. without.
“I just got contacts,” I offer.
I tell him. Since I’m legal and all, and know it, because it is my birthday and I didn’t just memorize the information.
“Got something else with your name on it?” He asks.
I sigh, but produce my credit card.
“Stand over there,” he tells me.
He checks Alto’s ID quickly but then pauses when he gets to 56.
“How,” he asks. “Are you 5’6”…” he mentions to her. “and you 5’6”? he mentions to me.
56 is annoyed. “Well,” she explains patiently. “I’m in heels. She’s in flats. It makes people different heights.”
I can’t believe we’re dealing with this. On the street. At 1 am. This could not be a worse ending to the night.
“Take off your heels.” The bouncer tells 56. Okay, it could be a worse night.
For the record, if you haven’t been paying attention, I’m 25. 56 is 27. Granted, I still look young, but haven’t I paid my dues?
Have you ever had any awkward encounters with your age and legality? Where’s the point between fair and ridiculous?