Ages and Stages

So, tonight, I went out to pick up pizza for dinner, and before I went home, I stopped at the gas station,  where I saw two plain-clothes detectives shaking down three fratty looking boys, who I assume were students at Vanderbilt.  Given that I was basically at the edge of the campus, I think it was a fair assumption:

Like this, only younger.  And one more of them.

Anyway, at first I thought these kids shoplifted beer from the store, but then I watched one of the detectives take one of their backpacks and whip out Skyy Vodka, Captain Morgan and some other bottle of unidentifiable hooch.

It was then I realized these guys were getting busted for underage possession.

None of them looked scared or upset.  Score one for them.

Personally, I think that here in the US of A, we're well behind the curve on that particular cultural norm.

Let's be honest with ourselves.  Teenagers drink.  When I was in high school, I had a beer at a party once.  It was to look cool in front of an ex-boyfriend who was giving me the stink eye for being there.  Long story.  Suffice it to say, I waited an hour, sobered up, and went to a different party where nobody drank and everybody loved me.  I showed him!

Now, that's not to say that's the only time I drank in High School.  The remaining times were with my family, at home or on vacation.  My parents didn't shroud drinking in a cloak of mystery.

So by the time I left for college, the idea of going out to get plastered never really appealed to me.

But I knew several people who had been saintly until they got to college.  One entered rehab before her 21st birthday.

Here's my take.  At eighteen you can marry,  vote, get a job, pay taxes, serve for your country, get a tattoo...

But you can't have a beer for another three years.

So instead, you're forced to carry a backpack full of liquor around and get the shake down from two nerdy looking dudes in Members Only windbreakers.

That seems Un-American.

Just saying.