That is a milestone for any teen in this province as it means you are old enough to legally purchase and consume adult recreational beverages.
A lot of people go out and get hammered on their 19th birthday.
I can honestly say, I was not one of them.
I wasn't a real big party guy in my teens. I was too busy wasting all my money on stuff like cars and motorcycles to divert it to booze and other party supplies.
I am not saying I was a little angel or anything, I was just not a hardcore partier (well, not in my teens anyway.) I do recall the first time I did get all boozed up. OK, I sort of remember it. I was 17 and it seemed like everyone I knew was drinking, so I figured I would give it a try.
A guy I know bootlegged a mickey of vodka for me and assorted bevvies for my friends and we all hunkered down to imbibe on the alcoholic drinks.
Being new to the drinking game, I drank a lot faster than I should have. One little sip led to one big gulp which led to consuming the little bottle of 40 proof hooch way too fast.
At first, it was all kinds of fun, running around, laughing, being stupid, but after a while the fun stops and your stomach begins to rebel at the assault you have made upon it with your choice of liquid.
Basically, before the night was over I was barfing harder than a super model after dinner.
It was not pleasant. I have some vague recollections of holding a bucket and talking to my girlfriend about...something.
The next thing I knew it was the morning, I was on the coach and herd of elephants had run over my head.
I had never been hung over before and was finding the experience most unpleasant.
Wow, did that suck. My stomach was sore from all the regurgitating I did the night before, my tongue had swelled up like a sponge in a pool and my head hurt so bad the sound of dust falling to the ground nearly put me in a coma.
A couple of my friends were not fairing much better, but the experienced boozers were doing OK and having a great laugh at my expense.
I swore I never wanted to feel that way again as long as I lived. And I didn't, for a couple of years anyway.
I did not get liquored up on my 19th birthday, but was closer to 20 before I entered the party scene full speed, and even then it only lasted a couple of years.
I had a few hang overs – which I hated – and swore I would never drink like that again. Which I didn't, until the next time I did. (I never claimed to be overly bright and if I did, no one would believe me anyway.)
Such is the stupidity of youth I guess, so when Junior hit the milestone I was not sure what to expect. I knew it would not be the first time he tasted alcohol (he's a good kid, but not exactly a little angel either), but I did not know how much celebrating he would do on the big day.
He got together with a few friends, they had a few drinks and that was about it. No one got overly boozed up, no one threw up and no one had to be helped up.
What the hell is wrong with these kids?
I'm kidding of course. I am quite pleased at how responsible they were. They indulged, but not overly so.
Now we will have to see what the next couple of years brings, but Junior is an adult and the choices he makes are his own.
And if he does over indulge, I hope he gets hangover strong enough to knock out a horse.
Darren Handschuh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more of his ramblings, check out his blog at www.therudemonkey.blogspot.ca.
Copyright 2015 Darren Handschuh