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That fake I.D. bought me many little bits of happiness and one big one

group of people standing waiting outside the bar

Today is a Special Edition of BYCU. Part autobiographical, part inspirational, part drunken. Here goes.

I met Marie 35 years ago today.

She was 18. I was 20, but my older brother’s driver’s license said I was 23. It was Wednesday in Ann Arbor. My roommate and I were scolding ourselves for drinking at 8:30 on a Wednesday “this late in the game” . . . getting close to exams and looming term papers due . . . and assuring ourselves we’d have just one, maybe two, pitchers.

But then the girls came. Six of them, a bunch of freshmen from neighboring Eastern Michigan University. They needed someone to buy alcohol for them (they didn’t have my brother’s driver’s license), so I obliged. The eight of us then mingled and danced. My roommate tried to bang one of the freshmen. I contented myself with getting a phone number.

I didn’t call for about two weeks, partly out of college inertia, partly because I was concerned about the beer goggles I was wearing that night. I asked my roommate repeatedly, “Are you sure she’s not fat? I’m thinking maybe she was a little heavy.” I remember he finally got exasperated and said, “Look man, it was dark in there, but she wasn’t fat. Quit asking me and call her.”

I learned later she was 5’2” and weighed 105 pounds. Not exactly a porker, but I guess you never can be too sure about such things when you’re 20.

Anyway, it’s the only good thing I say about the 21-year-old drinking age: if it weren’t for that unjust law, the girls from EMU wouldn’t have needed my assistance that night, and if they hadn’t needed my assistance, they probably wouldn’t have deigned to talk to me, and if they hadn’t deigned to talk to me, I wouldn’t be writing this tribute today.

I guess something good can come out of just about anything, at least when there’s booze involved.

(Photo by mentatdgt on