Ya’ll. I turn 21 in just two short months, and I have never been more frustrated/excited. At this point it’s seriously just a huge annoyance to not be able to drink when Jake and I go out to watch sports, because we usually end up at Buffalo Wild Wings or Pluckers at a time that we’re not hungry, so Jake just orders one or two beers and the waitress always looks pissy like we wasted her time. I’ve worked in a restaurant, albeit not as a server, but I do know how hard it is for them to get by on their measly minimum wage (servers at my restaurant got $2.13/hr- just enough to cover taxes on their hours worked), and I know that every table counts when it comes to tips. The point is, I feel bad, but I can’t do anything more about how our bill comes out! Sorry!
Like I said, I turn 21 in just two months, but it feels like forreevveerrr. Like, when I was 18 it was no big deal to think about how far away I was from being 21, because I literally had years ahead of me. But now I feel like I’m literally inches away. It’s so close I can taste it! It tastes like freedom and happy hour margaritas, friends. The other thing is all the places I’ll finally be able to actually walk inside of now that I’m 21!! Austin is famous (notorious?) for 6th Street being the home of tons of bars, booze, and parties, AND I CAN’T GO TO ANY OF THEM. Not yet, at least. Let me tell you the story of my SXSW experience…
Jake thought he was being super thoughtful and sweet when he bought us SXSW wristbands this year. And I was totally excited! While he had the whole week off for Spring Break, I had still planned to take off a Thursday and Friday to enjoy the festivities downtown during the day, and then of course had the weekend to go to shows. Well, SXSW is set unlike any other music festival I know. Instead of having one large venue with multiple stages (Like ACL. Or Edgefest. Or Lollapalooza. Or Coachella. Just pointing out exactly how weird SXSW is.), the festival is spread over tons of venues, all over the city. Venues range from large stages like Austin Music Hall, to tiny bars that probably hold 50 people max. Also, lots of these venues are bars. Lots of these bars are 21 and up only- no exceptions. Do you see what I’m getting at, friends? My precious wristband meant next to nothing this year, solely because SO MANY of the venues were 21 and up only. Yeah, yeah, there were some all-ages and 18+ events and venues, but I was so frustrated that I wasn’t able to see at least 5 shows that I REALLY wanted to see. Artists who are big enough to be on a label and come to SXSW, but not fill a huge crowd? Yeah, those are my favorites and also all the artists that just performed in random bars around town, preventing me from enjoying this awesome music experience. Also, we realized a wristband is still nothing compared to having badges, but that’s a whole different story.
Okay, now I sound whiny about not being 21 and like ‘Boohoo, I’m so young!’ but I just wanted to illustrate a point about why being under 21 sucks in Austin, because it literally doesn’t even have to do with alcohol. I just want to be able to get into any show I want! Austin is known for live music, and even before SXSW there’s been so many shows that Jake and I missed out on because we realized tickets were 21+. And I’m SO close now, friends! I compare the feeling of being under 21 in Austin to being like just a bit too short to ride the big roller coaster. I feel like I’m literally inches away, and maaaybe if I just stretch my neck a little taller, I’ll get there faster. One can hope, friends!
On another note, me turning 21 makes me feel both old and like I’ve been with Jake for absolutely forever. Friends, when Jake and I met, not even he was 21! He was 20 and I had been 18 for all of three months when we first met. Isn’t that crazy to think? Like when we first met, me turning 21 was three years into the future, something that seemed so far away, and now it’s right around the corner. I know Jake’s so glad, because we can finally go to cool bars together, and he doesn’t feel the wrath of my girlfriend-induced guilt every time he goes out the 6th or the Square (San Marcos’ version of 6th Street. It’s a bunch of bars in town square. Creative title, right?) with his guy friends.
With all my excitement about finally turning 21 though, I actually have no crazy plans for my 21st birthday. I have no interest in taking the ‘traditional’ trip all the way down Dirty Sixth, because an endless amount of Birthday Cake shots just doesn’t seem like it would be worth it the next day. Plus, everyone secretly hates those girls that walk around carrying their heels, fake tiara falling and ‘It’s My 21st!’ sash falling off them, yelling into the night “I’M 21 BITCHES!” only to trip on a curb and end up crying in the street surrounded by her friends for the next 20 minutes. Nobody likes that mess. I do have a place in mind though! It’s call Craft Pride, and it’s basically a mecca for anyone who says like they craft beer. My dad’s really got me on trying new beers all the time, and I think it’s fun to try new things and figure out what I like. Plus, you just can’t beat the fact that lots of them are from local breweries! Honestly though, I’m just excited to finally get a margarita when we eat Tex-Mex. Baby A’s Purple-ritas, here I come ;)
Friends, what was your 21st birthday like? Did you go all out and try to to the ’21 shots in 24 hours’ thing? Or were you more low-key? Tell the best, and of course the worst (because those stories are usually funnier) things that happened on your 21st. Can’t wait to see you all here again next week!