Life with Lauren: No explanation needed


Lauren Deisley, Lifestyles Editor

For some people, turning 21 is a big deal.

Finally legal, people can buy alcohol and have the satisfaction of presenting their IDs with a proud smile.

Me? Absolutely not.

My 21st birthday was uneventful and I was actually dreading it more than looking forward to it.

The thing is, I don’t drink. I never have and I don’t plan on it anytime soon.

I don’t even have an ID, to be honest.

The funny thing is, I always had this dream for my 21st.

I was going to walk into a bar with my head held high, go directly up to the bartender, and slap my ID on the counter saying, “I’d like a water on the rocks.” If I was feeling truly bold, I’d order a root beer.

It seemed a lot funnier in my mind.

Instead, I spent my birthday on the fourth floor of Humanities, working into the evening hours on the Wayne Stater.

But that was okay, really, because I had very little pressure to drink. I didn’t have people begging me to go to the bar with them.

My beef with turning 21 was the stress and pressure of friends and acquaintances wanting to “take me out” or “give me something to drink.”

It’s hard to explain my choice when I don’t really want to explain my reason.

But the bottom line is that it’s my choice, and only I can make it.

I simply do not want to drink alcohol a day in my life, but it seems like such a foreign concept to a lot of people and I didn’t realize this until that very day. Even now, weeks later, people are still struggling to understand me.

The thought of getting trashed and puking my guts out when I’m supposed to be eating birthday cake never quite appealed to me.

I was explaining this to a friend in the lower Gag when a girl I didn’t even know turned around and asked me if I was “too good for alcohol,” in a snooty voice. It actually hurt me, to be honest.

A complete stranger insulted my choice to my face, without knowing who I was or my reason why.

Don’t question another’s choice. Don’t insult someone’s belief without understanding their motives. And definitely do not look down on someone when their beliefs clash with yours.

Not just with alcohol, but with everything in life.

I’m glad I’ve stuck to my guns this long, because I’m proud of being this outspoken woman who knows exactly what she wants (as well as what she doesn’t).

If I gave in to pressure, I’d have broken my own personal values for want of acceptance by my peers, and that’s never okay.

I am pretty proud of myself, though, for winning a bet with my late mother.

Before I left for college, she didn’t believe that I wouldn’t drink before my 21st birthday.

If I didn’t drink and won the bet, she vowed to give me $100.

If I lost the bet and had a drink, I owed her double.

I’m glad to say that I won the bet, no matter how little bearing it now has.