Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday Night Reflection

I'm 48 years old, the married mother of a 19 year old and 16 year old, and the owner of a 10 year old West Highland White Terrier. I was going to say the master of a 10 year old West Highland blah blah, but as I'm a female, I guess technically, I'm his mistress - but, I don't know . . . that just doesn't sound right. If I'm going to be a mistress, can't it at least be for someone like Daniel Craig, at least a human . . . never mind.

So having grown to the ripe old age of 48, I find myself with a serious addiction to Facebook. I had a grip on it until a few weeks ago, when a group was formed by people who had grown up in my hometown of Manhasset, NY. After college, I remained in Virginia and haven't been back to Manhasset in about 25 years, so I find the posts fascinating. They're written by people that I grew up with, some I know, some I know of and others that I don't know at all. The posts are mainly recollections of the town we grew up in, our teachers, the places where we hung out, etc.

Now that summer has arrived, my 19 year old is home from college. This evening, after he came home from work and had eaten his dinner, he looked at my husband who was watching television and at me, completely engrossed in facebook and asked "Is this what you all do on Saturday nights?" To which I responded "Yes, I told you we don't do anything." He shook his head in disgust and said "God, that's so depressing!" Fortunately for him, his cell phone soon rang, and he was given a reprieve from one of his friends, who suggested that they do nothing at his house. Fine, whatever.

19 is a tough age. You're too young to go to bars (hopefully), you're not making enough money to support a consistent weekend movie habit. You're too old to hang out at the mall (shouldn't be doing that anyway, but oh well). And you certainly don't want to stay home on a Saturday night watching your mother get excited as she reminisces about her youth with people she may or may not know.

When I was 19, the drinking age in New York was 18 for everything. We started going to bars when we were 16. I had a fake ID that said I was 25. I didn't look 25 until I was 35. But before achieving the age of being two years younger than the legal drinking age, my friends and I would go to the neighboring town of Roslyn where we could buy Pink Champale at the 7-eleven. We would chase it down with a few bags of peanut m&ms. Honestly it makes my teeth itch just thinking about it. We'd pile into my friends VW Rabbit, listen to Billy Joel and drink pink champale while driving around Long lsland. It was a wonder that more of us weren't killed. Today, I shudder at the thought of it, but back then . . . just another weekend.

When I went off to college, things were very different. The drinking age in Virginia was 18 for beer and wine, and 21 for hard liquor (pshaw, as if!). If we wanted hard liquor, we'd have to take a cab over the Key bridge into Georgetown to Dixie Liquor which was situated at the foot of the bridge, right next to the Exorcist stairs - nice! On the weekends (which officially began on Thursday nights) we'd spend what seemed like hours getting ready. Hair would need to be curled, makeup applied, and outfits changed numerous times before we were ready to go anywhere. When we were finally ready, we'd all pile into a cab and head into Georgetown. Thursday nights would find us at E.J. O'Reilly's Pub located in an alley behind 18th & L Streets, NW. Friday night was the Chinese Disco on Pennsylvania Avenue - during the week, a simple Chinese restaurant called the Day Lilly, but on Friday nights at 10 pm, it became known as the Chinese Disco, a drunken, preppy dance hall - Lacoste and Lilly Pulitzer were well represented. There was always a line for the ladies room that snaked all the way up the steps, where it usually ended on the dance floor. Saturday night was the 3rd Edition in Georgetown. If by Sunday, you had any money left, you might go to Chadwicks, also in Georgetown, and the very brave would head up to Pendletons on Monday night for the older Capitol Hill crowd.

Having earned my rest, I'm now content to spend my weekend evenings either hanging out on facebook, or lying flat on the couch reading a good book. As for my 19 year old - he's got another 18 months before he's old enough to hit the bars. In the meantime, he'll have to be content hanging out at his friends house, probably on facebook, talking with people he grew up with, and waiting for 11:30 to roll around when Saturday Night Live comes on.

The Chinese Disco

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