Some of us are more responsible in adulthood than others...
|I awoke and sprang out of bed with a beatific smile on my face. This was it! My first day of adulthood. I was eighteen today! I could do whatever I wanted now! Besides, it was Saturday, and I was going to take full advantage.
I called my friend Michelle, who squealed in excitement as I relayed my ambitious, action-packed plan for my birthday extravaganza.
Pulling the car up to Michelle’s house, I leapt out… and was nearly bowled over by my overzealous friend as she fired out of her front door as if she were going for a world record in the 100-meter dash.
“I can’t believe how much you’re trying to pack into this day!” she told me breathlessly as she buckled her seatbelt.
“Yep, I’m living large. You only turn eighteen once, right? Go big or go home, they always say...”
Michelle and I pulled up to the blood bank first.
“I can’t believe that we’re starting here, given what you’ve got planned!” said Michelle with a crooked smile.
“Good deeds before degeneracy, that’s what I always say!” I winked. She threw her chestnut tresses back in laughter as we entered the place and started the day with a donation to a good cause.
“Is that why we’re going to register you to vote next?” asked Michelle.
“No. I don’t think that putting ever crazier politicians in office constitutes a good deed,” I joked.
Michelle giggled as we finished the next responsible errand.
Now it was time for some less responsible adulting--i.e. the fun part! We drove north from Great Falls on I-15, stopping for gas along the way. As I paid for the gas, I realized I could now buy lottery tickets, so I requested one from the portly cashier.
“You know, you stand a better chance of winning if you bet those horses at the track over yonder,” he said.
“How old do you need to be to bet on the horsies?” asked Michelle.
“Why… eighteen, I think,” the cashier said, handing me the lottery ticket.
I turned to Michelle as I slipped the ticket into my pocket.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” I asked.
She nodded slowly, the twinkle of mischief playing in her brown eyes.
We both screamed in excitement as our horse crossed the line first, hugging and giggling at our good fortune. As we cashed out our bets, I gave Michelle a knowing look.
“How did you ever know to bet on Eighteen Years to Life?” she asked in mock-innocence.
“This is me laughing... all the way to the bank,” I said giving an exaggerated guffaw and mimicking riding a horse as we made our way back to the car.
As we arrived at the Canadian border and pulled up to the crossing station, I handed the agent our passports.
“So why are you gals headed to the Great White North?” said the border agent.
“She just turned eighteen today!” said Michelle, giving me a nudge with her shoulder.
“Ahhh, I see,” said the agent with a knowing smile. “Now, don’t enjoy yourselves too much there, girls.”
“What would be the fun in that?” I said with a slippery smirk.
We continued on to Lethbridge, stopping at Costco for a membership and lunch on the way. As we got back in the car, Michelle, brow furrowed, asked what was on her mind.
“Why did you want to get a Costco membership? To pay $50 for a $1.50 hotdog?”
“Well, it’s not like I can’t afford it with the $300 I won at the horse track today. I just wanted to do it because I can, ‘Chelle. Kinda the point of today, right?” I said, batting my eyelashes.
“You’re too much,” she said with a smile.
I checked into the hotel--because I now could--then Michelle and I showered and dressed to the nines. We applied our best makeup, doused ourselves in too much perfume, and slipped on our heels, wobbling slightly as we primped and preened in the mirror.
“You sure you want to go to the bar?” asked Michelle, a hint of hesitation in her voice.
“Living large, remember?” I winked.
She shrugged and we ordered an Uber.
The next morning, we pried open heavy eyelids and groaned.
“That Yukon Jack was a lot more pleasant last night than it is this morning,” said Michelle.
“Yeah. Retweet. Did we really enlist in the Canadian armed forces with that recruiter at the bar?” I said, hands to my temples.
“And did that other guy really give us moose tattoos after hours at his shop?”
“Oh my God!” Michelle examined the red and black patch of skin on her wrist.
“I’ll take that as a ‘yes’.”
We took our time getting ready, feeling better after a mediocre-but-free hotel breakfast of toaster waffles and artificial syrup.
I arrived back home to a less-than-pleased look on mom’s face as she held a white envelope in her hand. I took the envelope from her and opened it. It was a notice for jury duty. Before I could think better of it, I muttered loud enough for mom to hear.
“I wonder if being a member of the Canadian armed forces is a good enough excuse to get out of this!”
Mom gaped at me in astonishment, too surprised to be angry--for the moment. As her eyes fell to the letter in my hand once more, she noticed the fresh tattoo on the inside of my wrist.
I rolled my eyes at my own foolishness as I watched her lips form a rather large circle. Thank you very much, Yukon Jack, I thought.
Mom’s horrified eyes proceeded to widen to epic proportions with an as yet unspoken question on her rounded lips.
I gave her a sheepish look and shrugged. Being an “adult” was going to be… interesting, to say the least.