I hate tequila. It’s Boston’s fault – yes, the entire city of Boston, Massachusetts, is to be blamed for my disdain of the blue agave based spirit. I bet you’re dying to know why.
Here’s the scoop. It was Spring Break, 1987. I was a freshman in college and had just suffered a major life-trauma: the unexpected death of my step-mother. Actually, the anniversary of her passing was just a few days ago. It’s been 25 years since she died, which is just so hard to believe. Anyway, her death was completely unexpected (a suicide) and it left me severely shaken. Luckily, I had some awesome girlfriends (Ann and Rhonda) who were planning a trip to the East coast during Spring Break to visit our Resident Assistant, Maurianne (aka: Mo). They invited me to come along, which I whole-heartedly accepted.
Off we went. Three girls hitting the open road in a sweet white Camaro. Rhonda drove the entire way since it was her ride, Ann sat shotgun, and I rode in the back seat. Being the shortest of the three dictated that I was the wise choice to squeeze in with the luggage. Oh yeah, and my hermit crab, Alvin, was along for the ride, too. Seriously. I couldn’t leave my hermit crab at Ohio University for an entire week all by himself. Who knows what sort of trouble he’d get into?
Pittsburgh was Ann’s hometown so we made a stop there for a couple of days before making our way to Rhode Island. Pittsburgh was a lovely stop in our line of travel and certainly took my mind off what had been going on in Ohio. Then we continued our journey east. When we arrived in Barrington, I fell in love. I decided that it was the most beautiful place I’d ever seen and swore to myself that I’d live there some day. This was a couple of years before I stepped on top of the Continental Divide and decided to live there instead. 🙂 I walked the rocky beaches, saw the sites, and took comfort in knowing that I was with three of the sweetest friends I’ve ever known and still have the pleasure of having in my life.
One night we decided to go out in Boston. I brought my fake ID along – yes, I had a fake ID – which gave me the new persona of a girl named Wendy instead of the Sarah we all know and love. “Wendy” was a newly minted 21-year-old from Marietta, Ohio. She had blonde hair and brown eyes but was approximately the same height and weight that I was. I don’t remember the specifics of how I gained this new identity but it doesn’t matter. The ID did what I needed it to do. The bouncer didn’t even look at the stats. All he asked was for me to recite “my” social security number, which I had memorized.
We were in! It was my first time in a real live non-campus bar. Some guys at the end of the bar offered to buy us drinks. Since I was really only familiar with beer, I thought I’d be cool and order a shot of the only other alcohol I’d heard of – tequila. MISTAKE! The first whiff had me gagging but I bucked up and quickly tossed back the shot before I could change my mind. Besides, I didn’t want to appear wimpy in front of our generous benefactors.
A few shots of tequila later, we piled into Mo’s mom’s Buick to head back to her house. On the way, we stopped to take a quick tour of Mo’s old school. Upon getting out of the car I saw what looked like a dog. I called out to it, making kissy noises, slapping the tops of my thighs and begging it to come to me. It didn’t. One of my girlfriends said, “No. That’s a cat.” So I slurred, “Here, kitty kitty kitty kit-TY!” Still. No movement from the animal. We started inching closer – trying to be quiet so we wouldn’t scare it away. Once we were within 20 feet of it we realized it was a freaking tree stump. We fell down on the ground crying with laughter. Something like that can only be funny thanks to the effects of tequila.
On the way home I threw up in the back seat of Mo’s mom’s Buick. Maybe it’s not such a surprise that I was never invited back to Rhode Island. Actually, that’s not true. Despite my severe faux pas I was immediately forgiven. But I haven’t been back to Rhode Island since. Stupid tequila. You mess up everything that is good.
I spent some time as a cocktail waitress when I lived in Summit County, Colorado. I always dreaded the times that a rowdy group of people would order a round of shots because it was almost always tequila. The smell of this demon juice teleports me straight to the back seat of Mo’s mom’s poor Buick. I have absolutely no love for tequila. Not even diluted into a margarita.
So, on today’s holiday, I will stick with what I should have ordered 25 years ago… beer. I don’t know why I decided to deviate from what I know and love but I do know that I will never do it again.