Looking back to 21

Melinda Bardon, Online Editor
On my 21st birthday, my friends and I got the party started early by waiting until 1 a.m. the night before and then buying a couple six-packs of Widmer from the 7-Eleven. That, combined with the rum given to me as an early present, meant starting off my 21st pretty drunk by morning.

Around 11 a.m. we woke up, made pancakes, then started up the drinking again, combining our liquor with such activities as miniature golf and drunken clothes shopping.

That night, we drove out to the Alibi for the first time ever, to learn that not very many people at tiki bars appreciate “Yellow Submarine” when not sung by The Beatles.
Nathan Hellman, Editor-in-Chief
Having older friends on your 21st birthday is both a blessing and curse. It’s nice because you have company to celebrate with, but it also means their sole objective is to make you sick.

This is partly what happened, as a group of friends and I started out at Shanghai Tunnel around 9 p.m. and then hopped around to a couple nearby bars. Wanting to prove myself to these more alcohol-experienced friends, I consumed drinks at a frantic pace and was beginning to gain some respect.

Then my body recognized that it had consumed large amounts of alcohol, and the final few hours of my birthday were less enjoyable. At the last bar the room was spinning, and when a friend and fellow Vanguard editor leaned over to check on me, he was sprayed in the face with vomit.

I proceeded to puke a couple more times, including once in front of Voodoo Doughnuts. And, believe it or not, nobody would sit next to me on the bus ride home. I wonder why.   

Shane Danaher, Arts and Culture Editor
In true music nerd fashion, I spent most of my 21st birthday at a show. The headliner was Battles and of their 45-minute set I remember the following things: 1. Falling down a lot, 2. Trying to start a mosh pit during the band’s load in, and 3. Yelling at the drummer in between songs to inform him he looks like the villain on Happy Gilmore.

After the show I ditched/wandered off from my friends and struck up a quick friendship with a nice girl whom I met at a bus stop.

She disappeared three bars later but not after introducing me to a helpful drug dealer who played an integral role in the grand clusterfuck that was the next several days. That, however, is another micro-essay in and of itself and, quite frankly, it’s one that I’d rather not disclose to the public.

Owen R. Smith, News Editor

My 21st birthday started at the Yamhill Pub and only got worse after that. I tore my way through pitcher after pitcher of PBR, and eventually we ended up at the Acropolis staring at gloriously naked women and throwing back shots of bourbon with stupid, gleeful abandon.

My stomach was at a tipping point.

After eating all the $7 steak I could handle and receiving at least a couple semi-illegal lap dances, we were ready to call it a night. Almost. However, no 21st is complete without a stop at Mary’s Club, and after a half hour of subjecting ourselves to the wonders of more skeezy debauchery, we decided to call it a night.

As soon as the cold night air hit me, I puked on the sidewalk outside the bar as my friends laughed and high-fived. That is my indelible memory of turning 21.