Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Heads or Tails #52 -- Heads or Tails

What? Deja vu all over again? No, my fellow Blogospherians, it's a special time today at Heads or Tails, the weekly meme brought to you by Barb: It's Week #52 and that means today is Heads or Tails' first birthday. So Happy Birthday, Heads or Tails, and welcome to the party. If you'd care to read prior Heads or Tails entries on this blog, simply click the "Heads or Tails" label at the bottom of this post.

Be advised, however, that should you actually do so, we may have to deny you further servings of birthday punch.

Birthdays are very much on my mind this morning because today happens to also be Middle Son's 21st birthday.

He's the youngest senior on his college baseball team and I'm very nervous.

He intends to celebrate tonight... and into the wee small hours tomorrow... and a great many people have promised to assist him in his passage from illegal drinking in taverns on a forged ID... er, from, adolescence to adulthood.

He is expected to vomit.

Read that sentence again (if you're not eating).

Granted -- I have been known to indulge from time to time, and occasionally to excess. When I was his age I indulged indulgently. I have no bluenose pretensions. Nor would I deny Middle Son his revels -- as long as neither he nor anyone in his party is driving (and I've been assured they will not be).

But, please, setting out for an evening's entertainment with a view toward throwing up as some sort of goal strikes me as wrong, wrong, wrong. And stupid.

And dangerous.

Then, today, on the front page of the Chicago Tribune we learn that the presidents of roughly 100 of some of the best-known colleges and universities are suggesting that the drinking age be lowered from 21 to 18.

They point out that the age limit is ignored, particularly in and around college campuses.

When the drinking age went from 19 to 21 in Illinois, about 30 years ago, one of the arguments offered in favor of the change (aside from the fact that Federal government was mandating it, holding highway funds as a hostage) was that the new, higher limit would help keep booze out of the high schools... but it wasn't really intended to interfere much with the college kids.

I personally do not believe we should ever pass a law we do not want or intend to really enforce. It breeds cynicism and contempt for all laws.

The college presidents also point out that they have problems with "binge drinking." With kids deliberately setting out to get totally #$%!-faced. Wasted. Bombed. I believe the learned academics are suggesting that kids hiding in the shadows, downing copious amounts of alcohol in a few moments, hoping to avoid detection is worse than openly drinking, legally, in taverns or other places that may be licensed and regulated and watched.

I think they're right.

When I was just a little kid, my late father used to offer me the occasional sip of beer or, if he was having it, a little wine with dinner. He wanted, he said, to "take the mystery" out of alcohol. I don't know if it worked, necessarily. After all, I did drink heavily in college and law school.

On the other hand... maybe it did work to this extent: Although it sometimes happened, I never set out on a spree with an intention to get sick.

It will be a subdued birthday celebration tonight at the Curmudgeon home. Middle Son is staying on campus tonight. I'll be anxiously waiting to hear from him tomorrow morning.


Jeni said...

I'm very much inclined to agree with your Dad's assessment about "taking the mystery" out of drinking. That was my Mom's thought too when I was growing up. I'm also in agreement with you about the drinking with a specific goal of getting absolutely blitzed beyond belief, losing all comprehension, etc., etc. First off, I hate to throw up and second, it brings out the Scotch ancestry in me I guess cause I consider it as being a total waste of money and good liquor or beer -whatever the element involved may be. (Waste not, want not, ya know!)

Fran said...

My youngest turns 21 next month. I am sure the plans are the same. The 21 drinking age has not kept alcohol out of the hands of college kids. When I have talked to my kids about how they get it if they aren't of age, I get that eye roll like I am a dinosaur. Sometimes it is fun to act naive.


Anonymous said...

Oh my. I hope he has someone to watch over him that won't be drinking. Scares me to death. Mine are 27 and 23 and I am sure I went through this at one time. I must have blanked it out.

Kim said...

I had friends like that in h.s. and college. They went out on a Friday night looking to get wasted. I didn't get it, and I still don't. I've been completely drunk once (one drink away from alcohol poisoning) when I was 18 and I'd be happy to never experience that again. Once was enough. :) Thanks for sharing this Tuesday!

My HoT is up a little later than usual, but feel free to take a look.

Dawn said...

Ugh, I most definitely do not miss my binge drinking days. I hope your son has a nice birthday but a safe one also!!

Barb said...

Happy Birthday to your son.. I know it will be a long night for you waiting for the call that will come tomorrow.

Thanks for being so supportive of HoT all these weeks!!!