The day my 18 year-old came home drunk!

Legality can have a phenominal affect on one’s thinking. When you add peer pressure and the desire to fit-in, to the fold, you have a lethal mix!

My daughter never could stand the smell of alcohol and always complained,” I don’t know how you could drink that stinky stuff” Until………..

One by one, her friends reached 18 and had parties to celebrate the coming of age with alcohol. My daughter is the youngest (by months) It needn’t be said that alcohol was the centrepiece of any party. Screaming, “LOOK, we now have the green light to drink” However, the ones that were not yet there (I mean 18) did not drink. Or so I thought………..

Then it was my daughter’s turn to celebrate her 18th. We had a party for her at a local restaurant. Sure champagne was flowing and lo-and-behold, the birthday girl too had one in her hand. I was wondering, “When did she grow out of stinky smell and grow into it?”

It has vanished almost overnight. Peer pressure, the need to fit-in, call it what you will, was evident. It has grappled her. Still, I was surprised to see few of her friends refusing drinks. I was promptly informed; it was because they drove to the party and because of the zero tolerance for provisional drivers.

Long live laws and rules!

Thereafter the focus was parties with inevitable drinks. Before a party, my daughter would go to the liquor store to buy her drinks to take with her. (Of course, they were premixes – not the hard stuff)

I told her many times, “you don’t have to drink just because others are doing it. You can buy sparkling grape juice instead” She would always give me an ‘are you ‘for real’ look’, and then go ahead and buy the drinks.

This trend continued with every party until one day there was a farewell party to one of her friends. She was to go with another friend to the party and I was to drive them there. By this time, I had stopped trying to convince her that she needn’t drink if she doesn’t like it. However, hadn’t given up altogether on my mission to convince. So, I kept chanting my mantra whenever I saw a window of opportunity and she kept ignoring me -the vintage-what does she know-mother.

On the day of the party the friend had text my daughter inquiring if my daughter wanted her (the friend) to buy her drinks as well as she was about to buy hers. My daughter had said ‘yes’ and came and told me “mum you don’t have to drive me to the liquor store, xxxx will buy my drinks”. I asked, “what sort of drinks is she going to buy you?” –BTW, this particular friend does the nightclub rounds almost every Friday/Saturday nights. I guess I was justified to assume she would be able to handle or used to drinks than my daughter who is just pretending to be grown up. Besides, the friend turned 18, lot earlier than my daughter did — My daughter replied, “Dunno”. This answer alone showed how ‘mature’ she really is where alcohol was concerned. I explained about alcohol, their different strengths and different coping abilities with individuals, gave the choice to text back, and ask the friend what she intended to buy or ask the friend to buy what my daughter normally buys.

As you might expect, she did not text. After all what do I know? I am too ancient. It is hip to have a drink in the hand even if you knew nothing of what you are drinking. It is still alcohol and it shows I am all grown up now!!!!!

Anyway, the arrangement was for one set of parents to drop them off at the party and the other set to dive them back. We did the driving to the party.

I was very tired that day but I managed to keep my eyes open until she came home. Around midnight I heard the knock at the front door.When I opened the door her friend was standing in front and my daughter standing behind her with a hazy look about her. The sight initially puzzled me as I saw no reason for the friend to get off the car. Naturally, as any mother would understand, in a split second, million scenarios ran through my mind. Being ‘drunk’ never crossed my mind. surprisingly. My daughter looked ‘out of it’ and I didn’t know why. As soon as I opened the door, the friend zoomed past me,followed by the daughter. They went straight to her room and she plonked on the bed shoes and all, and the friend who carried my daughter’s belongings –handbag, mobile phone- kept them on the desk and said “love you, talk to you tomorrow”.

I followed the friend to the front door and asked, “What happened?” to which she replied, “Nothing, she is just tired” This put my mind at ease. Sort of.

Call me naive!

Next day I asked my daughter “what happened at the party yesterday?” Apparently the ‘vintage mother’ was right. The alcohol the friend bought –premix vodka- was too high in alcohol content for my daughter. She said, “I had two drinks and was half way through my third one, when I thought, this is stupid I am not drinking anymore” May be that’s when she realised funny things were happening. Things like: -she saw everyone had a twin, the floor seems to be out of alignment etc J The earth seems to be spinning and so forth…………

She said she started to drink water after that. J To flush the drenching I suppose. J

Yep, I did not miss the opportunity. No, I did not lecture her. I merely explained the difference of having a drink (or two or three) and enjoying it and being drunk and making a fool of one’s self, not to mention one’s safety.

She then started her defence with……

“I was not drunk, I had too many late nights and I am so tired”

“Look at my eyelids they are dark”

“Everyone else was drunk and slumped in the couch but I wasn’t“

“xxxx (the friend she went with) was spewing and even fell down the stairs and sent her knee through the wall and smashed it.”

I replied, “When xxxx came here she was together and even carried your personal belongings for you, you on the other hand didn’t even know who I was”.

I was more concerned in making sure she knew and accepted she was drunk and in the future knowing and understanding her alcohol.

Little bro does not miss an opportunity to torment the big sister “Akki got drunk” J

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5 comments so far

  1. Lady Divine on

    Oh my, what an experience…
    Sometimes people drink socially, like me.. But I never go off the limit..

    When kids are growing up, it’s such a brag when parents keep telling what to do and what not to do.. “no offense”.. but sometimes it really hits us when we experience it and then deep down inside, we always think “ammie was right”..:-)

    Trust me, happens all the time…:-)

  2. mia on

    I think my daughter was in shock the next day with a massive hangover.She spent the whole day in bed.

  3. sam on

    I’m glad I was drank when I was young among so many other things. Now I have time to look in to other more important things. 🙂

  4. Angel Eyes on

    Gee, that must have come as a shocker to you…. Most of the time when kids get to that age they try to walk the walk and talk the talk just to keep up with their norm of being cool. Sometimes when parents are too stern in such a situation the kids tend to rebel against them and tend to fall into bigger ruts in life by going to follow their friends. Hats off to you coz seemed to have handled the delicate situation marvellously.

  5. mia on

    Angel eyes,
    I think my daughter was more in shock (the next day and after that) than me. ‘Cos until that day, she had only had premixes with very low alcohol content and she must have thought ‘this drinking thing is honky dory’.
    In retrospect, I am glad it happened that way as she is now more aware of alcohol and it’s affects. (She was safe. Which was paramount)
    The reason I couldn’t sleep until she came home was, apart from two other girls, everyone else at the party was in their early 20’s. And there were two guys I knew nothing about.I have heard so many stories of drunken guys taking advantage of girls in such situations.


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