So tonight after work I stopped in one of my favorite dive bars in Manhattan, Grass Roots on St. Mark's Place. I have been there countless times before and at one point was enough of a regular that the bartender John would include me in his private jokes that inevitably revolved around the foolishness of other patrons.
So tonight I walked in and the bartender, who has waited on me before, carded me.
I realize this blog is mainly read by those who know me; either my relatives or friends. But for those who have never met me, who landed here by either by happenstance or some strange internet algorithm, let me just point out this one odd fact about being asked for identification to prove that I am old enough to drink legally:
I was born in 1965. I'm forty-three years old, for Christ's sake.
I realize I look younger than my years, but not that young. If I had impregnated someone on my 21st birthday, my child would now be old enough to drink legally.*
Yes, I know I should feel complimented. But tonight I was more worried about the fact I couldn't find my driver's license, given the fact that I have a new wallet and live in New York, which means the license is less important to me than my library card or MoMA membership card.
*Sadly, there was little chance of me impregnating anyone on my 21st birthday. I turned 21 the summer I was living in Ocean City, Maryland, and try as they might, my friends were unable to make my birthday particularly memorable. They had made me a cake but wanted to wait until our friend Amy got home from work before celebrating. Unfortunately, on this evening (June 19, 1986) Amy was late getting home from the restaurant where she waitressed because a family had come in 20 minutes before they closed and no-one else would wait on them. Not because they were late, mind you, but because they were black. After Amy finally arrived, we had the cake and then headed to a bar that had a JRR Tolkien-theme, complete with Hobbits, broadswords and faux old trees. I didn't drive at the time, so I couldn't offer an ID to get free drinks from the bartender and it was early enough in the summer that all my friends were too broke to buy me a drink.