The Unjust Society of Dining but not Wining

22 Aug

Hi.  I’m Shaina.  I am a food and beverage fanatic, and I’m angry.  I don’t understand why, in the USA, home of the free, I cannot enjoy a drink with dinner at the age of eighteen–the age of adulthood.  When I go out to a restaurant and think to myself, gee–this wine sounds great, and it would really go with my dinner or that cocktail sounds delicious; I could really go for something with gin in it, I DON’T WANT THE MAN TAKING MY ORDER TO SAY NO.  I ask myself this question: what makes a twenty-one year old so much more capable of handling alcohol than an eighteen year old? And honestly, I can’t come up with an answer.

In the past couple of years, I have been refused drinks at a few different restaurants, and while I understand the servers’ obligation to do so, the manner in which they go about denying underage clients, frankly, is bullshit.  At two restaurants in New York, waiters offered the beverage menu and suggested certain drinks before soliciting my ID.  Smooth.  Even better, during a meal at a Princeton restaurant, I decided to play it safe and stick to water.  The waiter asked me twice if I was sure I didn’t want to order anything else to drink.  Twice!  The first time could have been an “are you sure you don’t want a soda,” but the second was surely an “order whatever and I WON’T CARD YOU.”  Long story short, I said, “fine I’ll try that white wine you were suggesting earlier,” and then the douchebag brought me the menu to make sure he had the right one BEFORE ASKING FOR MY ID.  Smooth.

Anyway, my greatest hope is that one day the law will change back to allowing drinking at eighteen; there isn’t much of a reason to keep it at twenty-one.  However, seeing how eighteen is still a high school age, nineteen could be, theoretically, a reasonable drinking age.  That way, college students would be able to drink at their own discretion (which would maybe even decrease the insane excess involved in some dangerous college drinking).  Let’s be honest: if drinking was made legal, it would not be so widely celebrated as a covert activity; it would no longer be covert.

In the meantime, I ask that servers be a little more delicate in the matter of taking drink orders.  If you are planning on carding a client who appears to be a minor, don’t dick around, OK?  Card those people ASAP so they aren’t expecting you to be cool and then have this rude awakening when you ask for their ID.

Dear United States of America,

I dislike your drinking laws, and, in turn, I dislike you.  If you were a little more relaxed and didn’t hyperventilate over three years of non-drinking in your citizens lives, you would be cooler.  Furthermore, you would probably reduce drinking-related deaths, since people wouldn’t be so tempted to binge behind closed doors.  And finally, people like me would not be wishing they could live abroad and enjoy three extra years of a glass of wine with dinner.  Thanks.

Much agitated,

Shaina

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