I was in Jr. High when I first met alcohol. There was never alcohol in my home and probably hadn’t been since I was 5 or 6 years old. We just went to church a lot. I started going to parties at other classmates, but I wouldn’t try any alcohol because it was a sin. Jr. High is when I realized boys thought I was pretty. The “popular’ boys liked me. So, I became popular too. I was still really careful to not do any of the bad stuff other kids my age were starting to do.
I had best friends at home that lived close. Kathy and Barb. We were all within two blocks of each other. Barb lived in the middle and her parents were never home. So, of course, we spent a lot of time there. They always had their boyfriends over. I felt like I was pushing boundaries reading Judy Blume’s Wifey. They would each be in separate bedrooms and I would be reading or on the phone talking to boys in the living room. This was edgy for me.
One day, Barb discovered boxes of airplane bottles of alcohol. I thought that meant her dad flew a lot, but now I realize he probably had them because he ran a bowling alley and received samples. None the less, there were a lot. That first night, Barb and Kathy added something to their sodas. I said, “no. I don’t drink, it’s against my religion.” That was that. They drank, I didn’t. Then, a few weeks later, They’re drinking again. Not me. Just my coke. I called a guy on the phone. He was like, “are you drunk?” I said ,”No,” and my friends started laughing. The entire night they had been pouring just a bit of rum into my soda. I never knew. So, the time after that, I already had, so why not? Thus began my on again off again relationship with alcohol.