"Be cool." That's all I requested of my brother and his two friends after we got into the bar. Joe and his buddies were 17 and I was 20. We all had fake IDs, but Joe & Company didn't look old enough to drive.
I was living in a condo at the Continental Country Club in Flagstaff, Arizona, pretending to attend college that year. Joe and his friends came up from Phoenix to ski for a weekend and partay with the big kids. Classes hadn't resumed after first semester break, so the town was relatively dead. Getting three young-looking boys into a bar with obvious fake IDs, and using my own ridiculous alias of Lupita Gonzalez wasn't difficult when I knew the bouncer at Senior Frog's.
My boyfriend at the time was a nice SAE who lived in a neighboring condo with about 457 other guys. He was amused by my brother and his friends, also knew the bouncer and thought I might need some help. SAE-Boy and a couple of his roommates joined us that night.
I wore my cutest Belinda Carlilse "Mad About You" outfit [black leggings and black hip-covering turtleneck] with a 3/4-length red wool coat. Joe and his friends looked very preppy. Sweaters tied around their necks, spiffy loafers, coiffed hair and they smelled niiice.
The bar wasn't crowded but there were enough people to make it interesting. I mingled with strangers, found a few familiar faces and lost track of SAE-Boy, my brother and his friends. I tossed my coat over a seat at the bar next to an old guy [he was probably 30]. The old guy told me he'd keep an eye on it for me.
Throughout the evening I noticed the bartender making big fruity drinks. Very unusual in a small, college town bar in the middle of winter. I also noticed the bartender and the bouncer exchanging glances, shaking their heads and appearing generally irritated.
SAE-Boy approached me and said, "That old guy threw-up on your coat."
The old guy had leaned over [aiming for the floor], emptied his stomach, and some of his yack had gotten on my red coat. Time to go home.
I went to find my brother. Joe and his friends were sitting in a corner booth, at a table that was a little too high for them, emphasizing their youth/still small-ish stature, sipping giant blue drinks decorated with umbrellas, swords, fruit and bendy straws. They were laughing and flirting with a couple of obliging college girls.
Mortified, I walked over to Joe and said, "What are you doing? I told you to be cool."
He gave me a sincerely confused look.
"What are you drinking?"
I took a sip. "We need to go. Some old guy threw-up on my coat and you guys should be drinking beer. Nobody orders Blue Hawaiians."
Joe and his friends conspicuously and happily finished their drinks, sucking all the alcohol out of the pineapple pieces. They grabbed the paper cocktail parasols along with their coats, and we left Senior Frog's.
My brother turns 41 today. Our birthdays are less than two weeks apart so as adults, before life separated us by a state or two, we usually celebrated together at Mom and Dad's house. I have at least a dozen pictures of the two of us holding our shared cake while Mom takes our picture.
Happy Birthday, Joe. When I see you this July, let's go out for Blue Hawaiians.