With all the the terrified reactions to the weevil post, I feel it necessary that I oblige you people with the third post today and tell you about the 27 Year Old Pact. Do NOT get used to this. I am giving myself shingles just trying to appear daily in feathers and bangles for you people.
I am in New York, in my old apartment, with my old housemate. We are here celebrating her 27th birthday, which is her official Introduction to the Land of Intoxicants birthday. I know all of you are thinking I had a repetitive typo there – it’s the 21st birthday, you incompetent freak, you’re all thinking. You just did a whole blog post on the Evils of Typos. You are a sham and an impostor and I am un-subscribing right NOW. (Don’t un-subscribe. Subscribe! Right now.)
A long, long time ago, when my housemate was just a wee sproutlet, her father sat her down and made a serious pact with her. She would neither smoke, drink, nor do drugs, until her 27th birthday, at which point she was free to do as she pleased. At the culmination of these 27 years, her father would award her a very large monetary award. She’s asked me not to note the actual denomination of this award, lest you think she entered this pact for that alone (also, lest you immediately call her asking her to buy you a round, since all kinds of ex-college folk showed up out of the woodwork upon hearing about this deal). But I will say that she could buy a very nice car with this award. Not a new one. But a nice used one. And then fill up all the seats in the new car with friends and take us to the Four Seasons.
It got me to thinking why we enter into pacts. For her, this pact was appealing largely because her father had done it himself when he was young, and he has forever believed he has a better relationship with alcohol for having missed the years where an ideal activity was getting hammered. The monetary award, while a good impetus, wasn’t so significant as the fact that she’d given her word to her father.
All parents out there note: imagine your sixteen-year-old daughter being handed a beer by a friend at a party. Now imagine which of these two responses gets a better result:
“My dad says I can’t drink.”
“I made my father a solemn oath that I would neither drink, smoke, nor do drugs until I turned twenty-seven, the culmination of which is a long several-months all-expenses paid tour of Russia for vodka, Turkey to smoke a hookah, and Scotland for their magic peat-juice, otherwise known as Scotch.”
She is one of the only women I know who reached her late twenties with a vivid memory of every single amazing, impossible thing that has ever happened to her. She is a phenomenal artist and costume and jewelry designer, has traveled to China and Europe and speaks Arabic because she lived in Cairo for well over a year. She is one of the funniest people in creation and the lack of alcohol in her system has never prevented her from dancing, singing, or giggling uncontrollably in inappropriate places. It is her twenty-seventh birthday today and her friends have all gathered to toast her entry into a new phase, with every hope that she will find a glass of wine with dinner yet one more of the infinite pleasures that bless her life.
I was going to do an analysis of what the deal was worth, and how to apply that to business and life, but I think I shall do that tomorrow. Tonight, I’m going to go raise a glass to this amazing lady, her talents and her phenomenal mile-long legs, her extraordinary necklace collection, her stories of the Dead Sea and her coyote totem, her unabashed laughter and her fine artist’s hands, who I am honored as ever to have known and loved, and we are going to sing karaoke in Manhattan. Because the Love Shack is a little old place where we can get together. Love Shack, baby.
Happy Birthday, most wondrous of Jojos. Your father is a wise man and a good one, and his daughter is a grace to this world.