This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 14 °C Monday 13 July, 2020

Let's talk about the time... I dressed as a 40-year-old in order to get served booze at 15

‘I looked less like a teen looking to get pissed, and more like a hassled divorcee.’

I WAS FIRST served alcohol shortly after my 15th birthday.

shutterstock_118417780 Source: Shutterstock/Amy Johansson

My friends and I had realised we were partial to some of Poland’s finest potato-based exports months previously, and waiting on other people to get their hands on it for us was no longer working.

An accomodating older sibling was your best bet, but all you needed was a swift change in mood or ‘I can’t be arsed’ text, and you were back to square one; gripping half -empty Coke bottles with nothing Polish to add to it.

It was after yet another failed booze-run that we realised we were going to have to up our game, and start looking inwards.

This would have been all well and good except for the fact my friends’ inward gaze landed on the only 6-foot-tall 15-year-old among them; me.

It goes to show the dire straits we were in when an elongated Meg from Family Guy was our only answer to a good time, but it was 2003 and we had yet to get broadband.


It took a week of pep talks, days of flurried note-passing in school and an afternoon of practice before I decided I was up to the challenge of procuring two litres of the best vodka one could buy with 10 crumpled €5 notes on a Friday afternoon, shortly after the schools let out.

Not suspicious at all.

Outside the supermarket – which was the next town over for obvious reasons-, the nerves kicked in again, and I almost buckled under the pressure of my friends’ need to drink themselves into a stupour.

Then I reminded myself that they weren’t alone in that need, and I quickly rallied.

You know that scene in The Inbetweeners when Will attempts to get served from a local wine shop while dressed like someone from another time period?

will booze Source: YouTube

Well, my get-up was arguably worse.

I was under the impression that all I needed to get my hands on the hooch was to don a pair of camel-coloured, suede, fringed platform boots (work with me here), dark denim jeans, a camel-coloured cowl neck sweater (yeah, that’s right) and my good Christmas coat.

Oh, let’s not forget the need to straighten my bobbed hair within an inch of its life, polish my glass to a military shine and carry a handbag no self-respecting teenage girl would be seen dead with.

I looked less like a teen looking to get pissed, and more like a hassled divorceé demanding to speak to a manager.

Honestly, I resembled a 40-year-old; I had nothing to worry about.

And yet, walking through the automatic doors and taking a left into the separate offy, I thought I was going to drop dead then and there.

I had visions of my parents having to identify me in the morgue, and saying ‘We mean, we know they’re her boots, but she looks about 50.”

Cue hushed conversations and puzzled looks through the morgue window before the final nod was given.

“Sure yeah, go with it, it’s probably her.”

“Christ Almighty, 3rd year took its toll on the child,” my father would mumble.

On what felt like Bambi legs, I attempted to execute the plan.

shutterstock_387979087 Source: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia

Browse the aisles, and familiarise myself with the spirits behind the counter from afar, before approaching with all the ease of a someone who regularly buys litres of vodka in their best Christmas coat.

With my friend waiting outside and my heart hammering in my throat, I lurched towards the counter, palms sweating, my short request going round and round in my head.

The college student serving me obviously mistook me for a mate of his mam’s or a member of his dad’s Bridge team because that vodka was in my hands before I had a chance to deliver my line about the condition of my fivers.

Nowadays I see how pitiful (and worrying) it was that the 20-year-old lad serving me was fairly certain I was at least twice his age, but at the time I was only jaysusin’ delighted with myself.

And the worst part? The 40-year-old disguise wasn’t deliberate.

DailyEdge is on Instagram!

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel