May I see your ID, Ma’am?

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving and the tradition for the past five years is that my family goes camping and hiking in Lake Placid, New York in the beautiful Adirondack mountains. Most years it’s just my mom and me, like this year.

We camp at night but we eat dinner in town. There are some really cool places that don’t care if you’re in your dirty hiking gear. One restaurant called “The Cowboy” even has a drink called “Painkiller,” which is perfect after a grueling day of mountain climbing. The first year that I wanted to try one I couldn’t believe they asked to see my ID. I was twenty-six, for God’s sake – five years over the drinking age in the US.

That following March I went snowboarding in Vermont. At lunch, after a few good hours on the slopes, I was burning for a cold beer. Again I was asked for my ID but I didn’t have it. I was fuming. Why would I think to bring ID with me when I’m twenty-seven? How old do I have to be before I can stop carrying my passport in my snowpants? (Maybe until I stop wearing snowpants, you might say…)

This past weekend I was asked for my ID at the restaurant after a big hike. I had my ID with me but I couldn’t help but hope that the waitress, who was probably younger than me, feels a little stupid after seeing that I’m ten years over the limit. My mom says to take it as a compliment but after all of this contemplation of my age in so much depth it feels like a slap in the face for someone to think I’m not “adult enough” to drink. I know I shouldn’t take it personally and it’s for everyone’s safety, so I guess I’ll just continue to carry my ID wherever I go, maybe into my forties.

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