My initial plan was to wake up at 7 a.m. and drive down to City Limits Liquor, where I would go through the drive-thru and buy myself some city sales-tax-free Patron while listening to gangster rap.
Later that day, I would get on a bus surrounded by 70-year-olds and drive to Blackhawk, where I would ring in my big day on the slot machines, something I figured was a far awesome-r addiction than alcoholism. I would also partake in some off-track betting and attempt to count cards while smoking a Cuban cigar.
Finally, when I victoriously returned from the casinos with my new elderly friends, I would go to a nice hotel bar and, clad in a red dress, mysteriously drink scotch with a furtive look in my eyes until being whisked away by a John Hamm look-a-like, accompanied by a Frank Sinatra-esque hotel bar singer.
That was my dream, and it had been my dream for how I would ring in my 21st birthday since I was three years old.
Alas, as I found out this weekend when I finally hit the milestone, God had other plans.
I awoke to a Facebook message from my friendâ€™s mom, thanking me for the 1 a.m. phone call, saying she hopes I enjoyed the drinks and got home safely.
I had a bump on my head and a sprained ankle, battle scars from my drunken attempts to dance to â€œFolsom Prison Blues.â€
I was tagged in five Facebook posts quoting me saying things like, â€œHow dare you make a mockery of the Allison Sylte,â€ â€œPool is a game of geometry, itâ€™s all about the angles,â€œ and â€œI donâ€™t have Tylenol or Ibuprofen, but I have Ramen noodles.â€
I later learned I announced to the whole bar that I was wearing a real bra, and I told the hostess at the Sundance that I would be back for all of her future shifts, since we were now best friends with a deep spiritual connection.
As I was leaving, the very cute, and very concerned, bartender took my friends aside and told them to take care of me.
It may have ended badly, but it started innocently enough: at Red Robin, the very place where I have rung in my birthdays since I was 14. Surrounded by the friends who would later betray me, I enjoyed a wrap while discussing how I intended to have only a couple beers later that night, and then run a 5K in the morning.
Those two beers turned into a shot of whiskey, a concoction called an â€œAdios Motherf*****â€ a mix of 10 shots of hard liquor and food coloring, a cherry bomb, a dirty girl scout and a gin and tonic (which, despite what Twitter celebrity CrankyKaplan told me, did not taste like a Christmas tree.)
I began drinking at midnight, and my embarrassed friends whisked me out of the bar at 12:45.
But this was not before I managed to drunkdial everyone I know, proclaiming that, â€œI just drank an adios motherf****** and let me tell you, this motherf*****â€ has just adios-ed,â€ a statement my friends said I repeated a million times, thinking it was the funniest thing the world has heard since Dave Chapelle proclaimed, â€œIâ€™m Rick James, bitch!â€
In the morning, while nursing a Gatorade and eating some almonds (my go-to hangover cure), my friends cued me in on what I had missed the night before, telling me that watching me stumble around a cowboy bar was literally the funniest thing they had seen in their lives, and they hoped this was a prelude to other, equally entertaining, legally-drunken escapades.
As I write this, almost sober, Iâ€™ve thought about other things, beyond the fact that I really need to delete my friendâ€™s momâ€™s number.
Itâ€™s true that being 21 is cool, that I can now have experiences and go places that I havenâ€™t been able to before.
But by the same token, this officially means no more birthday parties at Casa Bonita, no more anticipating some sort of milestone, waiting to be able to do things I couldnâ€™t do, like drive or see an R-rated movie.
All I have to do now is get older and balance my newfound drinking powers with a newfound responsibility and to not look at my life as a series of age-related milestones, but those far deeper, far scarier adult ones.
As I look at the liquor-stained clothing strewn across my floor, pondering a trip to the DMV to get a grown-up driverâ€™s license, Iâ€™ve realized something: man, as far as birthdayâ€™s go, itâ€™s going to go downhill from here.
But hey, going downhill is always more fun than slogging uphill.
Content Managing Editor Allison Sylte is a junior journalism major. Her column runs Tuesdays in the Collegian. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.