Someone recently gave me one of the “Twisted Peppermint” holiday-themed travel-sized anti-bacterial gels. That was a lot of hyphens. I believe rubbing your hands together is what helps dissipate the alcohol and brings out whatever scent you actually paid for. Every time I pop up the cap and squeeze some into my palm, I have to take a deep whiff before rubbing it in. As I breathed in the potent alcohol and peppermint combination, I was magically whisked back to high school—when I would sneak out of my house and go drink peppermint schnapps with boys who were too old to be hanging out with a 16 year old girl.
A friend of mine and I would either sneak out or tell our parents that we were spending the night at the other’s house, and then we would go to her boyfriend’s house, where a motley crew would gather and peppermint schnapps and clove cigarettes were consumed. The rightful owner of the house was the father of my friend’s boyfriend. He was an alcoholic that would often be passed out somewhere in the house, or, better yet, he was awake and ready to entertain us. He would sing Garth Brooks songs and speak random nonsense. In hindsight, it is kind of messed up that we were hanging out with this guy, but we were teenagers at the time and he made us laugh.
Despite deceiving our parents regarding our whereabouts [and aside from the occasional swig of booze or smoking a cigarette], it was a relatively innocent time—we would play video games, watch movies, and mostly just hang out. We felt like we were bad just because we had snuck out of our houses or lied about where we were spending the night. And in the morning, we would go home.
I was “sleeping in” one Sunday morning, which was really just me sleeping from being up/out the entire previous night, and my dad was mowing the front lawn. He seemed confused when he came back in the house, wondering how my window screen had fallen off of my window—I must’ve not done a stellar job of putting it back on when I got home a few hours earlier. So I played dumb and acted equally confused, “Yeah, how did that happen? SO weird.”
Years later, when I no longer lived at home [and I was certain that the statute of parental limitations had expired], I confessed my dishonesty and semi-rebellious teenaged adventures. Looking back, we really were fortunate that no one took advantage of the situation or misbehaved, and even the alcoholic father was mild mannered and typically in jovial spirits. Also, I don’t think I will ever have the desire to drink peppermint schnapps again. Blech.