Inside Column: McLovin she is not

Natalie Schack
Schack Attack

by Natalie Schack, News Staff

There are moments in life we are programmed to look forward to. It is from these moments that we judge all others, upon them which we base the paths of our lives, and because of which the person we really are remains thrust in shadows, a pale and shivering facsimile of the beautiful being of wholeness which is to come emerge after them.
For college students, that moment is – for many – the day we can legally purchase alcohol.
“Glorious!” thinks the collegiate mind. “Now, the Bud Light and Blue Moon will flow in unprecedented and inexorable quantities! The proverbial ‘party’ will last late into the wee hours of the morn.” At least that’s how I imagine such inner dialogues to read.
And yes, it is true that media’s pet image of the “average” hedonistic college experience is bubbling forth with unwise decisions and perilous habits. In short, alcohol, like all the good things in life (sugar, science fiction, Blink–182, Spam) is best when consumed in moderate and responsible quantities.
I’ve been 21 for a year and will say that I’ve become accustomed to that certain amount of freedom that accompanies it. The ability to saunter, unrestricted (at least legally) into any and all establishments, the pure delight in the knowledge that you can purchase any and all of the products up for sale. No more are you a second–class citizen, confined to the a corner of society, banned from consuming this drink or polluting your lungs with that product. Nay, we are – Adults! And as such we shall sally forth, unhindered, as the flushed and vibrant (albeit intoxicated and, possibly, polluted) voices, lungs, and livers of a generation made anew by its induction into the culture of libations.
Or so it ought to go.
Now and then, there are flaws in the system. One falls through the cracks and, stripped of their entitled status, becomes an outlier of identity–less shame: Lost in the existential abyss that only those souls that have been struck by discrimination’s jaundiced truncheon can understand.
Today was one such day for me. I was rejected from purchasing wine at Fuentes Market in Mission Hill. In a neighborhood notorious for its lawlessness, I – straight laced and more often boring than wild – was shunned by the legal powers that be. And I realized – after it was so astutely pointed out to me by my roommate – that I suffer and, indeed, have suffered all my life, from a distinctive and unique form of discrimination. That being the discrimination against IDs not from the northeastern United States. Yes, I’m from Hawaii. Yes, it’s the only ID I have. Yes, Hawaii is a state. No, I’m not related to McLovin.
“It doesn’t scan.”
Alright, I can’t explain that. I suspect it has to do with the fact that the state of Hawaii operates like a poorly–funded hippie commune would; it’s a place where bureaucracies are parodies of themselves and where technologies like the Internet have yet to reach.
But I do know this: I’m quite sick of being that suspicious figure, of having to relive the stress of existing in Boston as an underage alcohol consumer. Being subjected to that wary mistrust reserved for those baby–faced schemers with their poorly–faked Midwest driver’s licenses, convenient lack of back–up credit cards, and dramatic performance that involves rifling through their bag for that one that they had “just a minute ago.”
Granted, it’s a pretty insignificant form of discrimination, one whose legitimacy gets clouded in the face of all those other forms of discrimination that are so much more important, threatening, offensive, world–rocking, and life changing. But today I declare a moment of prominence for those underdogs of the discrimination genre.
So here’s to you, Gingers! I believe you have souls. And I recognize your plight.
Here’s to you, Taylor Swift enthusiasts. I can’t condone your actions. But I refuse to judge.
Here’s to you, tuna–fish lovers. You smell, yes. But you’re still people. And that means something.
Here’s to us, Americans. We may be the reason the third world is in perpetual poverty. Or the reason Osama Bin Laden goes free. But I mean, I hear St. Peter is really forgiving…
In summation, we Hawaii state citizens are just as entitled to buying a bottle of wine as those from any of the other insignificant “states” (I mean, Delaware? Really?); those who breeze unquestioned through the liquor store system. And as I sit here, angrily consuming two entire bottles of Cabernet with an equally irate Pennsylvanian, I leave you all with this closing thought:
When the first American touched down on the Massachusetts shore, did they foresee a future where a girl couldn’t purchase alcohol with a legitimate, government–issued Hawaii state identification card?
Nay, my friends, they saw something much greater and much – much – more beautiful. They saw freedom.

– Natalie Schack can be reached at [email protected]–