“Are you old enough to be drinking that?”

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s being called a liar.

One time, I was playing a friendly game of Scattegories with my family. I happen to be pretty good at this game (side effect of being a human thesaurus).

The letter was B, and the category was “something you give.” I put down “Bacon.”

Initially, I can see how you might take issue with that, but I readily explained to my (increasingly skeptical) father about Bacon of the Month clubs and gift memberships. It should have ended there.

My father could not let it go.

Bacon?! Who would give bacon? I think you’re cheating.”

And here, my dear readers, is where a line was crossed. Because I had explained my answer. I had indulged my father in a table vote as to the validity of my answer (which I won in a landslide, by the by). Now things were getting ugly.

You know my feelings about cheaters. Well, guess what. Everyone in my family knows those feelings as well. They regularly refer to me as a “stickler” or “rule Nazi” (depending on if they’re on my team or not) because of my inability to see the rules even bent a little.

And yet, here we were.

My mother quietly suggested to my father that I was a fairly informed individual and reminded him of my affinity for rules, so if I said there were clubs that sent you gifts of Bacon every month that someone could send you as a present (M’erica), then it was probably true.

Daddy dearest wouldn’t budge. He kept up his hurtful heckling throughout the rest of the game, even bringing it up again during dinner. His firstborn daughter: a liar.

Naturally, the next morning I sent him an email with links to no fewer than six Bacon of the Month clubs, all with a gift subscription option, the subject of which was, “You were saying?”

I would have signed him up for his own membership, but they were around $100 each, and I didn’t want to reward him for his behavior.

The point of my anecdote is simple: I am not a liar, and if called such, I will react accordingly.

Which brings me to Saturday night.

It was the day of the aforementioned dinner cruise, and I was quite excited. Since we don’t have that many reasons to get dolled up, my friend Heather and I decided to get our makeup done. Normally, I don’t wear that much makeup, so I guess it’s fair to say I looked a little different than I usually do. But no cosmetic difference should have warranted what happened next.

The cruise had an open bar, so the line was quite long. I waited my turn, and as soon as I got to the counter, they asked for my ID. This is not all that rare, but they had checked my ID when I’d boarded, so I was a little surprised. They told me I could go to the front of line when I got it since I had already waited (which led to getting hit on by 40-somethings when I skipped the line…but that’s another story). I gladly handed over my driver’s license, circa 2009.

I will be the first to attest that it is a terrible picture. I was going to the gym later, the camera was at my waist level, and they didn’t tell me when they were taking it. I look frumpy, fat, and angry. (Plus, my hair is blonde now.) Nevertheless, you can still tell it’s me. Or so I thought.

The first bartender looked at it. Looked at me. Looked at it.

“Do you have a second form of ID on you, like a credit card?”

No, I did not. The boat was paid for. The bar was free. I brought some cash for an emergency, but I’d left the big wallet at home.

A second bartender (I later found out they were sisters) joined the discussion.

“You don’t believe it’s me?” I asked incredulously. “I have blonde hair now. People dye their hair.”

At this point, Joey joined the hubbub.

“She’s my wife, I can vouch for her.” No dice.

Our friend Craig leaned over, “About 90% of the people on this boat attended their wedding.” He even had our thank-you note in his pocket (they had arrived that day…he’s not that obsessed with us).

The girls informed us that they had to “check with our mom” (apparently it’s a family operation), while I looked at Joey and said things to the effect of “You have got to be kidding me.”

I had so many issues. Why would I get a fake ID for a dinner cruise? Why would I get a fake ID that didn’t have the same color hair as I did? Why would I have a fake ID when I’m almost 24?

Finally, the girls’ mother arrived on the scene, looked at my license, looked at me and said, “It’s her,” as if it was so obvious and her daughters might be a little slow.

They tried to laugh it all off as, “oh, don’t worry, happens to me all the time!” But I wasn’t having it. I took my drinks, scowled out an “it’s ok,” and walked away perturbed.

It wasn’t ok. I really hate being called a liar.

So you be the judge. This was me Saturday night:


And this is my license picture (awful, I know):


Would you serve me a gin and tonic?