Wanna know what happened the first time I drank tequila? Me too! Oh well, I’ll tell you what I can remember.
It was spring 1984, and my three underage roommates—Carol, Susan, Beth—and I were in our dorm room at Central Community College in Columbus, Nebraska. We had snuck a bottle of tequila into our room and hid it in the toilet tank because no one had ever tried that trick. Our goal was to get primed before a big spring dance in the Fine Arts Theater.
I was on point. I had nailed the polo-under-oxford-shirt look and reached the pinnacle point in my permed hair’s life cycle. I was curled and feathered and ready to go. It was my time to shine.
Tequila shots sounded like a great idea, although I had never heard of such a thing. We watched as Susan cut two limes into wedges, then poured tequila into a shot glass. “Watch and learn,” she said. Then she grabbed a salt shaker, licked her left hand above the thumb, sprinkled salt above her thumb, licked the salt, swallowed the glass of tequila, made a squinchy face, then lunged for a lime wedge and stuck it in her mouth.
I was mesmerized by the complex theatrics. “Di-Di is next!” she proclaimed as she poured another glass.
Instead of requesting additional training, I pushed the throttle full-forward. Much to my roommates’ dismay, I grabbed the shot glass, downed the tequila, picked up a lime wedge and rubbed it above my thumb, then realized I had made a colossal mistake as cheap tequila burned a hole down my throat and into my stomach.
My first tequila shot had gone off-track. However, two more practice rounds and we successfully polished off the entire bottle.
So, what happened after the first time I did tequila shots? We loudly made our way across campus, then whooped it up as we danced to tunes from the Footloose soundtrack and Van Halen’s 1984 album. Then my roomies from 44B talked me into competing in a hula contest before the dance ended. Which I won, thanks to their excessive cheering.
My prize? A pineapple.
It was a sluggish, less-chirpy slog back to the dorm that night, topped only by the appropriate misery that greeted the residents of Room 44 the next morning.