Lindsey Wilson College. August 1996. A day that will live in infamy…in my mind at least. It began with a phone call from my mother & ended with 9 college students riding 2 hours home from a bar in my Ford Tempo.
This is my favorite story from the time I spent at this college and for sure a day I will never forget. I was an RA (Resident Assistant) in one of the girls’ dorms on campus and had arrived on campus a week before the other students to prepare for their arrival. We had trainings, workshops, etc. in order to prepare us to be the best RA (& role model) we could be.
It was a Wednesday night. O’Malley’s Corner in Louisville, KY had 18 & Over Night. Since it was only RAs on campus that night, we decided to take a road trip. We had three cars of people. Cristi, Tabby, Vic and Pete in car 1. Taneem, Tanya, Alec, Mark and Lisa(?) in car 2. Me, Stefanie, Lynn, Danette and Angela in car 3.
While getting ready for this infamous night out, the phone rang. It was my mom. She was quite upset about something she had found out and she was yelling at me. I won’t go into details, that’s information for another post, but she had every right to be upset. At 20, however, I didn’t want to hear it so I told her I was getting ready to go out and needed to go. She informed me that I was not to go to Louisville. I hung up and finished getting ready. She might be my mother, but I was no longer living in her house. So, off we went.
We got to O’Malley’s and we were all having a great time until about an hour later when Pete was thrown out for drinking underage. We had driven almost an hour and a half to get there, so Pete just told Cristi he’d crash in the car til we were all ready to leave.
Another half hour or so goes by when I heard my name over the intercom to come to the office for an “emergency phone call”. I knew deep down there was no emergency. I somehow knew it was my mother on the phone, but I went anyway, against my better judgment.
I get to the lobby & they hand me the phone. My mom is still yelling and screaming. This was neither the time nor the place to have this conversation. She told me I needed to leave and that my grandfather would be coming to get me. I told her it wasn’t gonna happen, we’d talk about it later & I hung up the phone. As I headed back in to the club, I was abruptly stopped at the door by two bouncers who informed me I could not go back in. I tried explaining to them that I had just come out for a phone call but they asked me to step outside. The owner of the club was also waiting outside to talk to me. This can’t be good, right?
The four large men standing around me then explained that my father had called and had informed them that I was only 16 and therefore not old enough to be in the bar. I showed them my ID and tried convincing them that it was really me and I was really 20. I even told them I had a 16 year old sister, and thought maybe they were confused by the information they had received. Then they asked if my sister and I looked alike, to which I replied “we have the same parents, so yeah I guess so”. I realized at that point they thought I actually was the 16-year-old using my 20-year-old sister’s ID to get in. I seriously had no idea how I was going to convince these people that I was really me when it hit me. My mom was on the phone, NOT my dad. In fact, at the time my parents were divorced and I hadn’t spoken to my dad in months. When I gave them this info they got quite a surprised look on their faces. When they paged me to take the phone call, it was a man on the phone. I knew then it was my mom’s best friend, Norman. They were plotting to get me kicked out because my mom was so upset with me. I told them all about the fight with my mom. I told them that I came there at least once a week and they could go in and verify my identity with my friends while I waited there. The owner just told me since it was such a confusing situation that I should just “go home for the night” and come back another time. I am sure he thought me, my mom & all my friends were psycho at this point. But, I told him about our hour and half drive and the car load of people waiting for me inside. I then asked him if he wanted to be responsible for a single, 20-year-old girl sitting alone in her car until 4 am when the bar closed. He let me back in.
As I am telling my friends about this absurd sequence of events, Cristi gets paged to the front. Seriously?!?!? She returns a short time later and is quite pissed. While Pete was passed out in her backseat someone backs into her car. Thinking Cristi’s car was empty, the other driver started to just drive away. Out pops Pete who then called the cops. When they arrived, he came to get Cristi. She was too upset to stay so she decided to leave. Tabby felt bad and left with her. Vic wasn’t ready to go. I knew I had room in my car so I told him not to worry, he could ride back with me. The rest of the night was without incident….or so we thought.
The bars in Louisville close at 4 am in the summer and we stayed til closing time. Me & Stefanie head to my car to meet Lynn, Danette, Angela & Vic for the long drive back. After all, we have to be in RA training at 8 am. When I get to my car, there are about 10 people standing around my car. I knew something wasn’t right. “Taneem’s gone” one of them says. Umm, what do you mean he’s gone? Where is he? You all can’t fit in my car. We have to be back in 4 hours. What are we going to do??
Taneem did not have a cell phone (as they weren’t all that popular back in 1996) and no one had any clue where he might be. No one had seen him or Lisa in quite a while. After about 20 minutes of just standing around staring at each other, we decided we had to leave. I drive a Ford Tempo. 9 of us needed to get back to campus. We crammed ourselves in there like sardines. Five people in the front and four people in the back. Luckily the girls were all small, petite athletes. Two of the guys were about 6’4″ and the third guy was about 5’10”, 300 pounds. The guys sat in the back with Tanya across their laps. Stefanie & I shared the driver’s seat (safe, right), Danette & Angela shared the passenger seat with Lynn in their laps. Lynn’s feet were propped up between my steering wheel and my dashboard. We stopped about halfway there for a potty break and we looked like clowns falling out of that car. It was ridiculous!! But, we finally made it back safe and sound, and all in one piece.
We made it back to campus with about 2 hours to spare for sleep before training started. When Taneem walked into the meeting, his explanation was that he was confused on what time they closed because of the time change (college was on central time and the bar was on eastern time). Apparently Lisa had also been thrown out for underage drinking. Her parents lived in Louisville, so they just went there until time to head home. Needless to say, none of us were very forgiving or very understanding.
But in the end it made for a great night and a great story. I have never had 9 people in a car since then and I do not recommend it. But there were definitely great memories made that night. I hope the other people that were in that car with me that night remember it as well as I do and I hope that memory brings a smile to their faces each and every time!