We journey to Two Rocks, a small town about 20 minutes north of Yanchep, with a set mission for the day: to eat our first ever fish n’ chips. Unfortunately, the plan is foiled when we realize upon arrival that the one fish n’ chips restaurant in Two Rocks does not open for another two hours, and this “town” does not have much else in it to help us pass the time. Not ones to give up easily, we begin to wander around aimlessly and soon stumble upon the weirdest collection of statues ever.
The random statue collection only contains a few grotesque sculptures, so after making funny faces alongside them, we find that their distraction potential has run out.
All is not lost, however, because we sight a liquor store in the distance and immediately beeline for it. Once inside, we tap into our natural college talent of inventorying and calculating alcohol necessities and quickly accumulate quite a pile of bottles at the checkout counter. The woman working the counter looks over at us and politely asks to see a form of ID, which causes the three of us to immediately assume our “offended look”. After all, we have all been over the legal age of 21 for at least a few months and believe ourselves to be quite mature looking. “What is the legal drinking age here?” we question her, a bit grouchily.
“Eighteen.” She states, quite matter-of-factly.
“What?! We don’t even look eighteen to you?!” We all sputter out similar thoughts at the same time.
She shrugs. “All you young things look young to me.”
We ponder this and nod as though we understand. After all, we definitely do not look as young as the freshmen do nowadays.
“You know, I guess it doesn’t really matter if we look old enough anymore,” Kate observes.
“Yeah, now that we are legal, all the birthdays are downhill from here,” Val mutters.
The woman at checkout stands as still as one of those creepy statues outside, afraid of the emotional maelstrom she has accidentally unleashed.
“Oh no, we’ve hit that age.” I realize in a rare moment of clarity.
“What?” they both ask. Even the liquor lady leans in, curious.
“We’re starting to get to that point where we should want to look younger now, not older,” I explain.
We all let out a collective sigh of “oh shit, I’m getting old and about to graduate college.” The lady behind the counter busies herself with scanning bar codes or something, not about to get involved in our quarter-life crises.
We stand in awkward silence for a few minutes and then turn and head back into the depths of the liquor store for more alcohol, the only solution for our mopey thoughts.
“Pick your drink and hurry up,” Kate and Valerie shout to me from the register as I stand lost in thought in a walk-in fridge at the back. A big brown bottle with a blue label calls to me so I grab it on whim and head to the front of the store.
“What’d you get?” Kate asks.
I look down at the bottle in my hand. “Foster’s. That’s Australian, right?” I look over to the Aussie lady for verification.
“Uhm, yeah, sure.” She shrugs. “To an American.”
Ringing up our purchases, she avoids asking any of us for ID again, probably afraid to reintroduce our deep-seated insecurities, and randomly offers, “I have a son. He’s 23,” as though pimping out her child will remedy the psychological torment we have endured in her store.
Of course it does. “Send him our way!” We shout out, only half-jokingly, as we exit the store and head back to our rental car.
Driving back from Two Rocks, it hits me. “Wait, y’all, that was Cameron’s liquor store!!” We all chuckle. Small world.