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I should confess that I was not always the greatest roommate. My rent was on time and I did the majority of cleaning in the house, but I occasionally stole Bianca’s tampons and allowed people to have sex in her bed while she was gone. When I was really mad at her, I drank her vodka.

Once Janet and Tony disappeared, the friend and I were alone. We had yet to exchange a word. As he fumbled through his cell phone for cab numbers, I took a good look at him for the first time. Hot damn. He was attractive. Very attractive.

He had brown hair that wasn’t sticky with gel, but I could tell he had styled it by the way it swished to the front and flipped into a little wave. His face was long and rectangular, with a strong, masculine jawline. He had olive-tan skin — the shade of a white boy who spends his days lounging on the beach — and chocolate-brown eyes below neatly groomed brows. His long legs hung off the side of my round little futon, and I remembered how tall he had seemed (at least 6´2˝, I thought), and he had a lean, lanky build. He wore a white button-down shirt that hung over a pair of blue jeans. This guy looked clean and well kempt, unlike the scraggly surfers that usually hung around P.B.

I have a theory about men. When I was at the height of my promiscuity, it seemed as if they could smell my availability, as if it were part of the evolutionary process of the male knowing which females are ready to mate. If that was the case, Tall Guy’s reproductive instincts must have been in full swing. If words were exchanged between us, they were few. He put his phone in his pocket and followed me into my bedroom.

The next morning, I woke up to the sunlight shining through the window.

“Dammit!” I gasped. I jerked upright in my bed, knocking Tall Guy’s arm off my waist.

“What time is it?” I asked, but I didn’t really expect to get an answer from the unconscious man beside me.

I jumped up and ran into the living room in search of a clock. It was 9:00 a.m., and Bianca would be home any minute.

“Janet, you guys have to get the hell up!” I said. I slapped open Bianca’s door to find Janet and Tony naked.

“Get up! Get up! Get up!” I ordered like a boot-camp drill instructor.

We shoved the guys out the door mere minutes before Bianca arrived. I hardly looked at my birthday boyfriend as I sent him out into the morning without a goodbye.


As James would have put it, I “raged” into 21-dom with full force.

Despite the friends who had disappeared, my birthday weekend was everything I dreamed it would be. Instead of embracing our hangovers, Janet and I treated our aching, dehydrated bodies with more booze.

Why the hell shouldn’t I be drunk by noon today? I thought. It’s my birthday.

When I opened my door, I realized that the rest of P.B. agreed.

P.B. was always a bit hectic, but on holiday weekends, it transformed into what looked like MTV Spring Break. It was a shocking sight the first time. What was once sand had been replaced by a mass of flesh. The aroma of sea salt was overpowered by the stench of stale beer baking in the sunshine. Early birds arriving before sunrise had already set up tents and coolers packed with alcohol. Some were equipped with food and beer funnels, which would later be shoved down the throats of young ladies in bikinis. Every guy wore his own unique pair of board shorts patterned with Hawaiian flowers or Rip Curl lettering, while every girl wore a bikini, sometimes topped with a short, denim cutoff skirt or a little tube dress.

That night Grizzly (not his real name) escorted Janet and I to the bars on the Garnet strip. Grizzly was my age but looked much older because of his fuzzy, reddish-blond beard and husky, six-foot-five build. He treated his female friends like cubs, protecting us from aggressive assholes and never making a move on us, even when we were half conscious. A native of upstate New York, he was a small-town guy with a big-brotherly attitude.

“Screw all those bitches that didn’t want to come out tonight,” he said to me. “It’s your 21st birthday. I’ve got your back, girl. Let’s get you a redheaded slut” (a shot made with Jägermeister and peach-flavored schnapps).

Grizzly bought me one redheaded slut after the other.

“Have you ever had an ‘adios’?” Grizzly asked. We stood at the edge of a musty, dark bar packed with drunk guys in baggy T-shirts and backward caps.

“Nope,” I said. “What’s in it?”

Grizzly laughed. “A lot of stuff, darlin’. But once you drink it, it’s adios!”

After a long day of alcohol consumption, I was pretty far gone by the time I got the adios in my hands. A tall glass was filled with what looked like Windex with a cherry on top, but it tasted sweet, and I slurped it down. Two cocktails later, I understood the name. I remember nothing after that. Apparently, I lost my ability to walk. Thank God for Grizzly’s strong, fuzzy arms.

The next morning, I downed my second liquid breakfast. I was still in awe of my new ability to walk into the liquor store and buy whatever I wanted. It was Memorial Day, and I entered a mass of greasy, half-nude bodies to meet some girlfriends for another day of drinking. I weaseled my way through the madness. Young adults, many under age, I’m sure, were funneling beer and doing body-shots off each other. Men played grab-ass with skin-baring girls who batted their bloodshot eyes. Couples groped each other on beach towels and in the sand. I saw every bikini pattern imaginable, from bright yellows to ruffles to zebra prints, in every cut and shape.

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Comments

Gekko4321 April 17, 2013 @ 10:20 a.m.

Great article! Takes me back to my own PB days. Good luck with finding yourself.

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themaggieyoung April 17, 2013 @ 2:18 p.m.

Hey everyone! Thank you for reading! This is Maggie (the writer of this article). I'm also an author/ blogger. Feel free to check out my website www.themaggieyoung.com if you want to read more stuff or add me on facebook at www.facebook.com/themaggieyoung. :)

None

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john5 April 17, 2013 @ 2:52 p.m.

This was very, very interesting. I'm from the East Coast, so I understand the flakiness inherent in SoCal natives all too well.

However, what I found most interesting is something that could be very controversial. Near the end, you describe what can only be called female-on-male rape.

"As I maneuvered myself on top of him, I watched him slip in and out of consciousness. I continued anyway." This is the exact situation in which many men get arrested, when the roles are reversed.

I understand this was a tell-all, but you seriously just admitted to committing a rape. Despite that, I'm not here to criticize you (again, honoring the spirit of the story as a tell-all).

This was the most fascinating part of the story to me. I've never read about that kind of situation before, although I've assumed that theoretically it could happen with a woman as the aggressor. I look forward to your next story, in all sincerity.

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jnojr April 19, 2013 @ 9:33 a.m.

Gotta agree... a male who "maneuvered himself on top of" a semi-conscious woman and proceeded to get it on would be pilloried. Nobody would rest until he was hunted down, locked in a cage for years, and branded with his scarlet A.

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themaggieyoung April 17, 2013 @ 5:08 p.m.

Thanks so much John! Yes, this was years ago and it was a very bizarre time in my life (This took place years ago). This story was definitely meant to document a disturbing experience. Thank you for reading and there will be more in the future.

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Jay Allen Sanford April 17, 2013 @ 6:51 p.m.

Nice to see another first-person autobiographical cover feature from Maggie Young - been quite awhile since your (excellent) "Phony Navy Wife" cover story!

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stingray April 18, 2013 @ 9:48 p.m.

Writing is not bad, still with the limited outlets for writers in this town it's a shame to give voice to someone who has nothing remotely profound to say.

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jnojr April 19, 2013 @ 9:34 a.m.

I really enjoyed this tale, too. Thanks for writing.

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TBD April 19, 2013 @ 10:32 a.m.

The problem with this article is that it negatively stereotypes women who frequent the bars in Pacific Beach as "skanks," drug users, drunk drivers, and people who are incapable of having "real friendship." I'm a female, white collar professional (think: accountant, dentist, whatever) who goes out in Pacific Beach regularly because (1) it's walkable, (2) it's affordable due to several great happy hours, and (3) there are plenty of taxis to hail at the end of the night. I've met some interesting, successful, intelligent friends at bars in Pacific Beach (yes, they were women!). Perhaps it's just that the author couldn't see through the tunnel vision of her stereotypes, and her obsession with coolness, to notice that the crowd and the neighborhood can't be so easily pigeonholed.

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kelowry78 April 23, 2013 @ 10:37 a.m.

I am also a white collar professional who has resided in Pacific Beach for over 8 years. While I do admit that many of the senarios described do exist, they are not the norm and are easy to avoid. Pacific Beach is a wonderful place to live and stories like this one only perpetuate the negative stereotypes of this community.

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maria52 April 19, 2013 @ 4:21 p.m.

What I don't comprehend is the writer's lack of insight into how she became so stupefyingly shallow. I have no patience for women that are hung up on their looks, then blame society for making them that way. Perhaps if she admitted to being caught up in this dangerously empty lifestyle only because she was an alcoholic and it kinda went with the territory. . .or that as a child, she was told relentlessly she was worthless. . .that would explain embracing this vacuous lifestyle.

There are plenty of places you can go where people won't judge you by your looks and you can make connections that are meaningful and substantive. This writer is not dumb. . why didn't she pick better places to hang out? And has she had any kind of epiphany about the utter lack of importance being hot is in the big picture of life?

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ImJustABill April 20, 2013 @ 8:57 a.m.

I think going through a "wild youth" stage is OK and can be fun (although I can't say I would condone slurping vodka while driving).

What surprises me in PB is that there are people in their 30's and 40's still living that kind of lifestyle - I don't think that can last forever.

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LWeiss April 20, 2013 @ 7:03 p.m.

I read the article and thought it was great and well written, I was hooked and wanted to know what happened. I also wanted to give an opinion about Pacific Beach and your constant reference to Southern Californians and their supposed flakiness and superficiality.

I was born and raised in San Diego, though I grew up in a humble, small beach town. I HATED Pacific Beach and hung out there very few times, and I will tell you why- it did not feel like San Diego. I realized more and more that it was actually a place full of Americans from other states running away from and wanting to find themselves in a party beach environment that they themselves have made larger. This story is emblematic of what I am talking about- you arrived with insecurities and like thousands of others, drank away your problems and issues, acting out to find yourself. The few times I saw girls/men acting like you, I felt embarrassed for you and it also made me never want to return to PB, and I love the beach! You immersed yourself in a superficial microcosm with others just like you, and immediately pegged it as Southern California lifestyle.

PB does not represent San Diegans, nor Californians, nor the San Diego lifestyle. Some may agree or disagree, but that is my opinion.

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themaggieyoung April 21, 2013 @ 4:53 a.m.

Coming from the writer, to answer a lot of questions and comments, this story took place when I was 21. It's actually based on a piece of a book that I wrote with a much larger/deeper story. But in a nutshell, I was 21 when this took place. I was a baby. Remember how important being pretty and cool was back then? By no means am I condoning that mind frame. I'm just bringing attention to its reality. Thanks for reading, everyone! :)

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maria52 April 21, 2013 @ 1:37 p.m.

Thanx for explaining...i also agree with some of the other comments: your writing shoes a lot of promise...like your use of analogies. other than your lack of insight into physical appearance, your other insights are really quite excellent..

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cyclette April 22, 2013 @ 3:03 p.m.

Maggie, I think you need to be more careful about your historical comparisons: "I felt that this must've been what it was like to be black after the Civil Rights Movement." You have no idea what it was like or what it is like to be of color or assume what it feels like. I think rather than use a comparison like this, you might want to examine your white privilege and perhaps use a narrative that better describes yourself in the context of your own life as a young, white woman. I think the comment is a poor choice and rather insulting in conjunction with your story. I understand the hyperbole and your frame of reference, but it is worth investigating alternatives and reading some Richard Wright, Dorothy Cotton, and bell hooks on white privilege.

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beenthere53 April 25, 2013 @ 12:42 p.m.

Great read. Those comments about you "raping" that Navy Seal are ridiculous. They are not looking at the context of the evening. Everyone knows that P.B. is the place for hook-ups. You can get me drunk and take advantage of me anytime! u is fine!

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