When Stephie was 16 years old, I was 21 and a senior at U.C. Santa Barbara. There was a dance at Stephie's high school that she did not get asked to, to console her my parents brought her to Santa Barbara to visit me.
They dropped Stephie off at my sorority house, said "have fun," and went to their hotel. Seeing as it was a Saturday night in Santa Barbara, I thought it was a great idea to take my baby sister with me to the house parties my friends and I had planned to go to.
Going to house parties in Isla Vista is an experience, all the best parties are on Del Playa street which is on the ocean. Del Playa is home to old, crumbling, dilapidated houses, where at least 10 college kids live. Add a keg, a little music, and you have yourself a house party.
Because she was so young, I made her wear a big, chunky sweater. I wore one too so she wouldn't feel left out. We were the only girls in all of Isla Vista wearing sweaters.
We had a great time going out with my friends and experiencing Isla Vista. I held Stephie's hand the entire time and if any guy tried to talk to her, I yelled "back off, she's only 16!"
The next morning, my parents picked us up to go to breakfast. Um, needless to say we were not exactly bright eyed and bushy tailed. In fact, my baby sister and I were hungover messes. But we tried to pull ourselves together and have a meal with my parents.
At the restaurant, we could barely keep our heads off the table, we sipped on water with our bloodshot eyes, and nibbled on our food. My mom asked what we did the night before. I told her that we went to house parties, and in my hungover daze said "yea and Steph took shots better than all my friends."
My father is a man of few words and rarely, rarely, gets angry or upset. He glared at me, glared at Stephie, stood up, took out his wallet, threw down a credit card, said "I'll be in the car," and left.
I looked at my mom, "what's his deal, you guys are the ones that brought her up here." My mom looked at me with disapprovement in her eyes and said, "we thought you'd take her to a movie and get pizza, not go to parties." Oh right, maybe it is a bad idea to take your baby sister to house parties in a college town when she is only 16. All I could say was, "but we wore sweaters!"