Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Brandin' Iron

Someone asked me today if I had ever gone to The Brandin' Iron, and I had to laugh.  My one and only trip to to The Brandin' Iron is something I don't often think about these days, but I still crack up when it comes to mind.

Have I ever gone to The Brandin' Iron?  Yes, I have.
Have I ever been in The Brandin' Iron?  Noooooope.

My roommate sophomore year of college decided that she wanted to go to The Brandin' Iron for her 21st birthday.  She made quite the elaborate affair out of it!  All 20 or so of her guests were driven there in style--in a Hummer limo.  She told me before we left that she was planning on drinking a lot, and didn't want to be responsible for her wallet "just in case."

My purse way back then was tiny (which is hilarious because now I nearly carry a suitcase!) and there wasn't room for both her wallet and mine.  You can laugh about my precious innocence, but 18 year old me simply thought, "I'm underage, I'm not going to be buying any drinks.  I don't need my wallet tonight."

So I left it in my dorm.

An hour and a half later, when our fancy-schmancy Hummer showed up at the front of The Brandin' Iron, I realized the dilemma. 

The bouncers wouldn't let anyone in without an ID.  Uh oh.

I assured them that I wouldn't drink, I pleaded with them, I even told them to just brand me with black Xs.

(side note funny story: the only other time I had been in a bar before this time had been to see my friend Liana's band perform on stage.  The bouncers there put big, black, permanent marker Xs on my hands.  5 types of soaps and two showers later, they were still glaringly black on my hands the next day when my grandparents came to Concordia to see how their oldest grandchild's first month of college was going!)

These guys held their ground though, and nothing I said could dissuade them from the fact that I needed an ID to enter the building.  Now, I had a real problem.  I was an hour and a half from school, without a car, and I knew there was nothing that was going to keep my roommate from getting plastered that night.

Thankfully, my friend Emily Jones was also at the party, and she volunteered to keep me company.  The neighborhood around The Brandin' Iron is pretty seedy...the only good reads in the area are found in the Adult Novelty shop across the parking lot.  Thinking we were going to have to tough it for the night, Emily and I went over to a bench and sat down.  Our limo driver saw us, though, and asked us if we'd like to sit in the Hummer.  God bless him!

You'd think this would be a bad memory...getting left out of a party because I was too naive to know that you had to bring an ID to a bar with you.  But actually, it's a really good memory.  It was there in the back of that huge limo, while Emily and I were stretched out across the seats on either side, that our conversation drifted to boys...and we started talking about that cute blond guy that played sax in our band.  She said she did like him (even though he had been very attentive to me lately, I had been hanging back because I was pretty sure Emily had her eye on him) but that actually, she was really falling for this other guy named John.

I remember being filled with the happiest feeling realizing that one of my closest friends was not in love with that handsome Jesse Brubaker, and that he was free for the taking!

Yeah, I missed out on an evening of line dancing at The Brandin' Iron, and maybe that would have been a lot of fun, but when the birthday party crowd began stumbling into the limo, queasy and impaired, I was thankful that I had missed out on whatever had happened inside.

And, in the darkness of the ride home, I smiled to myself knowing that the next time I saw Jesse, I didn't have to worry about hurting my friend's feelings.


Emily and John have been dating for 5 years now, and just became engaged last month.  It's turned out pretty well for all of us, hasn't it?   :-)


  1. Nice story, awesome that it all worked out that way!!

    As a side note: we must be pretty close to one another, because I am only about 30 mins away from the Brandin' Iron, LOL!

  2. that is so cute!! You are such a great story teller, I loved reading this!


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