Some Things Are Less Fun When You’re Old

One teenagers account of Bottle Hill Day

Alexa Leo, Staff Writer

Having lived in Madison my whole life, I am no stranger to Bottle Hill Day. Each year has been different: when I was young, I walked through town with my parents and sister, spending hours cruising around the booths- we were even allowed to bring home a souvenir from the day. As I made my way up to middle school, Bottle Hill Day became a new ball game. I was finally permitted freedom with my friends – no parents in sight. Of course I still had to keep my parents updated via text message as to my whereabouts every hour, and had to be home before the night-life of Madison began.
My rose colored glasses are slowly fading. I am older now, and buying a stuffed animal or a bottle of colorful sand is not as exciting as it was in the neon days of childhood, nor do I have the luxury of the “parent fund.” Aside from my grief over a fading childhood (or, as my dad would say, “how downhill life has gone since growing older”), let’s discuss the events of my Bottle Hill Day this year.
My friend Caroline, her sister Emily, and her sister’s boyfriend Matt, were my entourage for the day. Our first order of business was trying to find a parking spot. This led to many disagreements, a lot of finger pointing, some yelling, and resulted in us parking a good ten minutes from downtown.
My clan was already in a bad mood, and the rest of the day did not get much better. As we proceeded to walk and sulk, the unavoidable began to happen: seeing every adult I had ever known since birth. Neighbors, teachers, people who know you from your parents but you can barely remember their name. Just the price you have to pay for attending a town-wide event, and just the experience that I can guarantee we all go through on this very special day. Once we officially entered the chaos, we took a lap around downtown looking for one thing and one thing only… Kettle Corn. Personally, I am not a huge fan of Kettle Corn. But, Caroline pledged to leave the event if she did not get her hands on a bag. I waited in the long and sweaty line only for Caroline to refuse to share her large bag, guarding the thing like it was her child.
Our group of four soon became extremely irritable. Caroline started complaining that she was ill from the popcorn and needed air conditioning immediately. The rest of us were hot, claustrophobic, and our social batteries had run low from small talk. And because of the lovely Caroline who refused to share her popcorn, the remaining number of us were starving. This led to the brilliant idea of going to Five Guys. So, after spending maybe thirty minutes at Bottle Hill Day, we left for my favorite burger and fries located in this beautiful town.
It was not an exciting way to end my day, nor was it an ideal way to spend our town’s holiday, considering I was there for less than an hour. My reality was devouring a double patty cheeseburger with lettuce and onions, and then politely asking my friend’s sister to take me home because I thought I was going to throw up.