Drinking as a Family Activity

My family didn’t shun alcohol. Quite the contrary, some of us embraced it like a favored lover, caressing, savoring, worshiping…ooops, off track. But as a general practice, we did not drink. We shared a toast at weddings and usually a drink was over at Christmas only to be politely declined, but birthday parties, lesser holidays and picnics were generally dry. Drinking in my family was limited to a few (I’m in this column) with the majority shaking their heads and making clucking noises at the rest. Sobeit, I was drinking; they were not.

 That all changed a few years back and the difference in our family has been remarkable, especially us women. The women in my family have taken a particular interest in all things wine. A genuine, almost scholarly, interest. Like a child is fascinated with Elmo, we were enthralled by a bottle of wine. We orchestrated all sorts of reasons to open a bottle, finish a bottle or merely get out the wine glasses. Hey, it’s Wednesday, want a glass of wine? Why sure, if it’s Wednesday, wine is perfect! And we weren’t picky about the wine. I remember laughing so hard when we found out we weren’t even drinking wine, but rather a ‘wine product’ instead. And the day we learned that a bottle of wine (standard size – we’re not so sophisticated to know that the hell that’s called) has about three servings in it, we knew we had been limiting ourselves in our drinking abilities.

 My darling husband remarked just last summer, “In all the years I’ve known you people, you’ve never been this much fun”. My son asked, “Is that all you do? Sit on the porch and drink?” To which I answered, “Yeah, what of it?” And since we’ve been drinking, family events are so much more fun. Fourth of July? I’ll mix up a few pitchers of my Raspberry Lemonade (recipe to follow). And we are all the better for it. Sharing a bottle of wine, kicking back with some vodka and schnapps, having a beer by the pool…it brought us closer. We now have a common interest: we love to drink!

So as we anxiously await a wine tasting event upcoming in a few weeks, I applaud my family’s adoption of sharing a glass or two in communal fellowship. I raise my glass, beam with pride and toast, “To my family: May our glasses be as full as our hearts, our wine as light as our laughter and our love as rich as the Merlot wine product we sometimes drink from the bottle!”

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