Drinking to That …

I don’t drink. Never have, probably never will. Hey, I grew up Baptist!  And besides, it’s in the Ten Commandments, right?  (I kid, I kid …)

Anyway, drinking is just one of those things I was raised not to do.  I remember my mom telling me, as a child, Someday some kids may try to make you drink (or smoke, or take drugs, or … you get the idea). But you just don’t do it!

I learned my lesson well, and remember feeling slightly fearful as a teen, wondering with each peer I met whether “this would be the one” who would attempt to lead me astray.

It never happened – not because nobody my age was drinking/smoking/doing drugs.  I did know of a few kids who did (most of whom were in my Sunday School class, but that’s another story), but they weren’t friends of mine.

Not to say I wasn’t curious.  I remember babysitting as a teen and spying a big ole bottle of wine in the Olszewskis’ fridge.  I wondered how many brain cells I’d lose if I took just the tiniest sip.  (I also wondered how I would explain myself if the parents happened to come back home while I had the wine bottle open, but thankfully that didn’t happen).

I did try a taste, and was grateful that it tasted absolutely awful.

Yes, I remained blissfully ignorant of the ways of the drinking world, although it wasn’t always easy.

During “senior night” (a wild partying night at a theme park which for some inexplicable reason I really wanted to attend), I asked my friend, “What’s that awful smell?”

“It’s BEER!” she whispered, obviously embarassed.  Hey – I didn’t know!

During my waning college days, I had a second interview with a company which involved a wine and cheese reception with company bigwigs.  The horror!  I remember walking around with my full wine glass, wondering how I would ever get rid of it.  I even remember one head honcho coming up and grinning as he accused me of having a second glass!

I’ve been, somewhat against my will, at Happy Hour with a bunch of 20-somethings and I’ve been at Italian bars with a bunch of 20-something Italians (side note: the Italians spend the evening with one drink each, disussing politics and literature congenially.  The Americans generally drank as much as they could and filled the time with conversation about how “hot” members of the opposite gender were and with crude jokes.  To paraphrase my buddy Michelle Obama, I was not proud of my country). To observe a bunch of other people drinking, while not partaking oneself, is interesting if nothing else.

So it was quite a cultural leap for me when I married my husband, who had grown up considering it no big deal to drink beer or wine.  Even now, I know better than to insinuate that it’s wrong to drink, because I don’t want to risk his head exploding.

We know all the Bible verses:  the one about “do not be drunk with wine” (but that’s drunk, not drinking), the one about Paul telling Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach (see?!). Oh well, I can say that our kids will have a view of both sides of the issue, and we’ll see where they end up.

What started this whole reflection?  I found this video online, and it’s hilarious (although you probably have to be familiar with Steven Curtis Chapman’s I Will Be Here, and preferably have grown up in a non-drinking church to really get the humor).

4 thoughts on “Drinking to That …

  1. You are so funny! In the Greek church we always received ‘real’ wine with communion…not to mention the Ouzo at family gatherings. The difference is really being drunk and drinking. Even Jesus was at a wedding where they served wine…quelle horreur! 🙂
    I like to hear everyone’s takes on things like this. I’ve drank most of my life but learned to respect it, not be consumed by it. Now it’s not a big deal to me at all.
    Great piece!

  2. Hi, and thanks for coming to my blog. Yes, it is interesting how Sarah Palin made glasses fashionable!

    I will try to watch the vido. I grew up Catholic and they were not against drinking. Then I became a fundamentalist, and it was taboo. We didn’t care, because we were young and our friends’ drinking bashes scared us. It was a relief to give it up. My father was an abusive drunkard, so I don’t see much good in it. I don’t however, think that drinking a glass of wine is a sin.

    My husband is a pastor, and for pastors, it is forbidden, I think, in the bible: A deacon “not given to much wine”, and elder “not given to wine.” So, a deacon not much wine, and elder not at all. Timothy was obviously in the habit of totally abstaining, since he was an elder/bishop, which is why Paul told him it was ok for his stomach’s sake.

    For those who are not elders/pastors, it is in the personal conviction category, as long as drunkenness is avoided, imo.

    Don’t like the thought of fermented wine being used at communion. Why would a fermented (dying) thing be used to symbolize the ever-living blood of Christ? Not to mention tempting an alcoholic who might be present in worship services. Just my thoughts.

    Not exactly sure the wine Jesus made from water was alcoholic. Must have been pregnant women at that wedding, whose unborn babies would be harmed by perhaps too much wine. Just a thought, too. I wasn’t there! ha-ha.

    Thanks for coming to my blog.

  3. I grew up with drinking in the family where sips were allowed so there was no mystery. My step father was a drunk and often drugged as well. He looked like an idiot half the time which I did not want for myself. I took a dim view of the whole thing but it wasn’t until after I was married at 22 that I no longer drank. It had never tasted good in the first place unless it was deeply hidden under fruity goo.

    In high school, I would have been seen more as the designated driver and holder of head above the toilet. Only once, shockingly in seventh grade, a friend asked if I wanted to smoke pot. I said no thanks and she never pushed further. I suppose that was the good friend in her? We didn’t stay friends for long after that. She ended up going in a complete different direction, sadly.

    I will admit to one time being falling down drunk. And I was with my mother. LOL Picture it: Mexican restaurant, emotional strife, strong margaritas, empty stomach. I think I had two and I was literally under the table. It was HORRIBLE. I thought I was dying and begged my mom to take me to the hospital. She said no, laughed, then went for a walk I’m sure to escape my moans of death. Hee.

    You should be very proud of yourself for staying true to what you were taught.

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