Shaken, not Stirred

It would be fair to say that as a friend group, ours has consumed a goodly amount of alcohol over the years. Our weekly bar night is at, well, a bar. Our camping dinners are frequently accompanied by a big-ass jug of strawberry margarita or peach bourbon lemonade or something called a Hypnotique that made us all cluck like chickens. 

I don't worry about this, exactly. I do think about it on occasion. We're all children of the late sixties and early seventies. Most of our parents drank liberally (mine still have happy hour every single day, and they are in their eighties and doing really well, so...) A lot of university had a boozy film over it (Century Club - what the hell were we thinking?) I get uncomfortable with a lot of the 'wine mom' discourse on social media these days - I understand the underpinnings, and honestly a lot of the memes are funny, and I've probably said similar stuff on occasion without really meaning it. First of all, it seems a little dangerous to position alcohol as a way of dealing with the hardships of parenting (just observing, not judging, because downing my weight in m&ms was also not the best way), and second of all it seems insensitive to anyone reading who is in recovery, so I try to check myself on alcohol intake and attitude periodically.

But anyway. I'm pretty comfortable that we're within the bounds of decency and health. Nobody gets pressured to drink if they don't want to. One of us gives up alcohol for Lent every year even though he's not Catholic. When I'm in a depressive episode or just don't feel like drinking on a Tuesday it's a non-issue. The annual Christmas party can get a little rowdy, but mostly none of us has the time or inclination to spend the next day incapacitated, and it's been years since I've drunk enough to actually have a hangover (Michael's fortieth birthday party, oy. Drank like I was twenty. Subsequently felt like I was eighty. Eve was mortified - for the next few weeks every time anyone offered me a beer she would hiss "she's fine".)

Admittedly, this is all so I can tell you about last night, which was really fun, and not have you worry that we should be looking for group rates at the nearest rehab centre. 

Lucy, on the other hand, leads a life of appalling debauchery

Our friend Tony is extremely knowledgeable and skilled in matters spirituous. I think he's taken courses in wine, beer and scotch at least. Occasionally he invites us over for drinks and has an actual drink menu. 

In case it hasn't been obvious, I am a bit preoccupied with the photographic record. I like having pictures and I also have kind of a crappy memory. I was bad enough when I had to use a camera - now that I can just use a phone, I'm unstoppable. Generally everyone is pretty agreeable about this, because it means they get pictures and don't have to worry about taking them. At one point at Sandbanks this year, I asked four teenaged girls and one nine-year-old to jump on a picnic table for a pic and they all instantly fell into formation. I said something about being one of our kids really teaching you how to pose and Rachel said "especially when you're dealing with the Group Photographer". Then Eve said "now imagine she goes with you everywhere" (when I retell this she claims I make her sound meaner than she actually did, which is probably fair). 

So we were sitting around Tony's table, across the island from his beautiful kitchen, with immaculately mixed, poured and garnished cocktails, and I kept thinking I should take a picture, because even though at some point in every evening things devolve into ridiculous battles over the music, and I maintain my assertion that many of my friends are ridiculous obnoxious musical snobs, and I defend my hurling of a handful of heirloom carrots at Mark when he said 'a wall of sound, not a mountain of sound' for the seventh time, I love these people with my whole heart and my life would suck considerably more without them.

But I didn't. I basked in the warmth and laughter instead. I drank something lemony and something purple with lavender bitters and a couple other things.

Near the end of the evening, Collette was finished her drink, and Tony turned around and grabbed a bottle of Kraken and a can of Coke Zero from the island for her to mix a new one (she had dispensed with the fancy drinks at this point). She opened the bottle of Kraken, started to tip it over her glass, squinted at something in the middle distance, and put the bottle down without pouring it. We asked her why, and she said "because I see twelve tomatoes".

There were only four tomatoes. She knew there were only four tomatoes, but she was seeing three groups of them, so she was exercising a hitherto unseen discretion in foregoing more alcohol.

This would have been slightly more impressive if she hadn't glance down five minutes later and exclaimed indignantly "why didn't I pour my drink??" (I mean, her memory is notoriously bad, maybe it wasn't the booze at all).

So the whole evening, I only took a picture of the ass squash on Tony's counter and the four tomatoes that almost saved Collette from herself. 

And I am comfortable with that decision.


Pat Birnie said…
Your group of friends sounds so fun!! That ‘ass’ squash is amazing!
StephLove said…
When I was in Oregon last week my sister and I were discussing why I don't drink. She knew some of the reasons but not all. 1) I don't actually like the taste of alcohol (this was the part she didn't know) and I never made an attempt to develop a taste for it because 2) our dad was an alcoholic and I thought why bother rolling that die, and 3) Beth is also an adult child of an alcoholic and doesn't drink.

As a result of rarely being around adults who drink I think both kids are little gun shy about it, despite our having said many times we don't disapprove of their drinking when it's legal. Noah turned 21 in May and says he hasn't tried it, which I believe. In 7th grade, North was at a restaurant with adults who had a glass of wine with dinner and got nervous about being in the car with one of them driving and texted Beth for reassurance.
Suzanne said…
This group sounds like SO much fun.

My parents and in-laws are both nightly drinkers (wine and cocktails, respectively). I can very easily fall into that pattern, but have noticed in my decrepitude that drinking impairs my sleep. But then again, I LIKE drinking. I like beer and I like wine and I like cocktails. Moderation, as they say, is key.

The butt squash is amazing. I love it. And I also love that you re the group photographer. Someone has to do it! It is a much-needed (and much-appreciated, even if the appreciation is begrudging) role!
Nicole said…
Mmmmm ass squash.

I like drinking - wine and fruity drinks, maybe a nice G&T - but I actually don't like being drunk. I definitely don't like being hungover! I do like a nice warm buzz though. I think I would very much enjoy having those fancy drinks!
Ernie said…
I know I've mentioned this a dozen times, but I am so envious of your tight knit, hilarious group of friends. Collette's tomato vision followed by WHY DID I NOT FILL MY DRINK? Oh goodness. Good stuff.

Squash ass is awesome.

I do not drink often. I fall asleep quite fast if I drink. I enjoyed more drinks than our recent tailgate and I enjoyed it. Two back to back weeks of tailgates are coming up. I am looking forward to it.

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