Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Just Wave the Bottle Over it

When I was in high school my cousin married someone with the same name as me. I found her annoying. She was also usually drunk, or in the process of getting drunk, at family gatherings. We (not so) affectionately called her Tipsy. She and the husband of another cousin would often head off into Grandma’s garage to drink and smoke the gathering away.

Tipsy’s drinking raised eyebrows in my family and we’re not exactly teetotalers. A good beer every now and again. Brandy slush during the holidays. Aquavit on New Year’s. Some sort of cola and spiced rum. I can count the number of drinks I have in a month on one hand, although some months I wouldn’t even need a finger. I buy one six-pack of New Glarus Brewing Company’s Totally Naked* and it lasts the entire summer.

I used to think Tipsy’s excessive drinking at family gatherings was in poor taste until I married my husband and now he and I wonder if visits with his family might go better if I drank my way through them (we’re only kidding). He (jokingly) thought that perhaps I should adopt a hip flask as my only glass just like Mad-Eye Moody.

The only difference here is that my in-laws are Baptists….and all that entails.

My husband, then boyfriend, flipped out when he spent New Year’s with us that first year because we were going to have a Brandy Alexander. He was taught that if you drank once you’d become an alcoholic and that people who drank alcohol were heading straight to hell. He had difficulty synergizing that mindset with the reality of the woman he loved.

What you have to understand about Brandy Alexander (with ice cream) in my family is that my dad makes two versions. The version that he says he just waves the brandy bottle over and can be eaten with a spoon (for the women in my family) and the other one that’s true to recipe. Don’t forget the nutmeg. It’s just not the same without it.

I questioned the relationship right there and then. Is he for real?

You’d never recognize that boy anymore (even if you’re not talking about the grey hair). He could easily drink me under the table if he chose to. He’s a beer aficionado. Absolutely no cheap stuff because he’d rather not drink than drink cheap and the monthly beer budget is small.  He’s responsible, does so in moderation, and while his parents may think he’s backslidden, he’s not going to hell because hell doesn’t exist.

This past weekend was the first time he drank beer in front of his family because a campfire’s not the same this time of year without New Glarus Brewing Company’s Staghorn Octoberfest* (or Dancing Man Wheat*) and because life’s much too short not to be who you really are.  He’s not a kid anymore regardless of what his mother may think.

What a difference eleven years makes.

*I buy my own beer and I’m not paid in any way, shape, or form to tell you which brewing company we buy beer from.


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