Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

The Beer Culture

Note: The following is not meant as a value judgment of any kind.

There was no beer in my house when I was growing up. My parents did not like the taste and hated the smell, and in my father's mind beer was the drink of choice of the stupidest people. I had a Bad Beer Experience when I was in grade school - long story short, a beer can with a cherry bomb in it exploded a few inches from my face. That's the first time I had really smelled beer, and exploding warm beer is not the best introduction to it.

We did not have wine with meals, and while there was usually some in the house for religious ceremonies, it never came out for secular enjoyment. My mother liked Concord Creme Wine, but she rarely touched the stuff. There was also a bottle of Cherry Heering for my father's mother when we lived in New York, but I don't remember any after we moved west. She liked to sip a small glass of it after dinner. My father enjoyed a shot of Wishniak or Slivovitz every now and then, and we kept a medicinal fifth of 100 proof Southern Comfort in the dining room cabinet. The latter could kill any microbes which had the temerity to invade the bodies of me or my sisters. It is also strong enough to not encourage children to experiment with it.

My parents did not throw parties except for family, and that stopped when we moved to Seattle. My father was nobody's buddy, nobody came over to watch the game which means there was no reason to stock beer. And there was no after-work martini or other drink. It was just not part of my parents' culture.

When I moved to California I loved to go to wine country and tour the wineries, but I soon discovered that wine makes the hinges of my jaw hurt. So does any alcohol after two or fewer shots. Apparently I am allergic to alcohol.

As a result of all this, I don't connect with the movie/TV sitcom beer culture or the "let's go to a party and get bombed" crowd. The latest round of Budweiser commercials which show what lengths men will go to (and women too) for a Bud seem even more ludicrous to me than to my friends (who know what crap Bud is).

Do I feel left out? Not really. All my alcohol-enjoying friends still invite me to the parties, and don't seem to be insulted when I have something non-alcoholic. I may take a taste of something new out of curiosity, but that's about it. My AA friends like the fact that they can not-drink around me without guilt. And I'm a bit saddened that they have to struggle to refrain while it's a non-issue for me.
Tags: philosophy

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