No one really taught me how to drink.
No matter how exceptional, responsible, and cultured my family is and was growing up, it just doesn’t happen.
It’s an experience…a life learning experience. And, I feel honored to have had that experience and for the role that it plays in my life.
As I ponder these sentiments, I was touched by a recent article published in Bon Appetit magazine purporting the same clauses.
No one teaches you how to drink ~ but it’s a really important part of life.
Ride a bike, throw a baseball, or treat others with respect? Yes. Drink? Not really. For the most part, we are raised to believe, at least in America, that alcohol is inherently evil (it’s not), causes trouble (it can), and leads to a life of dependence (in some cases, it certainly does). “Drink responsibly,” the beer ads implore us incessantly during football games, all while depicting a group of friends high-fifing, having the most epic time of their lives. What young person wouldn’t be the least bit curious? Who wouldn’t want to get their hands on a six-pack or a pitcher of margaritas and try to replicate that lifestyle? So when you are finally old enough to drink, you often do it in excess, recklessly, without even giving an iota of concern to how good or bad something actually tastes. How else do you explain the appeal of Long Island Iced Teas at college bars or high-proof grain alcohol-filled Hand Grenades sold on Bourbon Street? You drink to get drunk. That’s the point, isn’t it?
It’s not. Drinking is actually something you can do very well. You just have to work at it. I should know – it’s something I’ve quite literally spent my entire adult life working on.
…My favorite places to enjoy a cocktail, in no particular order, are: airplanes, hotel bars, Prime Meats restaurant in Brooklyn, and leaning against my kitchen counter after I get home from work. Not coincidentally, those are the places I do my best thinking, too..
…drinking also happens to be the best – and the cheapest – form of therapy that I know.
…Drinking is one of life’s great pleasures when done with thought and care. I want to do it for as long as I can. After all, it’s made me who I am.
No one ever teaches you how to be elegant, classy, or sophisticated either.
And, on one really ever teaches you how to love yourself.
Those things are inherently learned ~ in our way and in our own time ~
~ we must be elegant enough, classy enough, and sophisticated enough to believe we deserve to act that way and “be” that way, and we must love ourselves enough to learn to love ourselves.