Sunday, June 21, 2009

Drinks and Dads

I thought I'd take the opportunity this Father's Day to look at my Dad through the Glass Half Full lens and determine what drinking habits and wisdom he has passed on to me.

Mainly my father drinks beer. I also have memories of him drinking Chivas Regal, Manischewitz wine and Mad Dog 20/20 (Mogan David wine). During trapping season, it was peppermint schnapps. 

The reason I remember the Chivas and the Manischewitz is because of the funny way he said those words-- no doubt after he'd already had a few. 

I remember the Mad Dog because there was a time in the 70s when my Dad and his friends all wore those shirts with snaps instead of buttons. The joke after they'd been drinking was to walk up and pull at each other's shirts so that all the snaps came undone, exposing hairy 70's chests and medallions from Avon. Well, my father did that to someone who happened to be wearing a shirt with actual buttons. As the buttons flew in every direction my dad said, "Don't blame it on me, that's the Mad Dog."

I hung out with my dad a lot as a little kid. That meant spending a fair share of my time at the bar with him and lying to my mom about it later.  I was a mouthy kid, which my dear dad mistook for braininess. So he'd tell me to start arguments with some guy at the bar that we decided we didn't like for some reason. I'd usually argue about women's rights or something equally political that I didn't fully understand. Then when the poor guy said something too out of line, my dad, who is to this day a big tough guy and back then must have been down right terrifying, would step in and say, "You got a problem with something she said, 'cause she's the brains in this operation and I back her up."

From my father I learned to work hard and play hard. While I have a little trouble with the work hard thing, I've got the play hard thing down.  The parents among you may cringe at stories of a little girl hanging out in bars, watching her father drink, and sometimes getting to have the occasional shot of schnapps or sip of beer herself.  I think it gave me a healthy understanding of enjoying life, being myself, cutting loose and saying what I think. And if you've got a problem with that, I've still got a Dad who will back me up.

What about you? Any thoughts on what you learned about drinking from your father?


  1. That's a great post, Brenda...I have vivid memories of hangin' with my dad at the tavern or VFW in Madrid; drinkin' Mtn. Dew and playing pinball...I learned it was a great sanctuary from my mother who couldn't stand the smoke...

  2. Love it. Great picture and I can totally see the resemblance. Thanks for sharing - and providing me with the "Blame the Mad Dog" line that I' using from now on. - Tim

  3. You can see the resemblance? I really try to keep my facial hair under control! But yes, I do look a lot like my Dad.

  4. Bill spent more time in bars when he was a kid drinking kiddie cocktails. Not only is that a fine example, but a drinker in training. I think it was acceptable in small towns b/c there wasn't much else to do...