Do men find their first drink more memorable than women?
Having a kid come back from active duty means you double up on holidays for a while. We celebrated both his birthday and Easter last Sunday. Riener had brought a couple of twelve packs with him for his dad and me to try. They’re beer drinkers; I’m a convert who was just coming off Lent.
We all sat at the table after finishing the ham and yams and beans. We keep a list of beers we’ve tried with a corresponding number. Most beers my husband and I have rated are in the four to seven range. Usually, we don’t like the same beers, but we had just agreed on two different ones. Blair wondered if my taste had changed since I hadn’t had any in so long. This led me to ask him, “Do you remember your first drink?”
“Well where? When?”
“It was in our tree house in Berea.”
I knew he’d grown up in a suburb of Cleveland but that was the first I’d heard of the tree house. I pressed for details. It turns out that my husband’s first drink was a long thought out plan ending in a heist worthy of a film. Lookouts were involved. One kid went into the house to use the bathroom while another stole a beer out of the refrigerator in the garage. The bottle made its way up to the tree house and the Peel’s was split among four boys.
I asked him what he thought about it, and how it tasted to him. He replied, “I couldn’t figure out what the fuss was all about,” to both questions.
In a little kid’s mind, parents are much more omnipresent and observant than they really are. Even though Blair’s father was a drinker, this is where the planning of the beer theft ran into the biggest obstacle. What they thought was that Jeff would come home, open the fridge, take a can out and stop. He’d count his stash. He’d count it again and even though there were four boys in the house, a wife who constantly had friends over and neighbors worthy of a sit-com relationship, Father would know best of all that a theft had occurred—and not only that, but that the eight-year old twins were guilty.
In the tree house, Blair, Whitney and two kids from down the street opened the beer and passed it around. No one got drunk; the hesitation, the fear and stress probably dissipated any intoxicating effects. Their plot was never uncovered. They were able to ditch the empty without detection. Blair couldn’t believe that beer was that great or that his father could love it so much.
I asked Riener if he remembered his first drink. He did and it was at his father’s house during a party. Blair’s nephew had grabbed two beers and gave one to Riener telling him it was okay because it was non-alcoholic. Blair saw that Riener was drinking a real beer and took it away from him. Riener too couldn’t figure out what was the attraction to drinking. I asked Riener’s girlfriend if she remembered her first drink and she seemed noncommittal. I was too. I really don’t remember mine. I asked my best friend and her husband if they remembered their‘s and he did, but she didn’t. Maybe I asked the wrong people, or perhaps that’s just the nature of the nectar.
Image credit: Lachlan Hardy/Flickr