We Drink To That

The email arrived too long after Halloween to use.  An “06880” reader had gone trick-or-treating with her young children near the beach, and was shocked and disappointed to see how many adults — answering doors, and out with their own kids — were drinking.

One house featured a 5-foot inflated beer bottle.  A woman walked around with her young son, who pulled a wagon with a cooler.  The mother provided drinks to parents she met on the street.

The “06880” reader said the adults’ message was clear:  No celebration is complete without alcohol.

“Getting drunk doesn’t start in high school at Homecoming,” she said.  “It starts at home, with a much-too-relaxed attitude toward drinking.”

When I told her the statute of limitations had passed on a Halloween-and-booze blog post, she suggested I tie it in with the upcoming holiday season.

Though — spiked egg nog notwithstanding — I’ve never thought of Christmas as a big drinkfest, New Year’s certainly is.  One of the scariest nights of my life was driving home at 3 a.m. one January 1, and seeing 2 — 2! — cars zoom past me on I-95  going the wrong direction.  (I took the Post Road the rest of the way.)

I’m not sure what the answer is.  First Night is one attempt to create an alcohol-free celebration.  But it ends at 9 p.m., leaving plenty of time for adults (and teenagers) to get liquored up.

The “06880” reader acknowledged that complaining about irresponsible behavior makes her feel old.  She probably has as many memories as I do of New Year’s celebrations past.

But she wants Westport parents to know that their actions involving alcohol — not what they say, but what they do — have profound effects on their kids, and their kids’ friends.  Consider her message conveyed.

I’m still amazed that Halloween has turned into an adult drinking holiday.  What’s next:  Graduation Day?

Don’t answer that.

4 responses to “We Drink To That

  1. A mom I know once told me that she pours herself a glass of wine and takes it with her in her car when she goes out to pick up her children at their various after school activities She joked about how she just couldn’t get through that hectic hour without it. This was shocking to me, particularly because I hardly knew this woman. How could she be almost boasting about behavior so blatantly stupid? It made me wonder how many other moms (and dads) are weaving their way to swim practice or ballet, and worse yet, weaving their way home with their kids in the back seats. And will these kids, led by example, grow up to be like some of this year’s students performing at Staples’ Candlelight Concert who I understand were “wasted” after drinking vodka out of water bottles between shows? I was appalled to hear this. How can these kids get away with behavior like this? I was so disappointed to see a number of the students laughing and being disrepsectful on the risers while performing, and while I initially chalked it up to just teenagers being teenagers, I later learned that those students were greatly intoxicated. Unfortunately, it seems more and more that teenagers just being teenagers often involves alcohol, and lots of it. Let’s wisen-up, parents. Check yourselves, and check your kids… and have a safe and healthy new year.

  2. An illness a few years ago made me stop drinking for a while. It was amazing how people at a party were surprised if I didn’t have a drink in my hand. I can now drink again, but I choose to do it sparingly. I really like being in full control of myself and not worried about what I might have said the night before. Least you think I was a lush, I usually had only one or two wines in an evening. It is most much nicer now!

  3. We all have had our interesting moments I’m sure with drunken or drinking exploits. Especially those who grew up in Westport and went to Staples in the last 30 years. I and many others can tell of many funny, odd, crazy, and truly tragic and sad stories. Usually lessons were learned, but it seems that for such a bright and learned school we have the dumbest students and the most obtuse parents. When the school reconvenes after break an INTERVENTION needs to take place amongst the student body and the powers that be. This just sad sad tales of truly stupid behavior.

  4. This is just another example of how many of us think we can apply our values selectively – not as exception but as the rule. We do the same with lying: we tell our kids that lying is unacceptable and proceed to demonstrate that lying is OK.