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.