Did You Ever Drink With Your Parents? What Was That Like?

by Leah on February 15, 2013

girls photoThere are a number of ways drinking with parents can go: It can be raucous and fun, celebratory, a proud part of growing up, weird and disconcerting, or loaded with judgement and shame.

In the Season 1 opener of Girls, Lena Dunham’s character, Hannah, has a glass of wine with dinner with her parents. And why not? She’s in her twenties–legal, and out of college. No one bats an eye.

In families with addiction issues, it can get complicated. My mother is a recovered alcoholic, and I didn’t feel comfortable drinking around her until recently. I was worried that my drinking would trigger a relapse for her.

In other families, there are discrepancies between how much the young adults drink and how much the parents drink, which can cause tension.

Here’s our take on drinking with our parents. We’d love to hear yours:

Caren: My parents were European, and some form of alcohol was always close by. They sipped wine at home with dinner, Slivovitz (plum brandy) or bloody mary’s with friends. If I asked for a taste, they always said yes, and as I grew into adulthood, we enjoyed countless dinners together during which the wine flowed freely. My parents were often the life of the party, twirling on the dance floor like no one else existed. I have fond memories of my father–who had a beautiful voice–belting out Romanian and Russian songs as if her were an Eastern European Pavarotti. I’m not sure it was the alcohol that made them love life at those moments, but I imagine it was a potent enhancement. So, yes, I’d say that I partied with my parents, and most of those memories are good ones!

Leah:  I never knew you could drink with your parents till college. My mother is a recovered alcoholic, so we never had liquor in the house, growing up. Some of the most fun I’ve ever had was drinking with my friends’ parents. In college, I so envied my friends whose parents would take us out drinking. A few of my wildest nights in college were spent drinking with my friends’ parents: once, in Paris, drinking wine at La Coupole, and then at various bars and another time, at a fancy dinner in my college town, where the wine was flowing. I just remember singing “Dixie Chicken” at the top of our lungs when we got back to our apartment. Drinking parents=parents who could still have fun + a bonding experience, the one time adults and their children could even the score. I felt sorry for my mom, since she was denied that pleasure, and I always hope, like Sara Eckel (who wrote a post about the fun times drinking with her parents) that I’ll be able to enjoy drinking when it’s appropriate and that I’ll be able to ride the party bus when I want, if I want, no matter how old I am!

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