Saturday, October 6, 2007

Ben's Wisdom

Tea's post over at Tea and Cookies has got me thinking about beer, although not as lyrically as she does. Like Tea, while beer has been on the periphery of my consciousness nearly all my life, I've never been a huge fan.

Our dear family friend, Bobbie D, used to tell a story about the first time she met me, when she was a young Navy wife and I was an infant. She found me in my playpen drinking from a dark brown beer bottle with rubber nipple attached - seems I was inclined to toss my bottle away when I finished it and, in those benighted times, baby bottles were made of glass. My mother had figured out that beer bottles were made of heavier glass that would withstand my pitcher's arm so she fitted it with a nipple and I got my milk in that somewhat startling container.

My Dad loved beer. He would come home from tennis, dripping with sweat and thirsty for a cold brew. He'd pour it into his favorite glass, a large stemmed goblet, where it would bubble gently with an inch of suds on the top. He always gave me the first sip from his glass - I never liked the taste but I loved the grownup feeling and being favored with the first sip.

In my youth, beer parties were all the rage among my junior year and senior year high school classmates. Getting trashed on 3.2 beer seems to have been a rite of passage in the '60s, as I suspect it still is today. Unfortunately or fortunately, I found it pretty boring since my parents had allowed us to have table wine or drinks with them since the tender age of 15. They hoped that if we tried alcohol at home, we'd know how much we could drink without becoming impaired. It's pretty dull stuff to be offered a beer when my parents would supply a martini if I wanted one. I had to find other ways to express my teenage rebellion.

Three years ago, My Beloved and I spent two delightful weeks in Belgium at cousin J-Yah's house and nearly every day for the first week, I'd try another of the many delightful Belgian beers with lunch or dinner, the first beer I have ever really enjoyed. I wondered why the jet lag kept giving me morning headaches until I realized I wasn't jet lagged, I was hung over! Belgian beer goes down as easily as Belgian chocolate but, man, does it ever pack a wallop!

It's a truly rare day when I order a beer now but when I do all these memories come flooding back as the first tangy sip rolls down into my unconscious.

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
~ Benjamin Franklin


Blogger Tea said...

I love the story of your baby bottle. I recently found a photo of me as a little girl, on a farm visit, feeding baby goats from a Budweiser bottle (I had seen the photo before, but as a child never noticed it was a beer bottle). I like Belgium beer as well--on the rare occasion that I indulge:-)

Monday, October 08, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Tea, those Belgians really do make yummy-delicious beer; I just can't hold my liquor very well! :-)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007  

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