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Do you moderate your drinking around your family?

Do you feel like you need to moderate your drinking when you are around your family, specifically during the holidays? I enjoy a few drinks on the weekends and occasionally with dinner during the week. If out with a friend we will probably share a bottle of wine. When I am with my family (4 of us total), they would never imagine drinking more than one bottle of wine for all of us. If I go for an after dinner cocktail I am immediately judged. Little do they know I am having many more drinks when catching up with friends later that night. Do you adjust your ways in the presence of your family or just do your thing and let the judgement rage?

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  1. This is a topic I find fascinating. My personal habits over this have changed many times since I was legal age to imbibe. When I was young having a beer, cocktail or wine with dinner was part right of passage and part pushing the limits. Somewhere in my young adult life I decided quality of what I was drinking was more enjoyable then quantity. I took time to understand a bit about what I was buying before consuming it. When I became a parent, I didn't hide the alcohol, we talked about it with our kids. We talked about our wild times and we talked about losing control by drinking too much. By the time our kids were buying their own drinks, we felt confident they would make good choices about overdoing. Well...they learned their own right vs wrong anyway. All of this to say, I didn't adjust in front of my parents and my kids didn't adjust in front of me...but we did all learn how to drink responsibly.

    Boring answer?

    1. Why allow one's family to influence one's behavior?

      6 Replies
      1. re: beevod

        It's called guilt. Some of us are better at dealing with judgement than others, yes?

        1. re: HillJ

          I would think it was more about respect.

            1. re: coll

              coll, it could. Context matters. I think that when we hide behavior from someone close to us our brain takes a pause for any # of reasons. But the OP's remark "let judgement rage" didn't leave me with that impression.

              1. re: HillJ

                Yes, I do not come from a family of drinkers. If I have two drinks, I will get a comment. The feeling of being drunk for my parents is not seen as a positive, so a drink is more of a supplement to the meal. Whereas for me, a buzz is the objective!
                I get so conflicted over doing what I want and feels good vs what my family thinks is respectable behavior.

                My father immediately disapproved of my last boyfriend when he went for his third beer. And made constant comments along the lines of "another one?!", "you're not going to be able to see straight", "that stuff is fattening", etc.

                1. re: WhatsEatingYou

                  Growing up, I came from families that both drank and comments still happened. Passionate people my crew. Starts out as teasing, ends in a confrontation about some other thing that was on their minds (more than the wine bothering them). Such is life. Calmer heads prevail. The choice is yours to make. But don't ruin a holiday over it, k?

          1. Sounds like you don't come from a family of drinkers.

            Actually, I would say I need to drink more when I'm dining with certain members of my family. My family loves cocktails before, wine with and scotch after so if I moderated, the more likely question would be is there something wrong because I'm not drinking.

            My in-laws though are completely different and a bottle would serve 8.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bkeats

              I certainly wouldn't be drinking more, just to fit in. They can think what they want.

            2. I rarely drink and the BF tends to have a couple drinks a night. Pre-dinner martini or rum and coke, and beer with dinner.

              My parents don't drink. Yes my father will have the occasional beer or wine with a meal, but due to health issues neither he nor my mom drink hard alcohol. So when we visit them I still don't drink while the BF cuts back to a beer or wine with meals. My dad enjoys having a drinking buddy so he initiate drinking. My mom might have judged the BF a little when we were younger, but as we get older I don't think she does at all. I've been pretty sick and as a reward for taking care of me she bought him a 6 pack of Anchor Steam Xmas, a bottle of TJ's Ale, and a bottle of Dogfish Head American Beauty.

              BF's parents drink more heavily. A pre-dinner martini, wine with dinner, and a post dinner rum and coke. So when we visit them BF drinks the same amount that they do and I will occasionally have wine with dinner. They have let us drink since college so we have never felt judged for drinking or not drinking. Though it is expected to consume margaritas or daiquiris by the pool.

              So yes we adjust our alcohol consumption around our families, but by choice and not fear of judgement.

              1. I don't come from a family of drinkers.
                Dinner at home while growing up, some wine, even for the kids, yes. No "rite of passage" in my family. Just as long as it's at Dinner.
                Dinner out? One glass. For anyone. With food.
                Not two or more. One. Still today when out with the folks.
                Part is an expense thing, the other is a quirky thing I can't figure out. And dinner is enjoyed at a restaurant that has no bar. Otherwise it is categorized as a Bar with food, no matter what the place.
                "Little do they know I am having many more drinks when catching up with friends later that night."
                Yes. True.
                I can sit at a bar with a friend and have many beers. Not so with family.

                1. My family seldom has alcohol. There is still an unopened bottle of scotch from pre-metric days in my parents pantry!

                  If I'm in their house I adjust to their norms - which is a glass of wine before dinner once in a blue moon.

                  If it is a family dinner out my Father insists on paying. He doesn't order a drink so I follow suit.

                  Not about guilt, judgement or hiding my preferences - simply about honoring theirs when I'm a guest.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: meatn3

                    Honoring their wishes is easy to do. Especially when the respect is mutual. Some people are just easier going. I wish life could always be that straight forward.

                  2. No, but I do tend to drink less around my family just because I don't enjoy getting drunk with them as much as I do my friends. My family drinks and knows I drink. My siblings will drink heavily at family gatherings, but I just have no interest in drinking with them.

                    1. I think if you feel you need to moderate your drinking in the presence of family, there might be a problem there.

                      1. No; alcohol was never a big deal in our family, though we're all social drinkers.

                        1. I agree with the person that said you don't come from a family of drinkers. That is why it feels weird. My inlaw family is like that. I can't stand it.

                          My my adult kids ( and their spouses) drink with us
                          (the parents). We enjoy it, no one gets out of control...we drink, we dance, we laugh... all good fun. We also love to go out together for Happy Hour when we vacation together. We do adventure sports together several times a year and always go out for beer afterward to celebrate. We go to wine tastings together, restaurant dinners always include wine, concerts and the opera where we all drink. I don't think about it as any type of unusual behavior.

                          Alcohol has always been considered just a beverage in our world, not anything else. That would be different if there was one of us with an addiction. No one is religious or uptight either.

                          1. I probably drink more when I'm with my family than I do otherwise! I don't drink all that frequently due to my career (opera singer), so unless I'm on vacation, I'd say I'm a very moderate drinker. However, I usually see my family when I'm on vacation, and all bets are off! Also, my parents enjoy wine and offer it at every meal, so even in cases where I might not open a bottle if it were just me and DH, I'll have a glass if they're having some.

                            The final factor is my brother in law - he comes from a family of drinkers and he DRINKS. He's a perfect lightening rod for any snide comments that anyone might make about someone drinking too much, so as long as you're drinking less than he is, no judgment!

                            1. I'm one of 7 kids, drinking is a necessity. Interestingly enough, my brother and sisters and I never got along on the whole consistently, until we all became of age. Now that we're all able to drink, the family drama has subsided exponentially.

                              1. Nah, I rarely, if ever, moderate my drinking. If anything, I drink more around my family, but I especially drink more on holidays - gotta take advantage of the opportunity for themed drinking.

                                1. Around my family, no. Alcohol is available, and one or two adult bevs are fine for me.

                                  Around in-laws, I resist the temptation to drink HEAVILY, the better to make them more bearable. (Yes, Mrs. ricepad knows how I feel about her family.)

                                  1. We don't usually need to moderate, we drink but not excessively. If we're out the man and I take turns having drinks. If we're with my family we have a few, it's not a problem at all since my whole family drinks (not excessively.) If we're at the in laws one of us must NOT be drinking. I don't want to get trapped there and not be able to drive home.

                                      1. Have you met my family? Yeah, I drink a shit-ton more.

                                        1. My mom doesn't drink, my dad has a glass of red wine 3x/week "for his heart" as an after dinner drink, so if we are at their place, I'm not drinking as much. My in laws, a glass of wine with dinner, and they can split a bottle of wine 7 ways. Now that several of the kids are married, it's up to a bottle and a half for 10 people for dinner.

                                          I view trips home to see the families as a liver vacation. Which I usually make up for when I get home.

                                          1. During Christmas I stay at my sisters house for more than a couple days.Niece,and nephews,and their S.O, four boys who are seven and under,and my brother in law.It's not that big of a house. I often open two beers at a time. I would not trade this for the world.

                                            1. We're a military family, thus a family event without drinks is like a day without sunshine.

                                              Pretty much everyone in my family drinks, and no-one in the family minds unless you get sloppy.

                                              If you get sloppy, you'll be teased mercilessly once you've sobered up.

                                              1. for some reason if I'm in a good mood well then I MUST be drunk. and if I'm lackadaisical I MUST be blindly hungover.

                                                just can't win. I stopped smiling years ago as it invites too many questions. and it's based on nothing as I haven't lived around these people for 20+ years.

                                                I still drink, just not around them. this is what my little stash of xanax is for (2 half tabs a year? - nothing).

                                                1. I am, currently, one of two non-drinkers in the family. The others are relatively light drinkers - at a family gathering they might, say, have an aperitif before the meal and two or three glasses of wine with it. Probably the lightest drinker is my nephew who has been having the occasional beer with dinner since he was 15 or so.

                                                  1. Very interesting topic and variety of answers. My Dad was a severe alcoholic and my Mom blames him for the break-up of their marriage and ruining her life. I never, ever have more than one glass of wine in front of her because I know, even all these years later, she is watching me closely for signs that I inherited it. Makes family get-togethers very relaxing ( not). When I'm with my spouse and a few friends, we usually have cocktails and then a couple bottles of wine with dinner.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: Kat

                                                      Kat, I had a similar experience. My father struggled with alcoholism, but quit drinking in my early teens and maintained a low key sobriety ("low key" meaning he just didn't partake and didn't care if others did) for most of the rest of his life. My mother, never a drinker, became even more militantly opposed to alcohol *after* my dad's sobriety and often slipped into street corner temperance preacher mode in the presence of those partaking. Our family has no more than whatever-the-usual-number of over-drinkers is, but my mom saw an "Alkie" (her word) in every hand that held a glass of wine, and would lecture. It made things awkward at family functions, especially since our household is the hosting household for both sides of the family - my FIL is knowledgeable and interested in wine, which we appreciate, but my mother's haranguing got a little out of hand. She disapproved, even, of stemware on the table, because to her mind, stemware meant "alcohol." (One memorable Thanksgiving had good ol' mom taking all the stemware off the table and breaking it into the trash...thanks, mom). It was a difficult situation, and we dealt with it as diplomatically as possible. Still, it made my father uneasy, socially, that his wife was bringing up what was at that time twenty-year-old business and singling him out for even being in the same room as alcohol when he had been such an "Alkie."

                                                      After my mother's death, my father did occasionally have a social drink, without any drama or relapse or addictive behavior.

                                                      For the record, we don't now moderate our drinking around family. We serve wine and beer for dinners, with occasional cocktails. It's more peaceful and convivial around here now!

                                                      1. re: cayjohan

                                                        <good 'ol mom taking all the stemware off the table and breaking it into the trash>

                                                        I know of a similar situation. It always makes me wonder who, in this case your mother or your father, has the bigger issues.
                                                        Your father certainly deserves an award and a much deserved calmer life.

                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                          My mother definitely had the bigger issues! One of her favorite sayings was "Lips that touch liquor shall never touch mine!" It makes me wonder, sometimes, that I was ever even conceived. But: her lips, her deal.

                                                          My dad did the correct and noble thing when he chose sobriety, really. And he dealt in the real world.

                                                          And you know? I realize I'm still pretty PO'd about those wine glasses.

                                                          1. re: cayjohan

                                                            Cayjohan, almost just fell off my chair, my mom always called my Dad an "Alkie", that was her name for him. Too funny, but in a sad way. Yes, she has big issues too, but they aren't related to alcohol.

                                                            1. re: Kat

                                                              That sad+funny blends over time doesn't it, Kat? And the "Alkie" term either sounds like an endearment (it does, doesn't it, being somehow cute and diminutive?), but with codependent overtones, or it sounds like a vicious, nasty appellation after the fact. My mom worked both angles. And while it might have suited her personal purposes, whatever those were, it made for Very Big Tension at family events.

                                                              I don't think my mother ever realized that her tirades made everyone, really, want to drink more.

                                                              I read once, in a cheesy-but-awesome romance novel, an admonition I will never forget: "If you can't be a good example, be a horrible warning." It applies all-over-the-place in this.

                                                      2. re: Kat

                                                        My maternal grandmother was an alcoholic and my mother lived in fear of becoming one herself. Up until she was in her 40s, she used to have a glass of red wine before dinner and another during dinner, but she made herself stop because she "liked it too much." For years after that, she'd give us all the stink eye if we lifted a glass to our lips, and she'd shake her head sadly if we had more than one glass of anything. It used to make me very uncomfortable.

                                                        For some reason, she loosened up a lot over the past ten years. I think seeing my dad's moderate drinking helped. He had a glass of beer with lunch and a glass of red wine with dinner every day from his retirement until his death this past September, but never got drunk. Now she is a lot more relaxed when others drink, even though she rarely partakes herself.

                                                      3. If I moderated my drinking around family, I would never drink. The last drink I had was one beer about three months ago when we went to Mrs. Potato's cousin's birthday party. Being the holder of a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) I am held to a higher standard than those holding a regular Class C license (even in a private vehicle). If I blow over a .02 I lose my license so I drink pretty infrequently.

                                                        1. Yes because my parents don't drink hardly at all. Then again I'm not a big drinker either.

                                                          But my SO's family, wow. I can't keep up with them whatsoever, they are all very heavy drinkers. They pressure me to drink more than I do, which is actually kind of annoying.

                                                          1. I'm about to fly to my non-drinking inlaw's house for ten days over the holidays. I work at a winery where we drink a few glasses of wine with lunch every day. I have beer with dinner when I get home. I try to limit myself to two beers a night with them but it's really hard because they drive me crazy. They look at me like I'm a complete alcoholic when I go for my second beer! I like one of the above comments about bringing xanax.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: porky pine

                                                              HA! seriously just a half tab and no caffeine will do you fine for many hours. (I know - total substance dependency, but... I'm pleasant, not clumsy, I don't smell funny and I'm willing to chat with any random relative at length about things that honestly bore me to tears. what's sad is that my source is a friend with PTSD, but she rarely wants them)

                                                            2. My father loves wine yet has maybe one glass before the meal and another two over the course of the rest of the evening. My mother doesn't drink and my sister has a half glass with dinner.

                                                              I enjoy tasting a new wine with my father before the meal and will have a half glass or so, and then i will have a glass of the next wine with the meal. He likes to use me as an "excuse" to open a special bottle from his extensive collection.

                                                              I enjoy the flavors of the wine and how it pairs with the food- when i can feel a buzz i put down my glass and switch to water.
                                                              It would be noticed if i drank more but probably not commented on (i stay at the house and would not be drinking anything if i were to drive later on). Well, i may get some giggles at breakfast when it was apparent i felt like crap from drinking too much.

                                                              1. I can't imagine not having a drink with my family. Some of my earliest memories are of family dinner parties. Cocktails and munchies first, then wine and/or beer with dinner, "corrected" coffee with dessert, then more cocktails after. Of course, this happened over several hours, and I never remember ANYONE apparently or sloppily drunk. Now that my folks are in their 80's, they've slowed down a bit, but the rest of us drink however much or little we want, and no-one makes snide comments either way. (Except my cousin's ex-husband who used to harangue anyone taking the tiniest sip, but she got rid of him after the girls' track team fiasco so I don't think his opinion counts for much anymore.)

                                                                1. Ha, I don't drink much, but last Christmas Eve was so bad at my MIL's, that I showed up with a 12 pak on Christmas day. My husband didn't join us, he took a nap for 2 hours instead. I shared it with my two kids (adult - drinking age legal) and got a letter a month later, telling me to get the kids in a good program. She had also discussed it with every relative. Nice one! Ugh. We are staying here for Christmas this year. Way too much stress last year.

                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                  1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                    Triple doozey: husband napped, letter from family, gossip. All because you knew in advance it was going to be a long ass visit the night before Christmas. Lordy, jeanm, that's the pits!

                                                                    1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                      "telling me to get the kids in a good program. She had also discussed it with every relative"

                                                                      I've found it's the ones with self-issues who need to project it on others.

                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                        It was 4 beers each over 4 hours. I was so angry!

                                                                        1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                          Did she at least offer to pay? Have her send you all to a spa for a few days to "detox".

                                                                          1. re: viperlush

                                                                            No - but her letter kind of said, it's too late for you, but save the kids, they are so young! I wanted to say 'you are the reason we drink'! We all have family that makes us crazy, but last Christmas was the absolute worst.

                                                                            1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                              Such a sweet heart. Hope you at least raise a glass (or two) in her honor this year.

                                                                              1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                I'd send her a letter after Christmas, on the good stationery ... just wanted to share the good news! Since we didn't have to see you this year, we are all effortlessly 'on the wagon'!! No detox needed, so we're spending the money on a whirlwind European vacation instead to bring in the New Year! This worked like magic to take care of our 'problem,' so we've taken 'the pledge' to not see you every year for the holidays--cheers!!

                                                                                It was a pretty pleasant Christmas in my world this year ... I did once mention NPR, which I grew up listening to, and apparently that was taken as nearly fighting words by some, but otherwise, uneventful. The quality of the wine hasn't changed ... I took one sip and left it at that.

                                                                            2. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                              Years and years ago my sister started this family tradition that we all laughed at but truly was her genius because it wound up working like a charm.

                                                                              When discussions would get heated or over the top, my sister would walk over to the wall switch and turn the lights on and off to get our attention. We would stop what we were talking about immediately, get up, stretch our legs and change the discussion to something fun. Crazy...but it works!

                                                                        2. I have the opposite situation. I don't really drink but on family occasions they keep pushing me to do so. One uncle thinks if he doesn't offer anything else at dinner I will be forced to drink the wine; I go and fill my glass with tap water.

                                                                          19 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Jasz

                                                                            This reminds me of my younger days when we'd go out "drinking". Yes, actually named it after the activity. Everyone had to be the same level of buzzed, so if you came late, you had to "catch up".
                                                                            Those days are long, long gone and now I hardly drink with DH's family if at all. The biggest reason is sleep disruption. Not worth it.
                                                                            His family sure does love wine, though!
                                                                            DH is a one drink at most when dining out. His Naval days disconnected drinking from driving (as it should be) a very long time ago.

                                                                            1. re: Jasz

                                                                              Same here.... with my SO's family anyway. They'll see me drinking water or a soda or whatever and be like "why aren't you drinking??" and I tell them I'm fine with the water, they act like I just told them I practice witchcraft or something. I've tried explaining to them that when I drink, I just get sleepy, so I have more fun if I don't drink a lot, but that doesn't seem to go over well with them. I've sometimes resorted to telling them there's alcohol in my drink, even when there's not, just so they'll leave me alone.

                                                                              I'm going to have to have a talk with SO before the next event... he needs to stand up for me more!

                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                <Same here.... with my SO's family anyway. They'll see me drinking water or a soda or whatever and be like "why aren't you drinking??" and I tell them I'm fine with the water, >

                                                                                I always drink water, but I do try to at least have a few sips of alcohol around the BF's family to demonstrate that I am not pregnant. Both times the BF's cousin was pregnant she was outed because she refused drinks.

                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                  Odd that they care so much about you drinking. Unless they didn't believe that you prefer not to drink and were just abstaining because you were shy or worried about drinking around them and they're trying to make you feel more comfortable, but this seems unlikely since you've already given specific reasons for why you aren't drinking. Hmmmm.....

                                                                                  1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                    coming from a family that drinks heavily (I don't answer phone calls from my mom after 10pm because it means she's been at the elk's lodge all night), there have been times when I chose not to drink around family, and I'd also get the incredulous looks. I don't think it's anything beyond "wait, you normally drink, why not? Are you not having a good time? Are you sick?"

                                                                                    1. re: plaidbowtie

                                                                                      I can understand the questions. I drink, most people I know drink, so if I were to meet somebody in a situation where everyone else was drinking but them, I might question it the first time, but once explained, I would stop asking. I mean hey, more alcohol for me. :)

                                                                                      1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                        I would too, but I think the "family" aspect can throw a wrench in there. Although, my family teases one another mercilessly (all in good fun of course) over anything we can, so YMMV

                                                                                      2. re: plaidbowtie

                                                                                        Yeah I've never been a big drinker around them so that's why it's annoying that they still are really pushy about it. We'll have been together 2 years this coming February... you'd think they'd realize by now that I'm just not into it!

                                                                                    2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                      I've noticed that many people who are aware that they drink too much want everyone else drinking with them so they don't feel judged by others and/ or don't have to deal with their own issues.

                                                                                      1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                        Uh yeah... that's definitely true for a couple people in his family in particular. Hell, his stepmom adds rum to her morning coffee.

                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                          We know a few with the idea that if everyone is drinking it must be totally normal. :)

                                                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                            I find it creepy that anyone would push drinking on someone else. We have a brother in law who felt it was his right as Uncle to offer the first drink to the kids in our family. Didn't matter to him if they were 'of age' or not. He even bought them booze for parties. He thought it was funny as all get out. Until his own child was arrested for underage drinking. I wouldn't call him a big drinker, just an idiot.

                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                              That guy was certainly not acting responsible, but IMO saying "anyone" casts a broad net, particularly if we're getting into creepy territory.

                                                                                              1. re: plaidbowtie

                                                                                                In my case, anyone who is knowingly giving minors alcohol for laughs belongs in that net. And, I stand behind it. It is creepy and dangerous. YMMV and I certainly respect yours if it does. My comment was personal to my big family.

                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                  I agree with that sentiment, 100%, perhaps I misread you. I read your post as saying Anyone pushing alcohol ever is creepy, which I thought was just a little broad.

                                                                                                  1. re: plaidbowtie

                                                                                                    My apologies if that's how it read. Thank you for allowing me to be clear.

                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                      Fresh back from a family vacation to Aruba, where drinking and gambling age is 18, my daughter was "legal" for the first time in her life. It was an odd dynamic to have her legally order drinks with dinner and sending her to the liquor store to get me a stock of vodka. What pissed her off was the fact although she is 18, she constantly got carded, her 16 year old brother had no problem walking into the casino and ordering a drink unquestioned. Well unquestioned by the waitress, he had plenty of questions to answer to me!

                                                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                        Welcome home, jrv! That dilemma crossed our paths a few times for sure. Drinks offered in different countries, with diff laws. Hill and I always said (and I'm sure the kids didn't always listen) you know what 'legal' means.

                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                          I'm in the Canadian expat part of the family, my family (in the states) wouldn't bat an eye at me haveng a beer at 19 in their home. Their 20 year old kids, not allowed. It was our "culture" so it was their job as host. I didn't even know until my (older) cousin would ask me to get him a beer!

                                                                                    1. Around Dad, maybe, but more so just to inhibit my free-wheeling cursing that can sometimes accompany 3 or more drinks hahaha. My relationship with my mother is closer and more friend-y. Plus her little 115 pound body can drink anyone I know under the table. I don't restrict myself among anyone else in my family either. We are all fond of the drink hahaha.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Meowzerz

                                                                                        heh "her little 115 pound body can drink anyone I know under the table" my college friend "little Wendy" is probably 20# less than that and while holding her own, she was always the last one standing and the first one awake.

                                                                                      2. I never moderate my drinking, under any circumstances.

                                                                                        1. I find this year that I have to moderate being around family because of lack of drinking.

                                                                                          I am on meds for several months because of a bug I picked up while traveling. So no booze at all for the holidays. I'm right in the middle of three months actually. I can taste, but have to spit.

                                                                                          I just can't face visiting my sisters for turkey day sober. Her and her families passive/aggressive behavior, blaming others, sarcasm, and petty nastiness is too overwhelming. Add in her kids self imposed food restrictions and selfish behavior, plus her husbands racism, sexism, and multiple other "isms" and I'd go postal within 20 minutes. So I am not going.

                                                                                          I'm going to have a pleasant day and stay home, read all day, try not to do any work, make several of my favorite side dishes for dinner, (the ones I don't get to have, unless I make them), and I ordered a turkey roasted by a Chinese market that does great roast duck and pork, offering 8-10 lb. turkeys this year, hot from the oven, for pick up on t-day.

                                                                                          16 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: JMF

                                                                                            It's good to take a break every once in awhile. A few times I just told everyone, fend for yourself this year. It was nice.

                                                                                            1. re: JMF

                                                                                              over on FB I was commiserating that, yup, just my dog, some good movies and comfort food would be A-OK by me.

                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                Please please watch the untouchables. It is a French movie with subtitles but the very best movie I have seen in a very long time. A MUST WATCH!!!

                                                                                                1. re: DowntownJosie

                                                                                                  I believe the correct title is "The Intouchables." But agreed, a wonderful uplifting movie. I went with friends when it was in the theater, none of us really knowing what to expect. We were all blown away. I was amazed it wasn't nominated for best foreign language Oscar.

                                                                                                  1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                    we're OT but I looked that up - looks really good.

                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                      Just got it from the library, but I'll have to sneak it in during off hours...my husband is no good with subtitles! I'm looking forward to it, and I'm assuming that since it's set in Paris there will be some food and drink involved?

                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                        It's been a while since I saw it. I remember some restaurant scenes, but don't recall food and drink being central to the movie. Still a very worthy watch (for those who don't mind subtitles or those fluent in French).

                                                                                                        1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                          There is an English version, dubbed I would imagine.
                                                                                                          $4.95 at AMAZON, for Prime members! (no shipping charge)

                                                                                                          1. re: VenusCafe

                                                                                                            Glad this thread popped up again, one of the best movies I have seen in my life! I got up early so I could watch it by myself, but I told my husband he HAD to see it when he got up later. He loved it, despite the subtitles, a great guy/buddy movie which was very unexpected. Maybe I will grab a dubbed edition for the future.

                                                                                                            Well, there was the "egg"....

                                                                                                            1. re: coll

                                                                                                              Glad you liked it. I know it is OT but wanted to spread the word. It is a fun movie to enjoy, there are so few of them. I am going to watch Jiro dreams of sushi tonight, alone I am sure...

                                                                                                              1. re: DowntownJosie

                                                                                                                Well let me know how it goes, email me if you have to! So far you are on the money.

                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                  I enjoyed it. He is really inspiring but not a particularly fun movie. I loved his passion and drive I would be very curious to try his sushi....perfection in its simplicity

                                                                                                        2. re: coll

                                                                                                          Food and drink are of no consequence in The Intouchables.
                                                                                                          Excellent film but could not possibly be more off-topic for this website. I'd recommend adding "Goodbye, Solo" for a double feature.

                                                                                                2. re: JMF

                                                                                                  Good for you, JMF! Your plans sound really nice.

                                                                                                  1. re: JMF

                                                                                                    Do you live in LA? If so what place are you getting this turkey from?

                                                                                                    1. re: MissBubbles

                                                                                                      No, NYC 'burbs. Kam Sen, White Plains.

                                                                                                  2. After a recent flurry of emails from my in-laws about Thursday's meal, I'm certain I'm drinking more, not less.

                                                                                                    1. didn't have a judgey family, so it wasn't an issue. thank goodness.

                                                                                                      1. Definitely not, with a winemaker for a cousin and my parents generation called the Frowny people by my young niece, it takes more drinking to get me through a family meal without wanting to get up and walk right out on them. After 60 years of being siblings, you'd think my mom would eventually stop squabbling over the same arguments. *roll eyes*.....

                                                                                                        Thank goodness it's usually once a year now that I live abroad. :)

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: bdachow

                                                                                                          I don't drink a lot of alcohol in general, though I enjoy wine, find beer refreshing on a hot summer's day, and have a mixed drink or two that I like, but now reserve for when I'm at the cottage (it's a pretty big drink). I used to drink it regularly, but it's pretty caloric, so I've all but cut it out except at the cottage when I'm in the mood.

                                                                                                          All that said, 2 glasses of wine and I get a bit slurry. One of my big mixed drinks and I'm ready to take a nap. I'd never get past a pint of beer, at least not without a few hours' gap before the next one.

                                                                                                          My husband, many of his friends and even his dad, can put away an astonishing amount of alcohol and get up the next day without trouble. That's not necessarily a regular occurrence, but clearly there's enough regular drinking that these people can tolerate/metabolize alcohol incredibly efficiently, which isn't to say they don't get good and drunk, but it definitely takes a while before the cumulative effects catch up with them. If I were to try to keep up, there would be projectile vomiting after a couple of hours of drinking and the most evil hangover waiting to greet me the next morning.

                                                                                                          I don't attempt to keep up. I have what I want or nothing, should that be my preference. However, when at major family events with my in-laws, such as Christmas, my husband's father, who has an extensive wine collection, brings out really good wines and I tend to drink much more than I might in any other situation, in part because the wines are fantastic, but in part because his dad tends to refill glasses without invitation. There's a bit of "power of suggestion" going on as well. I could get up and seek a different beverage, but seeing the red and white wine bottles open and on the go, it's so easy to just pour a couple more sips. By the time we're headed off to bed, I usually stand up from the couch and realize that I'm a bit spinny. It strikes me as odd though, that I have no qualms about turning down refills and beverage offers anywhere else. Do I just like the wines there so much that I risk overindulging and the punishment that follows? I'm not anxious or stressed in that family environment. I don't fear rejection for drinking moderately. His mom sometimes drinks one glass of wine then moves to nonalcoholic wine, or coffee or something else, so it's not as if there are no other options available. Am I feeling peer pressure? Maybe, but if so, it's quite mild. I don't need an answer, but the family function phenomenon is an interesting one to me.

                                                                                                          Conversely, at MY parents' place, I wouldn't drink more than one glass, in part because my dad buys utilitarian wine, for price, but also because he doesn't really know or care to seek out something better quality for his money. Cheap, good bottles are available. He just doesn't bother to seek out anything new and different. My mother doesn't drink at all anymore (she never drank much, but now can't, due to medication interactions). She is the type that would offer some unsolicited vaguely judgemental feedback if she saw my dad or me pouring second and third glasses for ourselves. I find I have little motivation to put much booze back when in their company, as a result. I suspect my husband drinks less at their place too, though my parents probably don't think so. LOL. If he were to drink three beers in front of them, they'd think he was a degenerate alcoholic. He'd still do it, though. In his mind, he might be thinking: "hey, I might have had six by now if I'd been with my buddy at the cottage. To him, three drinks (equivalent to one per hour) is moderate. To my parents, one drink per evening is moderate. To me, I guess it depends on the situation, but two per evening sounds moderate. Three drinks for me is a celebratory event. Four and I'm on my face, unless they are spaced widely apart and with plenty of other hydrating beverages interspersed.

                                                                                                          Ultimately, my attitude is this: if I want to have a drink, I do. If not, I refuse. If drinks are flowing freely, I assess desire and sense of wellbeing. If I neither want more alcohol nor want to feel dozy and slurr-ish, I stop. Maybe I'll return to it much later. Maybe not. As for the rest of my compatriots, they can drink or not drink. Not my concern ... unless there's driving involved.

                                                                                                          1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                            sweetpea honey, next time bring a nice bottle of wine to share with your dad. Just make sure to remove the price tag!

                                                                                                            1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                              As far as I'm concerned, my Dad provides all the Wine & I'll bring over the Beer…lol.

                                                                                                          1. I drink just a bit to be sociable and to join in a toast. A small amount of alcohol hits me like a sledge hammer and I do not enjoy the buzz.
                                                                                                            My lovely wife and her family are W.A.S.P.s and they drink regularly (Drink time is at 5 PM) and even more at family dinners or holidays. It never gets out of hand and I am amazed at that.
                                                                                                            No one gets drunk but they all get a buzz.
                                                                                                            I'll make myself a soft drink that looks like hard liquor to be sociable.

                                                                                                            1. I consider it very sad that people need to be buzzed or drunk to have fun/enjoy themselves. I am bored by people who aren't sober. To me, intelligent conversation is the most important part of having a good time. I have an occasional glass of wine or ale, only as part of a meal, chosen to complement the flavors/dishes in the meal. On the rare occasions that I choose to have an aperitif or cocktail, I do not have any other alcohol with the meal. It's been over 40 yrs since I reached drinking age. I have never been drunk, or even buzzed. Once, I started to have a second glass of wine and realized I was starting to feel tipsy. I poured it out and never again had more than 6 oz of wine or ale at a time. So no, I don't need others' judgment to influence when or how much I drink.

                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                I don't need alcohol to have a good time..but sometimes it sure is fun to have a few. And sometimes, it certainly makes a bad time more bearable.

                                                                                                                I don't need others' judgement to influence when or how much I drink.

                                                                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                  How can you judge something you've never actually tried, since you say you've never actually reached the point of buzzed or drunk? I've been both sober and drunk, so I feel I can make an accurate comparison. I find that being a little buzzed (note, I did not say completely wasted to the point if falling all over yourself) can lead to lots of good conversations. The little bit of alcohol naturally tends to open people up a little more, which I think helps to make for a more candid and interesting conversation.

                                                                                                                  1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                    SaraA, you can be stone cold sober and still be a bore, an ass and lousy company, right?!

                                                                                                                      1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                        yet the NB/caveat of "note, I did not say completely wasted to the point if (SIC) falling all over yourself"

                                                                                                                        that is a really important point that needs to be re-inforced. silly is one thing, sloppy is quite another.

                                                                                                                      2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                        My father never drank alcohol in any form. My mother bought perhaps one six-pack of beer a decade, and would on rare occasions have a juice-glass of the brew when dinner was pork. Both were German-born so were counter-to-type. I can't say that I followed their example, because both chain-smoked (one quit when I was a teen) and I have never so much as held a cigarette. Cigarette smoke stinks and never held the slightest attraction for me. I find people who are even a little bit under the influence to be utterly, mind-numbingly boring. So I have zero desire to put myself in the same state. I do understand that some people who like feeling tipsy are uncomfortable socializing with people who don't, which plays a part in determining which celebrations I attend, which I skip, and when I leave.

                                                                                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                          I imagine all people, regardless of their BAC, are uncomfortable socializing with others who think they are "utterly, mind-numbingly boring."

                                                                                                                          1. re: POAndrea

                                                                                                                            Exactly, with or without alcohol in their hands.


                                                                                                                          2. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                            You would find the parties at my house to be tremendously boring. I work at a winery where no intelligent conversation ever happens either.

                                                                                                                    1. It's Thanksgiving Day for Heavens sakes!!
                                                                                                                      Don't be too sloshed to eat !!

                                                                                                                      1. I've flirted with contributing to this thread at least a half dozen times since I noticed it. I've written out my thoughts, then erased them each time, not sure if I really feel like dealing with many of the snide or outright obnoxious responses I’m likely to generate, with that said here is my latest attempt, we will see if I decide to post it.

                                                                                                                        I've had a very dysfunctional love affair with drinking since the first time I became intoxicated at the age of 13. (for those that don’t know I am 43). I have lived my entire “adult” life as a highly functional alcoholic. I attended my first AA meeting at the age of 17 at the encouragement of a girlfriend, who was concerned about my drinking. Through both plenty of practice, as well as some genetic mutation, I have the ability throughout my life to drink ENORMOUS amount’s of alcohol without showing the tell tale signs most people do. Not to say I don’t get buzzed or drunk, I do, however I don’t slur my speech, or stumble, from most observers I maintain a very sober appearance. This has allowed me to continue being served well past the point of intoxication, and earned me the “big drinker” title. Over the years I've actually had to give up on drinking beer and wine, simply because I cannot drink enough to reach the level of intoxication I desire, I can easily drink 2-3 bottles of wine or close to a case of beer with just getting a “buzz” but not intoxicated. It’s for that reason I switched to straight vodka 20+ years ago as my drink of choice. There is nothing appealing of drinking straight vodka, but it’s the only way I can “get the job done”.

                                                                                                                        Another amazing part of all of this is I rarely (until a few years ago) experienced hang-over. Up until turning 40 I could be out drinking till 2-3 in the morning, go home sleep a few hours and get up and be at work by 8am. As the matter of fact I've lived most of my life on that schedule, only recently slowing down as hang-overs now do affect. I should say I have never missed a day of work because of drinking, nor have I EVER drank during the day, well work day. This is why I have said I’m a very “functional alcoholic”.

                                                                                                                        I've led this life to the chagrin of my parents, my wife and all those who are closest to me. One very ironic thing we are now noticing with my children who are 16(boy) & 18(girl) is how their first hand account of living with a functioning alcoholic, has rather de-romanticized drinking to them. My daughter in her freshman year of college living away for the first time, will routinely call or text us after parties complaining of the binge drinking. Even after a recent vacation to an island where the drinking age is 18, she did drink, but for the novelty of it not to get drunk. She admits her only interest in drinking is social drinking and has no desire to be drunk. Even my son, the typical high school “jock” where drinking is a right of passage, has not shown any signs of coming home intoxicated. When we discuss it, he too doesn't seem to have a very glorious impression of drinking or desire to get drunk.

                                                                                                                        So to answer the OP, no I have never hid or changed my drinking habits for the benefit of my family or anyone. However, that’s just more reflective of my overall personality. I don’t tend to conform to anyone’s standards or expectations. As Popeye said “I yam who I yam and that’s all that I yam”, if you don’t like it or me, that’s fine, nobody is requiring you to be around me or my life. Move on, you won’t hurt my feelings. Even with all my shortcomings I know a few things about me, I’m a good guy, I’m a good friend, I am good father. As f*cked up as me or my life has been, I’m happy with who I am and I’m comfortable in my own skin. I’m brutally honest at times and if you don’t like that, then you need to learn to deal with honesty. But as I said, flaws and all I think I’m a pretty ok guy, and if my family or friends don’t like certain aspects of me that is their discretion, doesn't mean I’m changing any time soon.

                                                                                                                        Should you care, I won’t shy away from questions.

                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                            speaking w/o a dog in this race (I'm kinda priesty that way) - sometimes it seems to skip a generation. a friend who went (largely) on the wagon, allowed it was when the hangovers became too fierce that she felt the need.

                                                                                                                            a fun/interesting read is Augusten Burroughs' book "Dry" he (or his fictionalized character) was truly around the bend.

                                                                                                                            this may not be the 'right' response, yet I can empathize. I don't drive drunk, I don't drink at work, I don't get violent (OK I stub my toes sometimes). nah just silly. and full of non-sequiters...

                                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                              I have gone to great measures over the years to avoid drinking and driving. I hope nothing in my post insinuates I condone that in the least.

                                                                                                                              I'll check out that book, thanks for the tip.

                                                                                                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                no no jr, you didn't imply d+d was in your repertoire at all.

                                                                                                                                it's the raging jackasses (as always) who spoil the fun for everyone else.

                                                                                                                                'Dry' - there's a hilarious chapter concerning how he dealt with a blinding hangover on a 'field trip' with clients and his boss.

                                                                                                                          2. Yes, only because the more I drink, the more the f-bombs start flying out of my mouth. I don't want the rest of my family to realize what a " potty mouth " I can be at times.

                                                                                                                            I either will limit myself to a drink or won't drink at all. With me, alcohol is a take it or leave it thing. It's not a "must have" with dinner, like wine was for my parents. I also don't care about if " nobody else is drinking." If I feel like a drink, I'll have one. I wouldn't drink though if it would be a bother to someone who is say, a recovering alcoholic.

                                                                                                                            1. I don't drink around my in-laws because they don't drink and are very judgmental. I wish they drank; perhaps they would be more interesting.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: GreekChorus

                                                                                                                                .........and even more judgemental!!! HAH!!!

                                                                                                                                1. I grew up with francophile academic parents, wine was at every lunch and dinner when I was small. I don't recall any indication of any drinking problems then. Bizarrely, however, they got saved in the early 80s and became evangelical born-again christians. This made their attitudes toward booze extremely schizophrenic. Fine Wine!! Still Good! But Bad! It's bordering on insane actually. My dad likes to talk to me about my excessive drinking (it's not excessive) when he's a couple of sheets to the wind.

                                                                                                                                  1. I am the opposite, I feel pressure to drink wine more with my family! I grew up in the Italian tradition drinking wine, and there is always a cocktail offered before dinner and wine with dinner at my parents' house. My brothers will always top up my glass.

                                                                                                                                    1. No, I turn my drinking up…lol!