Parental Alcohol Tales

My parents went to Spain not too long after they got married. My mom’s favorite story about this trip is The Story of the Sangria.

They went out to dinner and decided to try some sangria. The server puts a bucket at the end of the table and starts chopping up fruit, pitching it in the bucket, and pouring on the liquors and wines. My father is a fruit fanatic. (My whole family is; it’s the only thing the caterer ran out of when I got married because they didn’t believe me when I warned them about what happens when my clan meets a fresh fruit display.) Dad decides he doesn’t want to drink much, he just wants to pick at some of the fruit. And so he picks. And picks. And picks some more.

Next thing he knows, he’s practically under the table he’s so drunk. I don’t think he goes bonkers on the sangria any longer.

When I moved into my first apartment in DC, my parents came up to bring me my old college stuff and see the new place. It was a tiny apartment at 1754 S St, NW in the basement, and there was a restaurant called Lauriol Plaza right across the street. (This was before Lauriol Plaza moved into their current digs another block or two north.) My then-boyfriend, now-husband, who is a choral conductor, was performing that night, so we all planned to go see his concert after getting my stuff situated. We needed a large snack/early dinner before we went out to the performance, and my parents had been eyeing all those relaxed people sitting in the sun at Lauriol as we’d been going in and out of the apartment with boxes. So I wasn’t surprised when they suggested we eat there.

We decided to split a half-pitcher of margaritas between us, along with some platanos maduros and other snacks. We each drank our share of the pitcher and munched out. And then we paid the bill and got up to head for the concert. All three of us swayed in tandem, the combination of a gorgeous spring day and the physical activity of moving and the margarita having gone to our heads. And after that, funny thing, my parents often suggested getting a drink at Lauirol Plaza whenever they visited me in that apartment. (Another funny thing, I know we went to that concert, but I don’t remember anything about it.)


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