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Today’s generation goes wet and not just behind the ears

My daughter announced Tuesday while in Starbucks at the Barnes and Noble that she ‘is all about beverages.’ This sweet taste of validation was received by me with a loud burst of laughter that infected the whole coffee queue. Of course. Aren’t we all?
I am also all about beverages. In my Top 10 Favorite Movie Line list, number six is ‘Hey … hey … hey … , careful man. There’s a beverage here!’ This is announced by Jeff Bridges playing the title character in ‘The Big Lebowski’ as he is roughly shoved into a limo by goofy German kidnappers who are going to rub him out in unpleasant ways. Hilarious movie. And to make matters worse, he is drinking a White Russian. This is a drink that is a coffee liquor with vodka and cream. I leave out the vodka in my Kahlua and Cream, but I understand his terror of spillage. Kahlua costs $20 a bottle.
This was a source of nitpicking irritation with my mother who thought that all this silliness with our coffees, cokes, bottled waters and Red Bull was a ridiculous affectation and that we needed to grow up already. She, of course, was not of the boomer generation and the multitudes of beverage babies we have all spawned.
With my mother, I was always apologizing for my behavior. For instance, I would run back in the house for my coffee when we were already late for book club. Sorry. I would leave my coffee mugs sitting amongst the impatiens at local nurseries everywhere. We’d have to drive back and get it. Sorry. We would take Exit 103 at Southport just for the Starbucks. Sorry. Not to mention spillage; let’s not go there. The best thing about our new upstairs carpet is that it is coffee colored.
When the death knell was rung for all smokers everywhere, the cigarette as a prop was gone. I love to watch certain people smoke in the movies. Brad Pitt on that hillside in ‘A River Runs Through It.’ Meryl Streep in her empty room in ‘Out of Africa’ before her last dance with Robert Redford. Only if you are an arm’s dealer, drug runner, terrorist, Nazi or confused in puberty can you now smoke in a movie.
But the beverage can take the place of the smoking gun, so to speak. Everyone knows that you NEED something to do with your hands in order to express your thoughts with clarity and depth. Taking a sip of coffee while trying to remember someone’s name ‘ or your own for that matter ‘ can camouflage the panic and disarray of an addled brain. Actually, a sip of hot tea and a blank stare can take you a long way when faced with a discussion of why Aunt Nicole was married four times.
The stars of ‘Sex in the City’ deliver their wittiest lines while drinking Manhattans and Cosmopolitans in those beautiful expensive glasses that they raise so neatly. The preponderance of wine tastings is all about the ease of meeting and mingling over a beverage. Nothing has to be chewed and nothing gets caught between your teeth. You don’t even have to sit down. I mean, just look at Lorelei on ‘The Gilmore Girls.’ That whole television series is based on her love of coffee.
Even going as far back as my one-digit years, 8 or 9 years old, my sister and I would play ‘Bonanza’ and slouch up to a pretend saloon bar, order in a low gravelly voice, and throw back a couple whiskeys with that Little Joe macho style. It was all about beverages even then.

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