Hi, I’m Abbie Taylor, and I’m a non-alcoholic. You won’t hear that at an AA meeting, but it’s my story. Like any kid, I wanted to drink and loved being in bars when the opportunity arose.
In 1971 when I was ten years old, while traveling from our home in Tucson, Arizona, to Sheridan, Wyoming, to visit my grandmother, Dad and I did some bar hopping in Durango, Colorado. Although I couldn’t drink anything stronger than Coke, I enjoyed the atmosphere of the saloons we visited and anticipated the day when I could chug-a-lug a beer along with the rest of them. This experience inspired the poem, “A Memorable Stop in Colorado,” which appears in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. When we got to Wyoming, I was disappointed to learn that children weren’t allowed in bars, but that didn’t deter me from wanting to drink. A few years later after my family moved to Sheridan, one of my favorite country songs was Tom T Hall’s “I Like Beer.”
On my nineteenth birthday when I finally came of age, my parents took me and my younger brother Andy out to dinner, and for the first time ever, I was allowed glass of wine. To my utter dismay, it tasted awful. “You’re supposed to sip it, not chug-a-lug it,” said Andy. Where he got that knowledge, I’ll never know, but even with just a small portion in my mouth, it still wasn’t very tasty. Dad ordered me a wine cooler with 7-up, but that was worse. During the next few days, I tried beer and other drinks, but they were no better. I couldn’t understand why people loved such foul-tasting beverages. I finally resigned myself to the fact that I’m a non-alcoholic which is better than being addicted to strong drink.
One summer when I was single and living on my own, I invited Dad to come with me to the park for a concert. I packed a picnic lunch including sandwiches, a can of Dr. Pepper for me, and a bottle of beer for Dad. However, I packed the wrong kind of bottle opener. You don’t have to be a mathematician to know that Dad plus a bottle of beer and no way to open it equals disaster. To make things worse, the concert never happened. Dad was a good sport, though. Afterward, he took the bottle home where he had the right opener. For more pleasant memories of spirits consumption, check out the Icing and Ink blog. Happy drinking!