Wednesday, August 28, 2013
The family was in town this week.
Of course, when I say family I mean my wife's family. The Siegel branch of the family tree has undergone some heavy pruning. And is quite dysfunctional. So we don't discuss it here.
My wife's clan however is large and boisterous. At some point during last week's group August birthday bash there were two or more members of the Siegel/Weinblatt/O'Connor/Bargar/Mansinni's in each of the nine rooms of my house. Ranging in age from 4 to 84.
The following morning there were enough empty beer, wine and rum bottles in my recycling bin to shame a Dublinner.
As the card above indicates, Jews are not particularly associated with alcohol. In fact, in a recent study by Columbia University, "Reports show a relatively high prevalence of ADH*2 in Jewish samples...explaining the low rates of alcoholism in this group."
I don't know where these ivy tower researchers are getting their samples, but I know it's not anywhere near my house in Culver City.
I'm surrounded by The Chosen Ones who've chosen to knock back a few.
I believe it all has to do with geography.
My sister-in-law and her crew are from Boston. They look like Bostonians, talk like Bostonians, and they drink like Bostonians. Particularly anytime there's a sporting event with the Sawwwx, the Celtics or the Bruins. Which pretty much covers 12 months of the year.
We also spend considerable time with friends from South Africa. At one time there was a large Jewish population in Johannesburg. But if I'm not mistaken they have ALL moved to Southern California. And brought their unquenchable thirst with them. Their idea of a good party starts at sundown and reluctantly ends at sunrise.
And me? Well, I'm first generation American. My mother was from Glasgow. And was never far from her beloved Heineken beer. And my father was a tough street Jew from the Bronx, who fell in love with a Scottish lass as well as Scottish whiskey. He was never far from his white coffee mug and two fingers worth of Johnny Walker Red.
Thankfully, and perhaps this is where the researchers at Columbia got it right, I don't know of any problems associated with our collective drinking. We don't fight. We don't go into raging fits. And we don't binge. OK, occasionally we binge but never near the good china or with the expensive glassware.
The point is, we're Jews that happen to like alcohol.
And fortunately, it likes us back.